New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2012‒11‒17
eight papers chosen by

  1. Irish firms’ productivity and Imported Inputs By Emanuele Forlani
  2. Does Labor Diversity Affect Firm Productivity? By Parrotta, Pierpaolo; Pozzoli, Dario; Pytlikova, Mariola
  3. Export intensity and the productivity gains of exporting By Miguel Manjón; Juan A. Mañez; María E. Rochina-Barrachina; Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis
  4. Beyond Productivity Measurement and Strategies: Performance Evaluation and Strategies in Services By Faridah Djellal; Faïz Gallouj
  5. Incentive Effects on Efficiency in Education Systems’ Performance By Giuseppe Coco; Raffaele Lagravinese
  6. Cost Competitiveness Comparisons and Convergence in China By Kang, Lili; Peng, Fei
  7. The economic importance of migrant entrepreneurship: An application of data envelopment analysis in the Netherlands By Sahin, M.; Baycan, T.; Nijkamp, P.
  8. Implications of Agricultural Productivity for Global Cropland Use and GHG Emissions: Borlaug vs. Jevons By Hertel, Thomas

  1. By: Emanuele Forlani (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the empirical relationship between firms’ productivity, and imports of intermediate inputs at plant level. Using a unique dataset for Ireland, we focus our analysis on manufacturing firms by distinguishing for ownership and relative efficiency. Our findings show that an increase in the intensive margin of imports positively affects the efficiency of domestic firms, in particular through the imports of materials. Most importantly, we find heterogeneous responses to variations in import intensity, depending on the initial level of productivity. The more efficient a domestic firm is, and the larger the benefits from importing are. The results are robust to potential endogeneity of imports’ decisions, and to reverse casualty: past efficiency levels are not correlated with current import intensity.
    Keywords: Firms’ Productivity, Inputs, Import
    JEL: F10 F14 D24 L25
    Date: 2012–10
  2. By: Parrotta, Pierpaolo (Aarhus School of Business); Pozzoli, Dario (Aarhus University); Pytlikova, Mariola (Aarhus School of Business)
    Abstract: Using a matched employer-employee data-set, we analyze how workforce diversity in terms of cultural background, education and demographic characteristics affects the productivity of firms in Denmark. Implementing a structural estimation of the firms' production function (Ackerberg et al. 2006), we find that labor diversity in education significantly enhances a firm's value added. Conversely, diversity in ethnicity and demographics induces negative effects on firm productivity. Therefore, the negative effects, which are derived from the communication and integration costs associated with a more culturally and demographically diverse workforce, seem to outweigh the positive effects of creativity and knowledge spillovers.
    Keywords: labor diversity, skill complementarity, communication barriers, total factor productivity
    JEL: J15 J16 J24 J61 J81 L20
    Date: 2012–10
  3. By: Miguel Manjón (QURE-CREIP Department of Economics, Universitat Rovira i Virgili); Juan A. Mañez (Department of Applied Economics II and ERICES, Universitat de València); María E. Rochina-Barrachina (Department of Applied Economics II and ERICES, Universitat de València); Juan A. Sanchis-Llopis (Department of Applied Economics II and ERICES, Universitat de València)
    Abstract: This paper analyses whether the productivity gains associated with learning-by-exporting (controlling for self-selection) depend on the intensity of the firm exporting activity. Results from a representative ample of Spanish manufacturing firms indicate that the yearly average gains in productivity are larger for those firms that increase their export to sales ratio.
    Keywords: export intensity; learning-by-exporting; productivity; endogenous Markov; semi-parametric approach
    JEL: C13 C14 C33 C36 D24 F1
    Date: 2012–11
  4. By: Faridah Djellal (CLERSE - Centre lillois d'études et de recherches sociologiques et économiques - CNRS : UMR8019 - Université Lille 1 - Sciences et Technologies); Faïz Gallouj (CLERSE - Centre lillois d'études et de recherches sociologiques et économiques - CNRS : UMR8019 - Université Lille 1 - Sciences et Technologies)
    Abstract: The concept of productivity is at the heart of economic theory, management science and operational management of firms and organizations. Despite the theoretical and operational importance of this concept, in recent years, its absolutism has been challenged. Services are often at the heart of this critical debate. Both conceptually and methodologically, services are indeed a major challenge to the concept of productivity. The objective of this paper is to review issues raised by services and their relationships with productivity, from two different but related perspectives: 1) a theoretical and methodological perspective focused on the problems involved in defining and measuring productivity, and 2) a strategic perspective focused on identifying generic productivity and performance strategies in service firms and organizations.
