New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2013‒03‒09
twelve papers chosen by

  1. Measuring Groundwater Irrigation Efficiency in Pakistan: A DEA Approach Using the Sub-vector and Slack-based Models By Watto, Muhammad Arif; Mugera, Amin William
  2. What is the productivity change of a university TTOs system at its early stage of development? Evidence from France By Claudia Curi; Cinzia Daraio; Patrick Llerena
  3. Age Dependency and Labor Productivity Divergence By Misbah Tanveer Choudhry
  4. Identifying Factor Productivity from Micro-data: The case of EU agriculture By Petrick, Matin; Kloss, Mathias
  5. Do Financial Frictions Matter as a Source of Misallocation? Evidence from Japan By Kaoru Hosono; Miho Takizawa
  6. Learning and Productivity of Swedish Exporting Firms: The importance of Innovation Efforts and the Geography of Innovation By Lööf, Hans; Nabavi, Pardis
  7. More bits - more bucks? Measuring the impact of broadband internet on firm performance By Bertschek, Irene; Cerquera, Daniel; Klein, Gordon J.
  8. Revisiting the porter hypothesis: An empirical analysis of green innovation for the Netherlands By Leeuwen, George van; Mohnen, Pierre
  9. Performance Assessment in Primary Health Care: A Systematic Literature Review By Olena Kalinichenko; Carla A. F. Amado; Sérgio P. Santos
  10. Les effets de l’exportation sur l’innovation et la productivité : Analyse empirique sur un échantillon de PMI By Mohammad Movahedi; Olivier Gaussens
  11. Dynamics of Investment and Firm Performance: Comparative evidence from manufacturing industries By Marco Grazzi; Nadia Jacoby; Tania Treibich
  12. Peeing out of poverty? Human fertilizer and the productivity of farming households. By Pettersson, Jan; Wikström, Johan

  1. By: Watto, Muhammad Arif; Mugera, Amin William
    Abstract: We estimate the efficiency of groundwater use in cotton production in the Punjab province of Pakistan. We use a survey data of 189 cotton producers comprising 98 tube-well owners and 91 water buyers in order to get the differential impact of tube-well ownership on groundwater use efficiency. We use data envelopment analysis to compute the technical, scale, cost and allocative efficiencies for tube-well owners and water buyers relative to a meta-frontier and groupfrontiers. The DEA sub-vector and slack-based models are used to compute groundwater use efficiency. The results indicate low levels of technical inefficiencies with water buyers being more inefficient relative to tube-well owners. However, groundwater use inefficiency is more pronounced than the respective technical efficiency. The sub-vector and slack-based estimates are highly correlated suggesting the robustness of the results. The results on returns to scale indicate that the majority of cotton growers are operating at increasing returns to scale, suggesting that efficiency can be improved by expanding the scale of operation. We use a second-stage bootstrap truncated regression to investigate the factors that influence technical efficiency and groundwater use efficiency. We find that the level of education, seed quality and extension services have positive significant impacts on technical and groundwater use efficiency. We suggest that knowledge of crop water requirements and the use of improved crop varieties can play role in improving the efficiency of groundwater use.
    Keywords: Pakistan, groundwater use efficiency, groundwater markets, technical efficiency, DEA, sub-vector, slack-based model, meta-frontier, Production Economics, Productivity Analysis, Q15, Q25, D24,
    Date: 2013–01–06
  2. By: Claudia Curi (School of Economics and Management, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano); Cinzia Daraio (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza"); Patrick Llerena (University of Strasbourg, BETA (Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée) and Observatoire des Sciences et Techniques (OST, Paris))
    Abstract: This paper assesses the performance in technology transfer operated by the French university system adopting a Malmquist approach within an inferential setting. It investigates an original and unique database of French TTOs over their first development time. We find an overall weak increase in productivity, driven by technology and organisational improvement related to a small number of TTOs. More specifically, most TTOs show a stable innovative behaviour (i.e. no significant technical change) and only half of the system experiences a decline in efficiency change suggesting the lack of one best business model able to fit the entire system. Finally, we find that, on average, the presence of university-related hospital dampens TTOs’ efficiency and TTO´s seniority has a positive effect on productivity, enhancing simultaneously efficiency and innovation
    Keywords: Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs; French University System; Malmquist Index; Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA); Bootstrap
    Date: 2013–03
  3. By: Misbah Tanveer Choudhry
    Abstract: This study finds strong empirical evidence in favor of the hypothesis that age composition of population matters for labor productivity growth. We applied the fixed effects panel model using data of large number of countries over the period 1980-2005. Our results suggest that higher age dependency impacts the labor productivity negatively not only directly but also modifies the impact of other determinants of labor productivity. Child dependency has more adverse effect on labor productivity as compared to old age dependency. We specifically find that marginal effect of gross capital formation, labor market reforms and information and communication technology investment on labor productivity is high and significant at lower level of age dependency. However, the marginal effect of financial development on labor productivity increases at high level of age dependency in developing economies. Diversity in size and nature of age dependency across regions and different income groups helps to explain labor productivity differential across them.
