New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2012‒03‒08
23 papers chosen by

  1. Food Safety Regulation and Firm Productivity:Evidence from the French Food Industry By Bontemps, Christophe; Nauges, Céline; Réquillart, Vincent; Simioni, Michel
  2. EXPLAINING TFP AT FIRM LEVEL IN ITALY. DOES LOCATION MATTER? By Francesco Aiello; Valeria Pupo; Fernanda Ricotta
  3. Energy consumption and carbon dioxide environmental efficiency for former Soviet Union economies. evidence from DEA window analysis By Arazmuradov, Annageldy
  4. Stock Options and Productivity: An empirical analysis of Japanese firms By MORIKAWA Masayuki
  5. On Marginal Returns and Inferior Inputs By Paolo Bertoletti; Giorgio Rampa
  6. And Yet they Co-Move! Public Capital and Productivity in OECD: A Panel Cointegration Analysis with Cross-Section Dependence By Anna Bottaso; Carolina Castagnetti; Maurizio Conti
  7. Fiscal decentralization and public sector efficiency: Evidence from OECD countries By Adam, Antonis; Delis, Manthos D; Kammas, Pantelis
  8. Firm Size Distortions and the Productivity Distribution: Evidence from France By Luis Garicano; Claire Lelarge; John Van Reenen
  9. Economic Geography and Productive Efficiency of Solid-Waste Logistics in Japan’s Prefectures: Measurements via the Data Envelopment Analysis By Daisuke Ichinose; Masashi Yamamoto; Yuichiro Yoshida
  10. Revisiting the “Productivity-Hours Puzzle” in the RBC Paradigm: The Role of Investment Adjustment Costs By Alice Albonico; Sarantis Kalyvitis; Evi Pappa
  11. Public Programs, Innovation, and Firm Performance in Chile By Roberto Alvarez; Gustavo Crespi; Conrado Cuevas
  12. Why has China grown so fast? The role of international technology transfer By John Van Reenen; Linda Yueh
  13. Heterogeneous Multinational Firms and Productivity Gains from Falling FDI Barriers By Shawn ARITA; TANAKA Kiyoyasu
  14. The Impact of a Feeder Road Project on Cash Crop Production in Zambia’s Eastern Province between 1997 and 2002 By Christian K.M. Kingombe and Salvatore di Falco
  15. Le differenze regionali nella governance della spesa sanitaria. La sanità alla sfide del federalismo: il modello SaniRegio di CeRM By Pammolli, Fabio; Salerno, Nicola
  17. Heterogeneous multinational firms and productivity gains from falling FDI barriers By Arita, Shawn; Tanaka, Kiyoyasu
  18. How Does Payer Mix and Technical Inefficiency Affect Hospital Net Revenue? By Hervé Leleu; James Moises; Vivian Valdmanis
  19. Effects of One-Sided Fiscal Decentralization on Environmental Efficiency of Chinese Provinces By Hang Xiong
  20. Club performance dynamics at Italian regional level By J.G. Brida; N. Garrido; Francesco Mureddu
  21. Pay Dispersion and Work Performance By Alessandro Bucciol; Marco Piovesan
  22. Socio-Economic Impact of Mobile Phones on Indian Agriculture By Surabhi Mittal; Sanjay Gandhi; Gaurav Tripathi
  23. Study Time and Scholarly Achievement in PISA By Kuehn, Zoe; Landeras, Pedro

  1. By: Bontemps, Christophe (GREMAQ,INRA); Nauges, Céline (LERNA-INRA); Réquillart, Vincent; Simioni, Michel (GREMAQ,INRA)
    Abstract: The purpose of this article is to assess whether food safety regulations imposed by the European Union in the 2000s may have induced a slow-down in the productivity of firms in the food processing sector. The impact of regulations on costs and productivity has seldom been studied. This article contributes to the literature by measuring productivity change using a panel of French food processing firms for the years 1996 to 2006. To do so, we develop an original iterative testing procedure based on the comparison of the distribution of efficiency scores of a set of firms. Our results confirm that productivity decreased in two major food processing sectors (poultry and cheese) at the time when safety regulation was reinforced.
