New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2013‒01‒19
eight papers chosen by

  1. The Effect of Real Exchange Rate Changes on Labour Productivity Growth By Murphy, Gavin; Siedschlag, Iulia
  2. Africa's (Dis)advantage: the Curse of Party Monopoly By Ann E. Harrison; Justin Yifu Lin; L. Colin Xu
  3. Is Technology Factor-Neutral? Evidence from the US Manufacturing Sector By Sushanta K. Mallick; Ricardo M. Sousa
  4. Using Supervised Environmental Composites in Production and Efficiency Analyses: An Application to Norwegian Electricity Networks By Orea, Luis; Growitsch, Christian; Jamasb, Tooraj
  5. A method to analyze profit differential between firms By Jean-Philippe Boussemart; Benoît Demil; Aude Deville; Olivier de la Villarmois; Xavier Lecocq; Hervé Leleu
  6. Learning through experience in Research & Development: an empirical analysis with Spanish firms By Pilar Beneito; María E. Rochina-Barrachina; Amparo Sanchis
  7. R&D INCENTIVES: THE EFFECTIVENESS OF A PLACE-BASED POLICY By Marco Corsino; Roberto Gabriele; Anna Giunta
  8. Immigrant Workers and Farm Performance: Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data By Malchow-Møller, Nikolaj; Munch, Jakob R.; Seidelin, Claus Aastrup; Skaksen, Jan Rose