    Keywords: labour productivity growth, Age dependency, panel fixed effects
    JEL: C22 C23 O47
    Date: 2013–01–02
  4. By: Petrick, Matin; Kloss, Mathias
    Abstract: The classical problem of agricultural productivity measurement has regained interest owing to recent price hikes in world food markets. At the same time, there is a new methodological debate on the appropriate identification strategies for addressing endogeneity and collinearity problems in production function estimation. We examine the plausibility of four established and innovative identification strategies for the case of agriculture and test a set of related estimators using farmlevel panel datasets from seven EU countries. The newly suggested control function and dynamic panel approaches provide attractive conceptual improvements over the received ‘within’ and duality models. Even so, empirical implementation of the conceptual sophistications built into these estimators does not always live up to expectations. This is particularly true for the dynamic panel estimator, which mostly failed to identify reasonable elasticities for the (quasi-) fixed factors. Less demanding proxy approaches represent an interesting alternative for agricultural applications. In our EU sample, we find very low shadow prices for labour, land and fixed capital across countries. The production elasticity of materials is high, so improving the availability of working capital is the most promising way to increase agricultural productivity.
    Date: 2013–01
  5. By: Kaoru Hosono (Principal Economist, Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Finance Visiting Staff, Gakushuin University Research Institute for Economics and Management); Miho Takizawa (Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics, Toyo University)
    Abstract: We evaluate the role of borrowing constraints in misallocation overall using a rich plant-level dataset of manufacturers in Japan. We first measure plant-level distortions and estimate the hypothetical TFP gains and plantsize distributions that would be achieved if all plant-level distortions were removed. Then we develop a dynamic general equilibrium model incorporating borrowing constraints, parameterize it using plant-level information, and estimate the hypothetical TFP gains and plant-size distributions that would be realized if borrowing constraints were removed. Comparing the modelbased counterfactual experiments with the measured misallocation overall, we find that borrowing constraints are a significant, but not a major source of misallocation overall in the manufacturing sector in Japan.
    Keywords: Borrowing Constraints, Misallocation, Aggregate Total Factor Productivity (TFP), Plant-size Distribution
    JEL: O16 E44 E22
    Date: 2012–12
  6. By: Lööf, Hans (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology); Nabavi, Pardis (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: This paper is concerned with the productivity and growth of Swedish exporting firms. Using data on 9,580 manufacturing firms with 10 or more employees for the period 1997-2008, it estimates a dynamic GMM model that captures both the impact of recurrent knowledge investment through innovation and potential spillovers from the local milieu. The majority of the exporting firms are non-innovative. The data reveal that patent applicants located in knowledge intense milieus account for almost 40 percent of total Swedish exports, but only 2 percent of the firms. From the regressions it is shown that, relative to a firm that does not engage in innovation and has scarce access to external knowledge, the level of productivity is 2-12 percent higher for an innovative firm, depending on how innovation is defined and where the innovator is located. The annual long-run growth rate is 0.2-0.7 higher for innovative firms. Moreover, the performance gap between innovative and non-innovative exporters increases with accessibility to external knowledge for the former.
    Keywords: Productivity; exports; innovation; geographical knowledge spillovers; panel data
    JEL: C23 F14 L25 O31 R32
    Date: 2013–01–17
  7. By: Bertschek, Irene; Cerquera, Daniel; Klein, Gordon J.
    Abstract: The paper provides empirical evidence for the causal impact of broadband Internet on firms' labour productivity and realised process and product innovations. The analysis refers to the early phase of DSL expansion in Germany from 2001 to 2003, when roughly 60 percent of the German firms already used broadband Internet. Identification relies on instrumental variable estimation taking advantage of information on the availability of DSL broadband at the postal code level. The results show that broadband Internet has no impact on firms' labour productivity, whereas it exhibits a positive and significant impact on their innovation activity. --
    Keywords: labour productivity,product and process innovation,broadband Internet
    JEL: D22 L23 O31
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Leeuwen, George van (Centraal Bureau voor Statistiek); Mohnen, Pierre (UNU-MERIT/MGSoG)
    Abstract: Almost all empirical research that has attempted to assess the validity of the Porter hypothesis has started from reduced-form models, e.g. by using single-equation models for estimating the contribution of environmental regulation (ER) to productivity. This paper addresses the Porter Hypothesis within a structural approach that allows us to test what is known in the literature as the "weak" and the "strong" version of the Porter hypothesis. Our "Green Innovation" model includes three types of eco investments and non-eco R&D to explain differences in the incidence of innovation. Besides product and process innovations we recognize eco-innovation as a separate type of innovation output. We explicitly model the potential synergies of introducing the three types of innovations simultaneously and their synergy in affecting total factor productivity (TFP) performance. Using a comprehensive panel of firm-level data built from four surveys we aim to estimate the relative importance of energy price incentives as a market based type of ER and the direct effect of environmental regulation on eco investment and firms' decisions regarding the introduction of several types of innovations. The results of our analysis show a strong corroboration of the weak version of the Porter hypothesis but not of the strong version of the PH, in this case on TFP performance.