    Date: 2012–01
  2. By: Francesco Aiello; Valeria Pupo; Fernanda Ricotta (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: This study analyses how firms' internal variables and regional factors affect Total Factor Productivity (TFP) of Italian manufacturing firms. Due to the hierarchical structure of our data, we employ a multilevel model that allows for a clear distinction between firm and region-specific effects. Results refer to 2004-2006 and show, as expected, the importance of firm-specific determinants of TFP. At the same time, they indicate that location matters, in the sense that the context where firms operate plays a crucial role in determining the level of TFP. In more detail, we find that the regional endowment of infrastructure, the efficiency of local administration and the investments in R&D exert a positive effect on firms' performance. We also argue that regional gaps in the endowment of these factors help to understand the dualistic nature of the Italian economy, where a wealthy North coexists with a less developed South.
    Keywords: Manufacturing Firms, Total Factor Productivity, Italian Regional Divide, Multilevel Models
    JEL: L60 R11 C31
    Date: 2012–02
  3. By: Arazmuradov, Annageldy
    Abstract: The main source of convertible energy—fossil-fuel combustion—generates desirable means for production of national output (GDP) along with an undesirable by-product—carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. This paper investigates the effect of this supply process for environmental quality. By introducing energy and non-energy production factors, we estimate economic and CO2 efficiency. We build an alternative environmental efficiency indicator with respect to CO2 emissions by applying non-parametric data-envelopment analysis (DEA)—window analysis under variable returns to scale (VRS)—to 15 former Soviet Union (FSU) economies for the period 1992–2008. There is a clear distinction between three FSU economies—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania (now EU member states)—and the rest of the sample in that they display better environmental performance. In these three countries, economic efficiency directly influences the environmental performance. Results also show that over time FSU economies improve their CO2 environmental efficiency and comply with the Kyoto Protocol directives. However, this positive gain comes with costs; it seems there is a tradeoff between positive output production (GDP) and controlling for carbon emission. On average, we observe a 15.9-percent drop in producing GDP, while there is a 1.59 -percent rise in positive environmental CO2 efficiency.
    Keywords: Eurasia; carbon dioxide emissions; environmental efficiency; DEA window analysis
    JEL: Q50 P28 P52
    Date: 2011–12–22
  4. By: MORIKAWA Masayuki
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the relationship between the use of stock options and productivity by employing firm-level panel data from the Basic Survey of Japanese Business Structure and Activities. According to the analysis, the use of stock options has a positive impact on firm productivity. Productivity steadily increases after the adoption of stock options. In addition, we found suggestive evidence that R&D investment increases after the introduction of stock options. These results imply that the deregulation on the use of stock options in 1997 and the subsequent legal reforms have had positive contributions to the productivity performance of Japanese firms.
    Date: 2012–02
  5. By: Paolo Bertoletti (Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods, University of Pavia); Giorgio Rampa (Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods, University of Pavia)
    Abstract: A necessary and sufficient condition for an input to be inferior is that, taking into account the input adjustment, an increase of its price raises the marginal productivity of all inputs. Contrary to a widespread opinion, it is not necessary that (some) inputs are “rivals” (i.e., that some marginal productivity cross derivative is negative). We discuss these facts and illustrate them by introducing a few simple functional forms for the production function. Our results suggest that the existence of inferior inputs is naturally associate to the presence of increasing returns, and possibly make the case for inferiority considerably stronger.
    Keywords: inferior and normal inputs, marginal productivity, homotheticity.
    JEL: D11 D21 D24
    Date: 2011–05
  6. By: Anna Bottaso (Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods, University of Genova); Carolina Castagnetti (Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods, University of Pavia); Maurizio Conti (Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods, University of Genova)
    Abstract: In this paper we add to the debate on the public capital - productivity link by exploiting very recent developments in the panel time series literature that take into account cross sectional correlation in non-stationary panels. In particular we evaluate the productive effect of public capital by estimating various production functions for a panel of 21 OECD countries over the period 1975-2002. We find strong evidence of common factors that drive the cointegration relationship among variables; moreover, our results suggest a public capital elasticity of GDP in the range 0.05-0.15, depending on model specification. Results are robust to the evidence of spillovers from public capital investments in other countries and to controlling for other productivity determinants like human capital, the stock of patents and R&D capital.
    Keywords: Public capital; Productivity; Panel Cointegration; Cross-section Dependence.
    JEL: C33 C15 H54 O47
    Date: 2011–11
  7. By: Adam, Antonis; Delis, Manthos D; Kammas, Pantelis
    Abstract: This paper empirically examines the relationship between fiscal decentralization and public sector efficiency. A country-level dataset is used to measure public sector efficiency in delivering education and health services and the new indices are regressed on well-established decentralization measures. The analysis is carried out for 21 OECD countries, between 1970 and 2000. Irrespective of whether public sector efficiency concerns education or health services, an inverted U-shaped relationship has been identified between government efficiency in providing these services and fiscal decentralization. This relationship is robust across several different specifications and estimation methods.
