nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2012‒10‒06
thirteen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Evaluating professional tennis players’ career performance: A Data Envelopment Analysis approach By Halkos, George; Tzeremes, Nickolaos
  2. Cost Efficiency Measurement in Postal Delivery Networks By Massimo Filippini; Martin Koller
  3. Determinants of Common Bean Productivity and Efficiency: A Case of Smallholder Farmers in Eastern Uganda By Sibiko, Kenneth Waluse
  4. Wage and Productivity differentials in Japan. The Role of Labor Market Mechanisms. By Kalantzis, Y.; Kambayashi, R.; Lechevalier, S.
  5. Agricultural Production, Productivity and R&D over the Past Half Century: An Emerging New World Order By Pardey, Philip G.; Alston, Julian M.; Chan-Kang, Connie
  6. Is U.S. Agricultural Productivity Growth Slowing? By V. Eldon Ball; David Schimmelpfennig; Sun Ling Wang
  7. Productivity and the extensive margins of trade in German manufacturing firms: Evidence from a non-parametric test By Joachim Wagner
  8. Economic Analysis of Groundnut Production in Kasungu District, Malawi: A production Economics Approach By Kapopo, Vincent; Assa, Maganga
  9. Bankers and bank investors: Reconsidering the economies of scale in banking By Anderson, Ronald W.; Jõeveer, Karin
  10. Firm Growth and Efficiency in the Banking Industry: A new test of the efficient structure hypothesis By HOMMA Tetsushi; TSUTSUI Yoshiro; UCHIDA Hirofumi
  11. Pollution Generating Technologies and Environmental Efficiency By Färe, Rolf; Grosskopf, Shawna; Lundgren, Tommy; Marklund, Per-Olov; Zhou, Wenchao
  12. Have Changes in the Financial Structure Affected Bank Profitability? Evidence for Austria By Fabio Rumler; Walter Waschiczek
  13. Does team telecommuting affect productivity? An experiment By E. Glenn Dutcher; Krista Jabs Saral

  1. By: Halkos, George; Tzeremes, Nickolaos
    Abstract: This paper by applying a sporting production function evaluates 229 professional tennis players’ career performance. By applying Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) the paper produces a unified measure of nine performance indicators into a single career performance index. In addition bootstrap techniques have been applied for bias correction and the construction of confidence intervals of the efficiency estimates. The results reveal a highly competitive environment among the tennis players with thirty nine tennis players appearing to be efficient.
    Keywords: Professional tennis players; Data Envelopment Analysis; Sport production function; Bootstrapping
    JEL: C69 C14 L83
    Date: 2012–09
  2. By: Massimo Filippini (Department of Economics, University of Lugano; ETH, Zurich, Switzerland); Martin Koller (ETH, Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to analyze the level of cost efficiency of Swiss Post's postal delivery units to enable policy makers' as well as Swiss Post to decide on the reactions to market changes. In particular, we use different panel data models to assess cost efficiency in these units to account for unobserved heterogeneity. The results from applying Mundlak's formulation to the Pooled stochastic frontier model provides evidence that this model is not affected by a heterogeneity bias and that the cost efficiency values lie within a lower and upper bound of the other recent and standard econometric frontier models. Overall, the analysis shows that assumptions on unobserved heterogeneity are crucial and that results of econometric cost efficiency measurement models have to be interpreted with corresponding caution.
    Keywords: cost efficiency, stochastic frontier models, unobserved heterogeneity, Mundlak, postal delivery network
    JEL: C33 D24 H42 L87
    Date: 2012–09
  3. By: Sibiko, Kenneth Waluse
    Abstract: Agriculture sustains the livelihoods of about 70.8% of Ugandans, while common bean has emerged to be an important cash crop as well as a staple food for the majority of farmers and consumers. Although Uganda’s bean output has more than doubled, average bean yields in the country have been between 0.6 and 0.8 Mt Ha-1, even though yields higher than 1.5 Mt Ha-1 can be realized with improved varieties. Thusthe objective of this study was to determine the factors influencing common beanproductivityand efficiency among smallholder farmers in Eastern Uganda.The study was conducted in Busia, Mbale, Budaka and Tororo districts in Eastern Uganda based on a sample of 280 householdsselected using a multi-stage sampling technique. For the data collection, a personally administered structured questionnaire was used to conduct interviews, with a focus on household heads. In the analyses, descriptive statistics, a stochastic frontier modeland a two-limit Tobit regression model were employed. It was established that bean productivity was positively influenced by plot size, ordinary seeds, certified seeds and planting fertilizers. The mean technical efficiency among bean farms was 48.2%, mean economic efficiency was 59.94% and mean allocative efficiency was 29.37%. Finally, Tobit model estimation revealed that technical efficiency was positively influenced by value of assets at 1% level and extension service and group membership at 5% level; while age and distance to the factor market negatively influenced technical efficiency at 10% and 5% levels respectively. Economic efficiency was positively influenced by value of assets at 1% level and off-farm income and credit at 5% level. However, farmers’ primary occupation negativelyinfluenced economic efficiency at 5% level. Allocative efficiency was positively influenced by value of assets at 1% level and farm size and off-farm income at 10% level; while distance to the factor market negatively influenced allocative efficiency at 5% level.Hence the study recommended on the need for increased provision of extension service and training on correct input application and improved farming technologies to increase bean productivity. It also suggested on the need for policy to discourage land fragmentation, develop road and market infrastructure in rural areas and provide affordable and easily available credit facilities to improve production efficiency of bean farms.