    Keywords: Porter Hypothesis, green innovation, environmental regulation, innovation complementarities, productivity
    JEL: H23 L5 O32 O38 Q55
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Olena Kalinichenko (University of Algarve - Faculty of Economics and CEFAGE-UE); Carla A. F. Amado (University of Algarve - Faculty of Economics and CEFAGE-UE); Sérgio P. Santos (University of Algarve - Faculty of Economics and CEFAGE-UE)
    Abstract: The aim of this research is to carry out a systematic literature review of the studies devoted to the performance assessment of primary health care providers. Focusing on the peculiarities of performance evaluation in the public sector, we analyse the selected empirical papers in terms of the efficacy of the developed measurement schemes. We also examine and classify performance measurement categories, dimensions, and techniques in order to provide a holistic picture of the main developments in the referred domain and to identify directions for future research.
    Keywords: Primary health care; Performance assessment; Equity; Efficiency; Effectiveness.
    JEL: C67 D61 I14
    Date: 2013
  10. By: Mohammad Movahedi (Normandie University, UNICAEN - CREM CNRS UMR6211); Olivier Gaussens (Normandie University, UNICAEN - CREM CNRS UMR6211)
    Abstract: Ce papier concerne l’analyse de l’impact de l’exportation sur la productivité et l’innovation dans les entreprises. L’apport de ce travail réside principalement dans 1) la décomposition de l’effet global de l’exportation sur les performances de l’entreprise en un effet d’apprentissage, un effet d’auto-sélection et un effet de spécialisation, 2) la prise en compte simultanée de la persistance de l’exportation et de son intensité. L’objectif de ce papier est d’évaluer l’impact respectif des trois effets de l’exportation sur la performance des entreprises. Ces effets sont testés dans le cadre d’un modèle récursif à partir d’indicateurs synthétiques de l’output et de l’input d’innovation issus de l’analyse des correspondances multiple (ACM). Cette estimation est réalisée a partir des données d’un échantillon représentatif de 90 PMI de la région Basse-Normandie (France) provenant de l’enquête conduite en 2009-10 dans le cadre du projet IDEIS. <br> English abstract: This paper presents an analysis of the impact of exporting on productivity and innovation in SMEs. The contribution of this work lies mainly in 1) the decomposition of the overall effect of the export on the firm performance into a learning effect, a self-selection effect and a specialization effect; and 2) the simultaneous consideration of the both persistence and intensity of export. The primary aim of this paper is to evaluate the respective impact of these three export effects on firm performance. These effects are tested in a recursive model from synthetic indicators of innovation using multiple correspondence analysis (MCA). For this end, we use the data from a representative random sample formed by 90 SMEs of regional of Normandy (France), obtained from the survey conducted in the IDEIS project.
    Keywords: Apprentissage, Auto-sélection, Spécialisation, Processus d’innovation / Learning, Self-selection, Specialization, innovation process
    JEL: C14 C35 D22 F12 O31
    Date: 2013–01
  11. By: Marco Grazzi; Nadia Jacoby; Tania Treibich
    Abstract: If the relation between investment and economic growth is well established in the macroeconomic literature, the existence of a similar link at the level of the firm has been challenged by empirical work. This paper investigates the channels linking investment and firm performance in the French and Italian manufacturing industries. It does so by putting forth a novel methodology to identify investment spikes that corrects for size dependence. While maintaining the desired properties of a spike measure, our chosen proxy retrieves the expected relation between investment and firm performance. Ex-ante, more efficient and fast growing firms display a higher probability to invest; in turn, after an investment spike has taken place the group of investing firms shows further gains in performance. Finally, expansionary investment episodes, as proxied by the opening of new plants, have a negative effect on profitability while they are associated with higher sales and employment levels.
    Keywords: Firm heterogeneity, investment spike, industrial dynamics, corporate performance, capital accumulation, technical change
    Date: 2013–02–13
  12. By: Pettersson, Jan (Department of Economics); Wikström, Johan (Statistics Sweden)
    Abstract: In many parts of the world, soils poor in nutrients are farmed with little addition of fertilizer, further depleting the farmland. The very same farmers often face poor sanitary solutions. So-called ecological sanitation aims at providing sanitation and at recycling nutrients as fertilizer. This human fertilizer may act as a substitute for artificial fertilizers (improving the household budget) or as a complement (improving soil quality, increasing agricultural yields). We collected demographic, economic and farming data from 618 households in southern Mali, of which 155 benefitted from an ecological sanitation investment program. We do not find any support for human fertilizer being used complementary, although the effect on yields varies over crops. Instead, we find that beneficiary households substitute artificial fertilizer with human fertilizer at 10 to 15 per cent of the average household use of artificial fertilizers. While our results imply small economic incentives at the household level for investing in ecological sanitation, we do not account for health effects at the household or community level.
    Keywords: Household Productivity; Ecological Sanitation; UDDT; Mali; Fertilizer; Matching
    JEL: D13 O12 O13 Q12
    Date: 2013–01–04

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