    Keywords: Public sector efficiency; fiscal decentralization; OECD countries
    JEL: H50 H11 C14 C24
    Date: 2012–02–23
  8. By: Luis Garicano; Claire Lelarge; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: A major empirical challenge in economics is to identify how regulations (such as firing costs) affect economic efficiency. Almost all countries have regulations that increase costs when firms cross a discrete size threshold. We show how these size-contingent regulations can be used to identify the equilibrium and welfare effects of regulation through combining a new model with the firm-level distributions of size and productivity. Our framework adapts the Lucas (1978) model to a world with size-contingent regulations and applies this to France where there are sharp increases in firing costs (which we model as a labor tax) when firms employ 50 or more workers. Using administrative data on the population of firms 2002 through 2007, we show how this regulation has major effects on the distribution of firm size (a "broken power law") and productivity. We then econometrically recover the key parameters of the model in order to estimate the costs of regulation which appear to be nontrivial.
    Keywords: Firm size, productivity, labor regulation, power law
    JEL: L11 L51 J8 L25
    Date: 2012–02
  9. By: Daisuke Ichinose (Tohoku University of Community Service and Science); Masashi Yamamoto (Center for Far Eastern Studies, University of Toyama); Yuichiro Yoshida (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
    Abstract: This paper measures the productive efficiency of the municipal-solid-waste (MSW) logistics by applying the data envelopment analysis (DEA) to the cross-sectional data of prefectures in Japan. Either through public operation or by outsourcing private waste-collection operators, prefectural governments possess the fundamental authority of waste-processing operation in Japan. We thus estimate a multi-input-multi-output production efficiency at the prefectural level via DEA, where several different model settings are employed. Our data classify the volume of MSW into household solid waste (HSW) and business solid waste (BSW) collected by both private and public operators as separate outputs, while the numbers of trucks and workers used by private and public operators enter as inputs. Results consistently show that the geographical characteristics such that the number of inhabited remote islands is relatively larger than others is a dominant factor determining the inefficiency. While the implication that in these small islands minimum efficient scale is not achieved is in accord to the literature that waste logistics is increasing-return at the municipal level, our results indicate that the production of waste collection in Japan is well described as CRS technology at the prefectural level. Results also show that the prefectures that are inefficient in MSW logistics have higher spatial correlation with their neighbors both in terms of waste collection efficiency and the volume of illegal dumping of industrial waste.
    Date: 2012–03
  10. By: Alice Albonico (Department of Economics, University of Pavia); Sarantis Kalyvitis (Department of International and European Economic Studies, Athens University of Economics and Business); Evi Pappa (European University Institute, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Conventional RBC models have been heavily criticized for their inability to generate the estimated negative correlations of hours and productivity in response to technology shocks ('productivity-hours puzzle'). In this paper we show that by just enhancing the standard frame- work with investment adjustment costs can resolve the 'productivity-hours puzzle'.
    Keywords: technology shocks; productivity-hours puzzle; investment adjustment costs; wealth effect.
    JEL: E22 E32
    Date: 2012–02
  11. By: Roberto Alvarez; Gustavo Crespi; Conrado Cuevas
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of two public programs, FONTEC and FONDEF, aimed at fostering innovation in Chilean firms. With the cooperation of several public agencies, participants and non-participants in these programs during the period 1995-2000 were identified from a large panel of firms in the manufacturing sector. From this information, the effect of the programs could be determined using propensity score matching (PSM) and differences in differences (DID) in a multiple treatment setting. Results show that these programs have generally been associated with increases in employment and productivity, but the impact is heterogeneous across programs and indicators of firm performance.
    Keywords: Science & Technology, Science & Technology :: Research & Development, Public Sector, IFD, CTI, innovation, policy evaluation, employment, wages, productivity
    JEL: D22 L2 O3
    Date: 2012–02
  12. By: John Van Reenen; Linda Yueh
    Abstract: Chinese economic growth has been spectacular in the last 30 years. We investigate the role of International Joint Ventures with Technology Transfer agreements, an understudied area. Technology transfer is the traditional mechanism for developing countries to “catch up” and has been a key component of Chinese economic policy. We collect original survey data on Chinese firms and their joint ventures and match this to administrative data on firm performance. To identify the causal effect of joint ventures we use time-varying and province-specific policies at the time when a firm was born. International joint ventures in general and I have large effects on productivity especially when combined with a technology transfer component. We estimate that without International joint ventures China’s growth would have been about one percentage point lower per annum over the last three decades.