  1. By: Murphy, Gavin; Siedschlag, Iulia
    Abstract: We examine the effect of changes in international competitiveness on labour productivity growth through three channels: (i) export, (ii) import, and (iii) import competition. Using micro data from the Irish manufacturing over the period 1995-2002, we account for firms' heterogeneity in their exposure to international competitive pressure. Our econometric estimates indicate that a real exchange rate appreciation had a negative effect on labour productivity growth once a firm's export exposure was greater than 14 per cent. When a firm's import exposure exceeded 33 per cent, a real exchange rate appreciation had a positive effect on labour productivity. An increase in import competition due to a real exchange rate appreciation had no effect on a firm's labour productivity growth.
    Keywords: exchange/growth/Productivity/competitiveness/competition/data/manufacturing
    Date: 2012–08
  2. By: Ann E. Harrison; Justin Yifu Lin; L. Colin Xu
    Abstract: Africa’s economic performance has been widely viewed with pessimism. In this paper, we use firm-level data for 89 countries to examine formal firm performance. Without controls, manufacturing African firms do not perform much worse than firms in other regions. But they do have structural problems, exhibiting much lower export intensity and investment rates. Once we control for geography and the political and business environment, formal African firms robustly lead in sales growth, total factor productivity levels and productivity growth. Africa’s conditional advantage is higher in low-tech than in high-tech manufacturing, and exists in manufacturing but not in services. While geography, infrastructure, and access to finance play an important role in explaining Africa’s disadvantage in firm performance, the key factor is party monopoly. The longer a single political party remains in power, the lower are firm productivity levels, growth rates, and sales growth for manufacturing. In contrast, the business environment and firm characteristics (except for foreign investment) do not matter as much. We also find evidence that the effects of the political and business environment are heterogeneous across sectors and firms of various levels of technology.
    JEL: O14 O4 O43
    Date: 2013–01
  3. By: Sushanta K. Mallick (Queen Mary University of London, School of Business and Management, United Kingdom); Ricardo M. Sousa (Universidade do Minho - NIPE)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the neutrality of technology using data from the NBER-CES Manufacturing industry database. We show that technology has a positive effect on the skilled-to-unskilled labour and wage ratios, offering a skill-premium for these skilled workers. We also find that technology has become more favourable towards skilled labour since the eighties, thereby, explaining the rise in the relative abundance of skilled workers. Finally, differences in productivity among the two labour inputs are important when they are relatively poor substitutes, despite the increase in the elasticity of substitution between unskilled and skilled labour that occurred over the past decades.
    Keywords: Technological progress, skill premium, industry-level data.
    JEL: O12 O47 D24 J24
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Orea, Luis (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln); Growitsch, Christian (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln); Jamasb, Tooraj (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln)
    Abstract: Supervised dimension reduction methods have been extensively applied in different scientific fields like biology and medicine in recent years. However, they have hardly ever been used in micro economics, and in particular cost function modeling. Nonetheless, these methods can also be useful in regulation of natural monopolies such as gas, water, and electricity networks, where firms’ cost and performance can be affected by a large number of environmental factors. In order to deal with this ‘dimensionality’ problem we propose using a supervised dimension reduction approach that aims to reduce the dimension of data without loss of information. Economic theory suggests that in the presence of other relevant production (cost) drivers, the traditional all-inclusive assumption is not satisfied and, hence, production or cost predictions (and efficiency estimates) might be biased. This paper shows that purging the data using a partial regression approach allows us to address this issue when analyzing the effect of weather and geography on cost efficiency in the context of the Norwegian electricity distribution networks.
    Keywords: supervised composites; environmental conditions; electricity networks
    JEL: L15 L51 L94
    Date: 2012–12–02
  5. By: Jean-Philippe Boussemart (University of Lille 3 and IESEG School of Management (LEM-CNRS)); Benoît Demil (University of Lille 1 (IAE), LEM (UMR 8179)); Aude Deville (University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, IAE de Nice, GRM); Olivier de la Villarmois (University of Lille 1 (IAE), LEM (UMR 8179)); Xavier Lecocq (University of Lille 1 (IAE) and IÉSEG School of Management, LEM (UMR 8179)); Hervé Leleu (CNRS-LEM and IESEG School of Management)
    Keywords: Profit, Profit Decomposition, Managerial Efficiency, Size Efficiency, Bennet Index, Price Index
    JEL: D21 D24
    Date: 2013–01
  6. By: Pilar Beneito (University of Valencia and ERI-CES); María E. Rochina-Barrachina (University of Valencia and ERI-CES); Amparo Sanchis (University of Valencia and ERI-CES)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse the role of learning through experience in Research and Development (R&D) activities in strengthening firms’ capabilities to achieve innovation outcomes. Using a production function approach, we estimate a count-data model using a panel dataset of Spanish manufacturing firms for the period 1990-2006. We find that the number of years of engagement in R&D activities is positively associated with the achievement of product innovations. Our results highlight that experience in R&D is an additional technological asset to be considered for a good management practice. In particular our findings indicate that the relationship between firms’ R&D experience and product innovations is non-linear, that is, that experience has a positive effect on the probability to achieve product innovations, but at a decreasing rate. In addition, our results suggest that, although large firms are more efficient than SMEs in converting R&D investment into product innovations, SMEs obtain more efficiency gains from R&D experience than large firms.
    Keywords: R&D experience, learning, product innovation, count data, SMEs
    Date: 2013–01
  7. By: Marco Corsino; Roberto Gabriele; Anna Giunta
    Abstract: The empirical evidence concerning the impact of R&D subsidies on both sides of the innovation process (input and output) and the overall performance of the firm is mixed. Moreover, while the role of regions in implementing innovation policies has increased since the last decade, little is known on the effectiveness of regional policy. This paper analyzes the effectiveness of a local R&D policy implemented in the Italian province of Trento, during the period 2002-07. The econometric analysis is based on counterfactual models. We evaluate the achievements of the local policy maker with respect to the following objectives: (i) prompt additional investment in innovation; (ii) enhance the overall competitiveness of the business sector in the regional area. We find that R&D incentives positively affect investments in intangible assets and human capital, while they have no effect on firms’ turnover, labor productivity and profitability.
    Keywords: Regional Innovation Policy, Ex Post Evaluation, Subsidies, Research and Development, Counterfactual Models
    JEL: O25 O31 O38
    Date: 2012–11
  8. By: Malchow-Møller, Nikolaj (University of Southern Denmark); Munch, Jakob R. (University of Copenhagen); Seidelin, Claus Aastrup (University of Southern Denmark); Skaksen, Jan Rose (Copenhagen Business School)
    Abstract: Many developed countries have recently experienced a significant inflow of immigrants in the agricultural sector. At the same time, the sector is still in a process of structural transformation resulting in fewer but bigger and presumably more efficient farms. In this paper, we exploit detailed matched employer-employee data for the entire population of Danish farms in the period 1980-2008 to analyze the micro-level relationship between these two developments. We find that farms that employ immigrants tend to be both larger and at least as productive as other farms. Furthermore, an increased use of immigrants is found to be associated with an improvement in farm performance as measured by job creation and revenue, and this seems at least in part to reflect a causal effect of the immigrants.
    Keywords: immigration, agriculture, matched employer-employee data
    JEL: J61 J43
    Date: 2013–01

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