New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2012‒09‒30
eight papers chosen by

  1. Technical and scale efficiency in the Italian Citrus Farming: A comparison between Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA) and Data Envelopment Analysis(DEA) Models By Madau, Fabio A.
  2. Cultural Diversity and Plant‐Level Productivity By Trax, Michaela; Brunow, Stephan; Suedekum, Jens
  3. Signalling and Productivity Effects of Overeducation: Is It Really a Waste of Resources? By Abbi Kedir; Andri Kyrizi; Francisco Martinez-Mora
  4. Efficiency of World Ports in Container and Bulk Cargo (oil, coal, ores and grain) By Olaf Merk; Thai Thanh Dang
  5. The case against patents By Michele Boldrin; David K. Levine
  6. Productivity Gains from Worker Mobility and their Distribution between Workers and Firms By Stoyanov, A.; Zubanov, N.V.
  7. Bankers and bank investors: Reconsidering the economies of scale in banking By Ronald W. Anderson; Karin Joeveer
  8. Robust Error Specification in a Production System By Rulon D. Pope; Jeffrey LaFrance

  1. By: Madau, Fabio A.
    Abstract: This paper aims to estimate technical and scale efficiency in the Italian citrus farming. Estimation was carried out from two different approach: a non parametric and a parametric approach using a Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) model and a Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA) model, respectively. Several studies have compared technical efficiency estimates derived from parametric and non parametric approaches, while a very small number of studies have aimed to compare scale efficiency obtained from different methodological approaches. This is one of the first attempts that aims to put on evidence possible difference in scale efficiency estimations in farming due to methods used. Empirical findings suggest that the greater portion of overall inefficiency in the sample might depend on producing below the production frontier than on operating under an inefficient scale. Furthermore, we found that the estimated technical efficiency from the SFA model is substantially at the same level of this estimated from DEA model, while the scale efficiency arisen from SFA is larger than this obtained from DEA analysis.
    Keywords: Technical efficiency; Scale efficiency; Data Envelopment Analysis; Stochastic Frontier Analysis; Citrus farming;
    JEL: C13 Q12
    Date: 2012–09
  2. By: Trax, Michaela (University of Duisburg-Essen); Brunow, Stephan (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Suedekum, Jens (University of Duisburg-Essen)
    Abstract: Using comprehensive data for German establishments (1999-2008), we estimate plant-level production functions to analyze if “cultural diversity” affects total factor productivity. We distinguish diversity in the establishment's workforce and in the aggregate regional labor force where the plant is located. We find that a larger share of foreign workers – either in the establishment or in the region – does not affect productivity. However, there are strong spillovers associated with the degree of cultural heterogeneity. The aggregate level is, quantitatively, at least as important as the workforce composition inside the establishment. Diversity thus seems to induce externalities beyond the boundaries of a single firm; it improves local business environments.
    Keywords: cultural diversity, plant-level productivity, knowledge spillovers
    JEL: R23 J21 J31
    Date: 2012–09
  3. By: Abbi Kedir; Andri Kyrizi; Francisco Martinez-Mora
    Abstract: Overeducation raises concerns that governments may be overinvesting in education. To inform the debate, this paper studies the impact of overeducation on productivity. We advance the literature by considering that returns to overeducation may be due both to productivity and signalling effects. To disentangle both effects, we apply Wolpin’s (1977) methodology and compare the rates of return of screened (employed) and unscreened (self-employed) workers. To overcome well-known endogeneity problems due to unobserved heterogeneity, we estimate a panel with individual and employment-status fixed effects. Our results show that signalling effects are relevant and that overeducation does not carry a productivity penalty.
    Keywords: Overeducation; signalling model; human capital model; unobserved heterogeneity
    JEL: I20 J24 J31
    Date: 2012–09
  4. By: Olaf Merk; Thai Thanh Dang