    Keywords: China, Technology transfer, Joint ventures, Productivity
    JEL: O32 O33
    Date: 2012
  13. By: Shawn ARITA; TANAKA Kiyoyasu
    Abstract: During the recent decade of declining foreign direct investment (FDI) barriers, small domestic firms disproportionately contracted while large multinational firms experienced a substantial growth in Japan's manufacturing sector. This paper quantitatively assesses the impact of FDI globalization on intra-industry reallocations and its implications for aggregate productivity. We calibrate the firm-heterogeneity model of Eaton, Kortum, and Kramarz (2011) to micro-level data on Japanese multinational firms facing fixed and variable costs of foreign production. Estimating the structural parameters of the model, we demonstrate that the model can strongly replicate entry and sales patterns of Japanese multinationals. Counterfactual simulations show that declining FDI barriers lead to a disproportionate expansion of foreign production by more efficient firms relative to less efficient firms. A hypothetical 20% reduction in FDI barriers yields a 30.7% improvement in aggregate productivity.
    Date: 2012–02
  14. By: Christian K.M. Kingombe and Salvatore di Falco (Overseas Development Institute / Graduate Institute of International Studies / London School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the dynamic impacts of rural road improvements on farm productivity and crop choices in Zambia’s Eastern Province. There are several channels through which the feeder road improvements impact on farmers. Our aim is to estimate whether the differential outcomes in the five treatment districts and three control districts generated by the expansion of market agricultural activities among small to medium scale farmers could be explained by rural road improvements that took place after the new Chiluba MMD government in 1995 had completed an IMF rights accumulation programme bringing the principal marketing agent system to an end. Our district-level empirical analysis is an extension to the Brambilla and Porto(2005, 2007) cross-provincial level approach which proposes a dynamic approach accounting for entry and exit into the agricultural cotton sector to avoid biases in the estimates of aggregate productivity, when measuring productivity in agriculture applied to a repeated cross-sections of farm-level data from the Zambian post-harvest survey (PHS). Despite the limitations of the PHS data covering the period from 1996/1997 to 2001/2002 when the Eastern Province Feeder Road Project (EPFRP) was being implemented. The identification strategy relies on differences-in-differences of outcomes (i.e., cotton productivity) approach across two phases (pre-treatment and post-treatment). We use maize productivity to difference out unobserved household and aggregate agricultural year effects. Through our descriptive analysis we do find that changes in land allocation and in yields to Eastern Province’s most important cash crop – cotton did occur at the district level. However, it is difficult to conclude that these changes are linked directly to the improved accessibility obtained from the implementation of the EPFRP based on our differences-in-differences estimator or our Tobit model.
    Keywords: Impact evaluation, Cash crop choice; Cotton productivity; Africa; Zambia (Eastern Province).
    JEL: C2 C83 D2 O12 O13 Q12 R3
    Date: 2012–02–28
  15. By: Pammolli, Fabio; Salerno, Nicola
    Abstract: SaniRegio is an econometric model, based on fixed effects panel techniques, that investigates the level of efficiency of Italian Regions in governing their health care systems. As a result of the model, we obtain a measure of the efficient or standardized expenditure that may be compared to the effective expenditure. The different degree of efficiency on the side of expenditure is finally commented taking into account also the different degree of quality of Italian Regions in offering health care provisions to their citizens.
    Keywords: Health Care System; health care expenditure; Italian Ssn; inter Regions benchmarking; efficiency ranking; quality ranking; transition toward Federalism; paths of convergence; sustainability
    JEL: H75 I18 C23
    Date: 2011
  16. By: Jaan Masso; Priit Vahter
    Abstract: Recent empirical studies of international trade have stressed that firm level decisions about the number of export products or markets represent an important margin of adjustment in response to globalization and changes in economic conditions. We investigate how decisions about the export product mix are associated with aggregate export dynamics and productivity of firms. For that purpose we use detailed product data and export market level data of the full population of Estonia’s firms. Decomposition analysis of trade flows shows that both the relative importance of firms starting exporting and the role of product level churning (firms adding and dropping products) in total Estonian export growth increases significantly after accession to the EU in 2004. We show that starting to export and adding and dropping export products in the same period is associated with higher firm productivity compared to exporters that keep their export mix unchanged or decrease its breadth. Dropping peripheral products is associated with higher productivity only in the case of firms with a relatively large number of export products.
