nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2012‒07‒14
eight papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Openness, Efficiency and Technology: An Industry Assessment By Dimitris Christopoulos; Peter McAdam
  2. The impact of ICT on educational performance and its efficiency in selected EU and OECD countries: a non-parametric analysis By Aristovnik, Aleksander
  3. The Impact of Information and Communication Technology on the Productivity of the Canadian Transportation System: A Macroeconomic Approach for the Air and Rail Sectors By Centre for the Study of Living Standards
  4. Impact of tissue culture banana technology in Kenya: A difference-in-difference estimation approach By Enoch M. Kikulwe; Nassul .S. Kabunga; Matin Qaim
  5. Trade and productivity : self-selection or learning-by-exporting in India. By Jamal Ibrahim Haidar
  6. Size and Density Economies in Refuse Collection By Graziano Abrate; Fabrizio Erbetta; Giovanni Fraquelli; Davide Vannoni
  7. Selection, Reallocation, and Spillover: Identifying the Sources of Gains from Multinational Production By Laura Alfaro; Maggie X. Chen
  8. Exploring cost dominance between high and low pesticide use in French crop farming systems by varying scale and output mix By Jean-Philippe Boussemart; Hervé Leleu; Oluwaseun Ojo

  1. By: Dimitris Christopoulos (Panteion University); Peter McAdam (University of Surrey and European Central Bank)
    Abstract: Most growth models imply positive impacts on economic growth from greater openness. And a key factor linking openness and growth is the efficiency with which resources are used. Empirically, however, the efficiency impacts of trade have been ambiguous. Using a stochastic frontier analysis, we examine the impact of openness on technical (in)efficiency for a sample of OECD economies. Unlike the bulk of related studies, we work at the industry level. Given recent debates on technology-inspired growth and TFP effects, we additionally examine whether ICT expenditures impacts openness and efficiency. We establish the elasticity of openness with respect to (in)efficiency; TFP and Scale Economies; and Technical Inefficiency across countries and sectors. Both openness and ICT usage have robustly positive impacts on efficiency. Our results shed light on the impact of, spillovers be- tween, and heterogeneity across countries and industries from, increasing openness interacted with the use of advanced technologies.
    Date: 2012–07
  2. By: Aristovnik, Aleksander
    Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to review some previous researches examining ICT efficiency and the impact of ICT on educational output/outcome as well as different conceptual and methodological issues related to performance measurement. Moreover, a definition, measurements and the empirical application of a model measuring the efficiency of ICT use and its impact at national levels will be considered. For this purpose, the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) technique is presented and then applied to selected EU-27 and OECD countries. The empirical results show that the efficiency of ICT, when taking educational outputs/outcomes into consideration, differs significantly across the great majority of EU and OECD countries. The analysis of the varying levels of (output-oriented) efficiency (under the VRSTE framework) shows that Finland, Norway, Belgium and Korea are the most efficient countries in terms of their ICT sectors. Finally, the analysis finds evidence that most of the countries under consideration hold great potential for increased efficiency in ICT and for improving their educational outputs and outcomes.
    Keywords: Information and Communication Technology (ICT); education; performance; efficiency; DEA; EU; OECD
    JEL: I2 L8 O57 H5 O3
    Date: 2012–07–01
  3. By: Centre for the Study of Living Standards
    Abstract: Productivity and ICT use in Canadian air and rail transportation have both increased significantly during the 1997-2010 period. Few efforts have been made, however, to quantify the link between these two variables. This report seeks to address this knowledge gap. It provides a detailed analysis of ICT investment, ICT capital, and productivity trends in Canadian air and rail transportation, comparing these trends to those seen in U.S. air and rail transportation. It thenevaluates the role of ICT as a productivity driver in these two sectors. Using industry-level data, we find that the standard neoclassical growth accounting framework does not appear to adequately capture the importance of ICT on air and rail productivity. Econometric approaches using the same data also failed to yield meaningful results, mainly due to the small number of observations, but also possibly due to the level of data aggregation. It is suggested that future work on the topic should focus on econometric approaches using firm-level data or case studies.
    Date: 2012–06
  4. By: Enoch M. Kikulwe (Georg-August-University Göttingen); Nassul .S. Kabunga (International Food Policy Research Institute, Kampala, Uganda); Matin Qaim (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
    Abstract: Most micro-level studies on the impact of agricultural technologies build on cross-section data, which can lead to unreliable impact estimates. Here, we use panel data covering two time periods to estimate the impact of tissue culture (TC) banana technology in the Kenyan small farm sector. TC banana is an interesting case, because previous impact studies showed mixed results. We combine propensity score matching with a difference-in-difference estimator to control for selection bias and account for temporal impact variability. TC adoption has positive impacts on banana productivity and profits. The technology increases yields by 40-50% and gross margins by around 100%. These large effects represent the impact of TC technology in combination with improved management practices and higher input use, which is recommended. Looking at the isolated TC effect may underestimate impact because of synergistic relationships. The results suggest that extension efforts to deliver the technological package to smallholder farmers should be scaled up.