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries, Farm Management,
    Date: 2012–03
  4. By: Kalantzis, Y.; Kambayashi, R.; Lechevalier, S.
    Abstract: This paper aims at explaining two stylized facts of the Lost Decade in Japan: rising wage inequalities and increasing firm-level productivity differentials. We build a model where firms can choose between efficiency wages with endogenous effort and competitive wages, and show that it can replicate those facts. Using Japanese microeconomic data, we find support for the existence of efficiency wages in one group of firms and competitive wages in the other group. Based on those results, a simulation shows that the share of firms using efficiency wages has declined, within sectors, during the Lost Decade, as predicted by the model.
    Keywords: heterogeneity of firms, efficiency wages, job security, effort, productivity differentials, wage inequalities, matched employer-employee data.
    JEL: L23 J24 J31 J42
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Pardey, Philip G.; Alston, Julian M.; Chan-Kang, Connie
    Abstract: Recent trends in farm productivity and food prices raise concerns about whether the era of global agricultural abundance is over. Agricultural R&D is a crucial determinant of agricultural productivity and production, and therefore food prices and poverty. In this paper we review past and present agricultural production and productivity trends and present entirely new evidence on investments in public agricultural R&D worldwide as an indicator of the prospects for agricultural productivity growth over the coming decades. The agricultural R&D world is changing, and in ways that will definitely affect future global patterns of poverty, hunger and other outcomes. The global picture is mixed. In the world as a whole crop yield growth has slowed. In high-income countries productivity growth has slowed significantly, and real spending on agricultural R&D is being reduced. In China, and other middle-income countries, spending on agricultural R&D is being ramped up and productivity growth has not slowed. The overall picture is one in which the middle-income countries are growing in relative importance as producers of agricultural innovations through investments in R&D and have consequently better prospects as producers of agricultural products.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Production Economics, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,
    Date: 2012–09
  6. By: V. Eldon Ball; David Schimmelpfennig; Sun Ling Wang
    Abstract: Tests for a structural break in a time series typically involves partitioning the data into two sub-periods and compare the resulting mean rates of growth. A more formal approach involves estimating the regression parameters for each sub-period and testing theequality of the two sets of parameters. An important limitation of both approaches is that the breakdate must be known a priori. The researcher must either pick an arbitrary breakdate or pick a breakdate based on some known feature of the data. The test results can be "uninformative" because they can miss the true breakdate, or can be ‘misleading’ because the breakdate is endogenous and the test can indicate a break when none in fact exists. This paper tests for slower productivity growth in agriculture using techniques that allow for unknown structural breaks jointly with a possible unit root that can have either or both stochastic and deterministic components.
    Keywords: Agriculture, Total factor productivity growth, Structural breaks
    Date: 2012–09
  7. By: Joachim Wagner (Leuphana University Lueneburg, Germany)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the literature by comparing the productivity distribution for firms with various numbers of goods traded and various numbers of countries traded with from Germany, one of the leading actors on the world market for goods. It applies a non-parametric test for first-order stochastic dominance of one productivity distribution over another. We find that the larger the number of goods exported or imported, and the larger the number of countries exported to or imported from, the higher is the productivity of the firms – not only on average, but over the whole productivity distribution. This is in line with implications of recent theoretical models of multi-product multi-country trading firms.