    Keywords: exporting, multi-product exporters, extensive margin of trade
    JEL: F10 F14 D24
    Date: 2012
  17. By: Arita, Shawn; Tanaka, Kiyoyasu
    Abstract: During the past decade of declining FDI barriers, small domestic firms disproportionately contracted while large multinational firms experienced a substantial growth in Japan’s manufacturing sector. This paper quantitatively assesses the impact of FDI globalization on intra-industry reallocations and aggregate productivity. We calibrate the firm-heterogeneity model of Eaton, Kortum, and Kramarz (2011) to micro-level data on Japanese multinational firms. Estimating the structural parameters of the model, we demonstrate that the model can strongly replicate the entry and sales patterns of Japanese multinationals. Counterfactual simulations show that declining FDI barriers lead to a disproportionate expansion of foreign production by more efficient firms relative to less efficient firms. A hypothetical 20% reduction in FDI barriers is found to generate a 30.7% improvement in aggregate productivity through market-share reallocation.
    Keywords: Japan, International business enterprises, Foreign investments, Manufacturing industries, Industrial management, Multinational firms, FDI, Firm heterogeneity, Investment Liberalization
    JEL: F10 F23 L23 R12 R30 L25
    Date: 2012–02
  18. By: Hervé Leleu (CNRS-LEM (UMR 8179) and IESEG School of Management); James Moises (Department of Emergency Medicine, Tulane University); Vivian Valdmanis (University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and IESEG School of Management)
    Abstract: As changes in the US health care system continue to evolve and change, maintaining the financial viability of hospitals is crucial to the system’s operation. Two lines of inquiry have been pursued in describing factors affecting financial viability. The first line of inquiry relates to the external payer mix of patients focusing on patients who are unable to compensate hospitals for the care received. The second line of inquiry focuses on internal management and because hospitals do not typically answer to shareholders, managers become lax and X-inefficiency may arise. In this paper, we assess both these lines of research in order to determine if payment source by patients and/or managerial efficiency contributes to higher total net revenue. By using a weighted DEA we measured the inefficiency of inputs to the production process on our sample of 144 hospitals operating in Florida during 2005. We used the derived inefficient use of inputs along with the number of days by payer group (Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, other public insurance, and uncompensated care) in order to explain their effects on total net revenue. To preview our results, we found that the inefficient use of beds and the provision of care to patients who are considered as uncompensated care reduce significantly total net revenue while private pay patients and patients covered by other public insurance add to total net revenue. These findings add to the literature by showing that it is patient payer mix and managerial inefficiency together affect hospital financial viability. We also demonstrate how our findings contribute to current policy debates both on the federal US and the state of Florida level.
    Keywords: Hospital, Net Revenue, Efficiency, Payer, Uncompensated Care
    JEL: I12 I18 D2 L2
    Date: 2012–01
  19. By: Hang Xiong (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)
    Abstract: China's actual fiscal decentralization is one-sided: while public expenditures are largely decentralized, fiscal revenues are recentralized after 1994. One critical consequence of the actual system is the creation of significant fiscal imbalances at sub-national level. This paper investigates empirically effects of fiscal imbalances on environmental performance of Chinese provinces. First, environmental efficiency scores of Chinese provinces are calculated with SFA for the period from 2005 to 2010. Then, these scores are regressed against two fiscal imbalance indicators in a second stage model. Finally, conditional EE scores are calculated. This paper finds that effects of fiscal imbalances on EE are nonlinear and conditional on economic development level. Fiscal imbalances are more detrimental to environment in less developed provinces. These results suggest that the one-sided fiscal decentralization in China may have regressive environmental effects and contribute to regional disparity in terms of sustainable development.