    Abstract: Port efficiency is an important indicator of port performance; more efficient ports lower transportation costs and facilitate imports and exports of a country. Despite the importance of the subject, the exisiting port efficiency studies have almost exclusively focused on container ports. This Working Paper aims to fill that gap by calculating efficiency scores of world ports per cargo type (containers, oil, coal, iron ore and grain). These calculcations have been made using a database constructed for this purpose. Several findings can be derived from these calculations. Significant improvements can be made when the technical efficiency of ports is increased. Among the sample, gaps between terminal efficiency mostly reflected gaps in pure technical efficiency. When comparing the level of efficiency achieved by ports across commodities, technical gaps were more marked for container and oil terminals. Promoting policies to raise throughput levels in order to minimise production scale inefficiencies is another important area for improvement. Production scale inefficiencies arise when throughput levels are below or above optimal levels given the current capacity of terminal infrastructure. Such inefficiencies were mostly found in a substantial number of ports handling crude oil and iron ore, suggesting that efficiency is more sensitive and driven by exogenous factors related to traffic flows. The analysis also shows that the size of ports matters for port efficiency. The crude oil, iron-ore and grain ports have higher efficiency scores at larger total port size, suggesting that this size is more efficient because they can drive technological development. Finally, there are regional patterns emerging across commodities. Terminals in China are among the most efficient in handling coal bulk and containers with terminals in Southeast Asia. By contrast, the most efficient grain and iron-ore terminals are located in Latin America, and the most efficient crude-oil transhipment terminals are mostly found in the Gulf region. Further, Australia is also found to perform well in handling coal bulk and grains.
    Keywords: transportation, ports, port efficiency
    JEL: L91 R11 R41
    Date: 2012–09–13
  5. By: Michele Boldrin; David K. Levine
    Abstract: The case against patents can be summarized briefly: there is no empirical evidence that they serve to increase innovation and productivity. There is strong evidence, instead, that patents have many negative consequences.
    Keywords: Patents ; Productivity
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Stoyanov, A.; Zubanov, N.V.
    Abstract: Using data from the universe of Danish manufacturing firms and workers over the period 1995-2007, we estimate output gains linked to productivity spillovers through worker mobility, and calculate the shares in these gains accrued to firms, to the workers who bring spillovers, and to the rest of the workers. Applying our results to the manufacturing sector as a whole, the total output gains average at 0.16% per year, of which 80% is retained by the firms, 15% by the rest of the workers, and only 5% goes to the workers who bring spillovers. We therefore conclude that output gains through worker mobility are largely a positive externality for hiring firms.
    Keywords: wages;matched employer-employee data;productivity spillovers;worker mobility
    Date: 2012–04–30
  7. By: Ronald W. Anderson; Karin Joeveer
    Abstract: We study economies of scale in banking by viewing banks as combinations of financial and human capital that create rents which accrue to investors and bankers. Applying this approach to annual data of US bank holding companies since 1990, we find much stronger evidence of economies of scale in returns to bankers as compared to returns to investors. The scale economies appear to be particularly strong in the top size decile of banks measured by total assets. We find that rents accruing to bankers are particularly strong in banks with a relatively large share of non-interest income and that for the largest banks a reduction of net interest margin is associated with an increase in bankers’ rents. We find incorporating observable proxies for funding efficiency and presence in wholesale banking activities greatly reduces the pure size effect.
    Date: 2012–09
  8. By: Rulon D. Pope; Jeffrey LaFrance
    Abstract: Economists who estimate demand or supply systems are often faced with the issue of whether to estimate with shares or quantities as the dependent variables. This paper reviews the implications of making the wrong choice in the context of normalized profit functions of competitive behavior. The implication is that inconsistent estimates are obtained if one makes the wrong choice. A robust structure is proposed which nests these forms (shares or quantities) in a general system and that allows the data to suggest which form is preferable. An application to the U.S. agricultural sector follows. Our results suggest that shares and quantities are rejected in favor of an alternative functional form.
    Keywords: Netputs, robust estimation
    JEL: Q11 C51
    Date: 2012–09

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