    Keywords: Exports, imports, number of goods, number of countries, Germany
    JEL: F14
    Date: 2012–09
  8. By: Kapopo, Vincent; Assa, Maganga
    Abstract: This study was rolled out to assess resource use efficiency in small scale groundnut production in Kasungu district. A household survey was administered to 42 groundnut farmers in Northern part of Kasungu district. The study has established that a farmers return MK2 for every Kwacha invested. The farmer incurs MK95 for every Kg of groundnut produced. The foregoing analysis of production function indicated that farm size, seed and labour are the important factors of production that affect groundnut output in the study area. The regression coefficients of these inputs were positive and statistically significant. Farm size had the highest MVPs as compared to other inputs. Seed was the second production factor with higher MVP indicating that farmers can increase their groundnut output by using optimal seedrate. The main constraints to marketing included low output prices and poor (unstandardized) measurement scales.
    Keywords: Groundnut; MVP; Smallholder farmer; Kasungu
    JEL: D24
    Date: 2012–09–27
  9. By: Anderson, Ronald W.; Jõeveer, Karin
    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.
    Keywords: agency; banking; compensation policy; scale economies
    JEL: G20 G21
    Date: 2012–09
  10. By: HOMMA Tetsushi; TSUTSUI Yoshiro; UCHIDA Hirofumi
    Abstract: This paper proposes a new test of the efficient structure hypothesis by directly examining the relation between firm efficiency and firm growth. This is also a test of the so-called quiet-life hypothesis. Applying this test to large banks in Japan, we find that more efficient banks become larger, which is consistent with the efficient structure hypothesis. We also find that market concentration reduces banks' cost efficiency, which is consistent with the quiet-life hypothesis. These findings imply that there is an intriguing growth-efficiency dynamic throughout the life cycle of banks, although yet another finding suggests that the economic impact of the quiet-life hypothesis is less significant than that of the efficient structure hypothesis.
    Date: 2012–09
  11. By: Färe, Rolf (Dept. of Economics); Grosskopf, Shawna (Dept. of Applied Economics); Lundgren, Tommy (CERE); Marklund, Per-Olov (CERE); Zhou, Wenchao (CERUM)
    Abstract: technology. Pollutants, or bads, are explicitly modeled by imposing technology properties of disposability and null-jointness. With data on firms from Swedish manufacturing, we investigate the potential to reduce emissions, and we take a closer look at the pulp and paper sector. Dividing the firms into “brown” and “green” firms, we find that there is significant potential, in both categories, to improve environmental efficiency, and hence lower emissions, of three air pollutants. Furthermore, we suggest that treating biofuels as entirely carbon neutral (as is common practice) may underestimate environmental efficiency scores and generate misleading policy implications.
    Keywords: Pollution; Environmental Efficiency
    JEL: D24 Q01 Q53
    Date: 2012–09–28
  12. By: Fabio Rumler; Walter Waschiczek
    Abstract: We examine the impact of changes in the financial structure of the Austrian banking sector over the past 15 years, such as disintermediation, internationalization and privatization, on the profitability of banks. Several proxies based on bank balance sheet data at the micro level as well as macroeconomic variables are used to capture these changes. The case of Austria is particularly interesting because country-specific developments, such as the opening-up of the banking sector due to EU accession, coincided with the global deregulation of banking activities. Our estimation results, which are based on dynamic panel regression methods, indicate that disintermediation (a lower percentage of loans over total assets) and higher market concentration in the banking sector had a positive effect on bank profitability, while, surprisingly, changes in the ownership structure (privatization and increased foreign ownership) as well as more foreign lending by Austrian banks did not have a clear-cut or significant impact on bank profits. JEL classification: G21, E44, D40, G32, C33
    Keywords: Bank Profitability, Banking Market Structure, Dynamic Panel Estimation
    Date: 2012–09–26
  13. By: E. Glenn Dutcher; Krista Jabs Saral
    Abstract: Telecommuting policies have been increasingly adopted by employers. The benefits of telecommuting from the employer's perspective include direct cost-saving from not having to house employees in an office and indirect cost-saving through reduced turnover associated with increased employee satisfaction. The downside is the perceived opportunity for shirking outside of the traditional workplace, a problem which is potentially exacerbated if employees are placed into telecommuting teams. Using a controlled experiment which randomly assigned subjects to participate in the laboratory (non-telecommuters) or to participate online in a location of their choice (telecommuters), we directly test whether telecommuters are more likely to free ride when in teams and whether or not the locational composition of the team influences this outcome. We find no evidence of free-riding in teams for either telecommuters or non-telecommuters. We also find that variation in output when a worker is paired in a traditional team versus a telecommuting team can be attributed to the beliefs subjects have about their teammates' productivity. The last result leads directly to policy implications for managers.
    Keywords: Telecommuting, Team Production, Productivity, Virtual Teams, Economic Experiments
    JEL: J21 J24 J28 C90
    Date: 2012–09

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