    Keywords: Chinese provinces;Decentralization; Environmental efficiency; SFA
    Date: 2012–02–21
  20. By: J.G. Brida; N. Garrido; Francesco Mureddu
    Abstract: This paper analyze the dynamic economic performance of the Italian regions during the period 1970-2004. The measure of economic performance is given by the level and the growth rates of per capita GDP. Using the concept of economic regime, we introduce a notion of distance between the dynamical paths of the Italian regions. Afterwards, a Minimal Spanning Tree and a Hierarchical Tree are constructed from time series in order to assess the existence of groups of regions sharing similar economic performance. Two main clusters are identified, representing high performance and low performance regions, alongside other two small clusters displaying regions with similar dynamic behaviour. The high performance cluster comprises mainly regions from the north, showing the presence of agglomeration externalities. Turning to the evolution of clusters, we see a similar path until 1975, after which the two groups start to slightly diverge. Studying the evolution of each cluster’s diameter we find substantial convergence within the two groups. Splitting the sample into two periods (1975-1993 and 1994-2005) the hypothesis of two performance clubs is confirmed. The club shift of some regions hints a strong effect on regional economic dynamics of the Italian 1994 crisis. The final analysis of the distance between the two clusters show that in the first period (1975-1993) the distance between the two group was constant, while in the second one (1994-2005) it has increased.
    Keywords: economic convergence; economic dualism; hierarchical clustering
    JEL: C24 C14 L83
    Date: 2012
  21. By: Alessandro Bucciol (University of Verona); Marco Piovesan (Harvard Business School)
    Abstract: The effect of intra-firm pay dispersion on work performance is controversial and the empirical evidence is mixed. High pay dispersion may act as an extra incentive for employees' effort or it may reduce motivation and team cohesiveness. These effects can also coexist and the prevalence of one effect over the other may depend on the use of different definitions of what constitutes a "team." For this paper we collected a unique dataset from the men's major soccer league in Italy. For each match we computed the exact pay dispersion of each work team and estimated its effect on team performance. Our results show that when the work team is considered to consist of only the players who contribute to the result, high pay dispersion has a detrimental impact on team performance. Several robustness checks confirm this result. In addition, we show that enlarging the definition of work team causes this effect to disappear or even become positive. Finally, we find that the detrimental effect of pay dispersion is due to worst individual performance, rather than a reduction of team cooperation.
    Keywords: Team productivity, Incentives, Pay dispersion.
    JEL: J31 J33 J44
    Date: 2012–02
  22. By: Surabhi Mittal (ICRIER); Sanjay Gandhi; Gaurav Tripathi
    Abstract: Deficits in physical infrastructure, problems with availability of agricultural inputs and poor access to agriculture-related information are the major constraints on the growth of agricultural productivity in India. The more rapid growth of mobile telephony as compared to fixed line telephony and the recent introduction of mobileenabled information services provide a means to overcome existing information asymmetry. It also helps, at least partially, to bridge the gap between the availability and delivery of agricultural inputs and agriculture infrastructure. This paper investigates a series of questions that explore this topic : What kind of information do farmers value the most to improve agricultural productivity? Do mobile phones and mobile-enabled agricultural services have an impact on agriculture? What are the factors that impede the realisation of the full productivity enhancing potential of mobile phones? The answers to these questions have important implications for mobile operators, for information service providers, and for policymakers. The quality of information, its timeliness and trustworthiness are the three important features that have to be ensured to enable farmers to use it effectively to improve productivity. The study found evidence that mobiles are being used in ways which contribute to productivity enhancement. However, to leverage the full potential of information dissemination enabled by mobile telephony will require significant improvements in supporting infrastructure and capacity building amongst farmers to enable them to use the information they access effectively. As mobile penetration continues to increase among farming communities and information services continue to adapt and proliferate, the scope exists for a much greater rural productivity impact in the future.
    Keywords: telecommunications, India, agriculture
    JEL: Q10
    Date: 2012–02
  23. By: Kuehn, Zoe; Landeras, Pedro
    Abstract: We take a dierent look at the PISA 2006 data set considering time input as the main ingredient for scholarly achievement. Across countries, absolute time spent studying is negatively related to scholarly achievement, while a larger fraction of total study time spent in the classroom is associated to better performance. However, at the country level more total study time (class time plus homework time) is associated to better performance. When considering dierent groups of students, this positive relationship between time input and scholarly achievement breaks down. In particular girls and students with a migratory background spend more time in class rooms and doing homework but perform worse. We estimate a non-linear production function for education which allows us to consider marginal rates of substitution among various input factors for the production of education: dierent time inputs, family characteristics, and aspects of school environment. We nd that compensating for less class time or lower socio-economic background by individual study time, is enormously time-costly or even impossible for students in Spain, as well as for students in the three best and the three worst performing OECD countries. Our results also show that in particular additional hours of class time rather than more teachers or better-equipped schools can compensate for a less advantageous family background.
    Date: 2012–02

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.