    Keywords: Agricultural technology; Difference-in-difference; Selection bias; Temporal impact variability; Impact; Kenya
    Date: 2012–07–06
  5. By: Jamal Ibrahim Haidar (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: Recent literature tried to explain the Indian growth miracle in different ways, ranging from trade liberalization to industrial reforms. Using data on Indian manufacturing firms, this paper analyzes the relationship between firm's productivity and export market participation during 1991-2004. While it provide evidence of the self-selection hypothesis by showing that more productive firms become exporters, the results do not show that entry into export markets enhances productivity. The paper examines the explanation of self selection hypothesis for total factor productivity differences across 33,510 exporting and non-exporting firms. It uses propensity score matching to test the learning-by-exporting hypothesis. In line with the prediction of recent heterogeneous firm models of international trade, the main finding of the paper is : more productive firms become exporters but it is not the case that learning by exporting is a channel fuelling growth in Indian manufacturing.
    Keywords: Trade, learning-by-exporting hypothesis, self-selection hypothesis, total factor productivity, causality, heterogeneous firm model.
    JEL: C12 F10 F20 F40 L1 L2 L6
    Date: 2012–05
  6. By: Graziano Abrate (Department of Business Management and Environment, University of Eastern Piedmont); Fabrizio Erbetta (Department of Business Management and Environment, University of Eastern Piedmont); Giovanni Fraquelli (Department of Business Management and Environment, University of Eastern Piedmont); Davide Vannoni (Department of Economics and Statistics (Dipartimento di Scienze Economico-Sociali e Matematico-Statistiche), University of Torino, Italy)
    Abstract: The focus of the paper is to analyze the costs of solid waste collection by applying a well-behaved multiproduct cost function model to a sample of more than 500 Italian municipalities. Beyond shedding light on the presence and on the extent of size (or scale) economies, our aim is to investigate in depth the issue of economies of density, which is still an underexplored topic in the literature. Our cost function specification, by being able to estimate several measures of density economies (such as output density economies, vertical density economies and horizontal density economies), allows to capture the impact of different urbanization models on the costs of refuse collection and disposal. The results of the estimates highlight the presence of output density economies as well as horizontal density economies. Conversely, there is significant and robust evidence of the existence of vertical density diseconomies, which suggests that congestion problems in densely populated councils are severely affecting garbage collection costs. Finally, there is evidence of diseconomies of size, which suggests that aggregating the refusal collection operations of several municipalities would not bring savings in the average costs.
    Keywords: Solid waste, density economies, cost functions.
    JEL: D24 H42 L32 L99
    Date: 2012–07
  7. By: Laura Alfaro (Harvard Business School, Business, Government and the International Economy Unit); Maggie X. Chen (George Washington University)
    Abstract: Quantifying the gains from multinational production has been a vital topic of economic research. Positive productivity gains are often attributed to knowledge spillover from multinational to domestic firms. An alternative, less stressed explanation is firm selection whereby competition from multinationals leads to market reallocation and survival of only the most productive domestic firms. We develop a model that incorporates both aspects and identify their relative importance in the gains from multinational production by exploring their distinct predictions on domestic productivity and revenue distributions. We show that knowledge spillover shifts both distributions rightward while selection and reallocation raise the left truncation of the distributions and shift revenue leftward. Using a rich firm-level panel dataset that spans 60 countries, our structural estimates suggest firm selection and market reallocation constitute an important source of productivity gains while its relative importance varies across nations. Ignoring the role of this source can lead to significant bias in understanding the nature of gains. We also perform counterfactual analysis and quantify both the aggregate and the decomposed welfare effects of multinational production.
    Keywords: Gains from Multinational Production, Firm Selection, Market Reallocation, and Knowledge Spillover
    JEL: F2 O1 O4
    Date: 2012–06
  8. By: Jean-Philippe Boussemart (IESEG School of Management); Hervé Leleu (CNRS-LEM (UMR 8179) and IESEG School of Management); Oluwaseun Ojo (CNRS-LEM (UMR 8179) and IESEG School of Management)
    Keywords: Pesticide Use (PU), Cash crops farming systems, Activity Analysis Model (AAM), Non Parametric Robust Cost Function (NPRCF), Hamming Distance (HD)
    JEL: C61 D22 D24 Q12
    Date: 2012–06

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