    Keywords: Service, productivity, measure, performance
    Date: 2012–06–01
  5. By: Giuseppe Coco (University of Florence); Raffaele Lagravinese (University of Roma 3)
    Abstract: In the face of past ambiguous results on growth effects of education when measured through school attainment, some papers suggest that some countries may be unable to use productively their schooling output because of the scope of cronyism. We dig deeper and demonstrate that, in a stylized model, cronyism in the labour market, e.g. the ability to exert influence to gain high wage positions without merit, may impact heavily on the relationship between schooling inputs and cognitive skills, due to incentive effects. We then use a two-stage DEA approach to identify factors affecting inefficiency in education performance of OECD countries when the output is proxied by PISA scores. Along with other well known factors, a measure of corruption, our chosen proxy for cronyism, explains a substantial fraction of the inefficiency. This result suggests that, as in our model, in the presence of cronyism, incentives to cognitive skills acquisition are dampened. Analogously to developing countries but for different reasons, the best way to improve the education system performance in OECD countries may well be to fight corruption and increase transparency in labour access.
    Keywords: education, corruption, technical efficiency, DEA.
    JEL: C14 C61 D73 I21
    Date: 2012–10
  6. By: Kang, Lili; Peng, Fei
    Abstract: This paper examines provincial disparities and convergence of sectors in China from a labour cost perspective. We find that the provinces in the Northeast and Coastal regions have strong advantages in the manufacturing sector, while the Primary sector, Construction and Real estate sectors have better cost competitiveness in the Interior and West regions. The decrease of relative unit labour cost (RULC) is mainly due to the faster growth rates of relative labour productivity (RLP) than the growth rate of relative nominal labour costs (RNLC) in most cases. A decomposition analysis shows that there are much more cost competitiveness gains, as well as relative decrease of nominal labour costs and labour productivity improvement during the period 1978-1995 than the years afterwards. We find the fast convergence of RULC is consistent with the fast converging RLP among provinces with static wages, suggesting the importance of institutional factors such as rigid wage setting in Chinese labour markets.
    Keywords: Unit Labour Cost; Regional Development Planning; China
    JEL: R58 J30
    Date: 2012–11–05
  7. By: Sahin, M.; Baycan, T.; Nijkamp, P.
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Hertel, Thomas
    Abstract: This paper introduces a general framework for analyzing the impacts of regional and global technological change on long run agricultural output, prices, land rents, land use, and associated GHG emissions. In so doing, it facilitates a reconciliation of the apparently conflicting views of the impacts of agricultural productivity growth on global GHG emissions and environmental quality. As has been previously recognized, in the case of a global change in farm productivity, the critical condition for an innovation to lead to diminished land use is that the farm level demand for agricultural products is inelastic. However, in the more common case where the innovation is regional in nature, the necessary condition for a reduction in global land use and associated GHG emissions is more complex and depends on the relative yields, emissions efficiencies and supply conditions in the affected and unaffected regions. While innovations in agricultural are most common land-sparing at global scale, innovations in regions commanding a small share of global production, with relatively low yields, high land supply elasticities and low emissions efficiencies can lead to an increase in global land use change emissions. A numerical example illustrates these points and suggests that these conditions may hold for productivity shocks in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. These insights are also relevant for the emerging literature on the effect of adverse climate change on global agriculture and associated emissions from land use change.
    Date: 2012

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