New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2013‒04‒13
27 papers chosen by

  1. Cost Efficiency and Subsidization in German Local Public Bus Transit By Nieswand, Maria; Walter, Matthias
  2. The efect on firms' Productivity of accessibility. The Spanish manufacturung sector By David, Martín-Barroso; Juan Andres, Nuñez; Francisco J., Velazquez
  3. Why Do Inefficient Firms Survive? Management and Economic Development By Michael Peters
  4. Reallocation and Technology: Evidence from the U.S. Steel Industry By Collard-Wexler, Allan; De Loecker, Jan
  5. Towards an Efficient Use of R&D – Accounting for Heterogeneity in the OECD By Cullmann, Astrid; Zloczysti, Petra
  6. The effects of public spending composition on firm productivity By Kneller, Richard; Misch, Florian
  7. A Monte Carlo Study on Multiple Output Stochastic Frontiers: Comparison of Two Approaches By Géraldine Henningsen; Arne Henningsen; Uwe Jensen
  8. On the Efficiency of Public Higher Education Institutions in Portugal: An Exploratory Study By Mariana Cunha; Vera Rocha
  9. Productivity Growth and Convergence: Portugal in the EU 1986-2009 By Adelaide Duarte; Marta Simões; João Sousa Andrade
  10. The Agricultural Productivity Gap in Developing Countries By Douglas Gollin
  11. The Productivity Impact of Infrastructure in Turkey, 1987 - 2006 By J.W. Fedderke and T.E. Kaya
  12. Does The John Bates Clark Medal Boost Subsequent Productivity And Citation Success? By Ho Fai Chan; Bruno S. Frey; Jana Gallus; Benno Torgler
  13. Using Performance Incentives to Improve Medical Care Productivity and Health Outcomes By Gertler, Paul; Vermeerch, Christel
  14. Suppliers of multinationals and the forced linkage effect: Evidence from firm level data By Godart, Olivier; Görg, Holger
  15. A Unified Production and Matching Function: Implications for Factor Shares By Sephorah Mangin
  16. Which Firms are Left in the Periphery? - Spatial Sorting of Heterogeneous Firms with Scale Economies in Transportation By Forslid, Rikard; Okubo, Toshihiro
  17. Sorting out the impact of cultural diversity on innovative firms. An empirical analysis of Dutch micro-data By Ceren Ozgen; Thomas de Graff
  18. On the Efficiency of Public Hospitals in Turkey* By Burcay Erus; Ozan Hatipoglu
  19. Does co-integration and causal relationship exist between the non-stationary variables for Chinese bank’s profitability? Empirical evidence By Mondher bellalah; Olivier Levyne; Omar Masood
  20. Drivers of Firm Growth: Micro-evidence from Indian Manufacturing By Nanditha Mathew
  21. Market Power and Industrial Performance in Pakistan By Akbar Ullah; Ejaz Ghani; Attiya Y. Javed
  22. How are farmers adapting to climate change in Vietnam?: Endogeneity and sample selection in a rice yield model By Yu, Bingxin; Zhu, Tingju; Breisinger, Clemens; Manh Hai, Nguyen
  23. THE ANNUAL COST OF PRODUCING MILK IN CONNECTICUT: ESTIMATES FOR 2011 By Boris E. Bravo-Ureta; Jeremy Jelliffe; Adam Rabinowitz; Joyce Meader; Richard Meinert; Joseph Bonelli; Sheila Andrew
  24. Do large departments make academics more productive? Agglomeration and peer effects in research By Bosquet, Clément; Combes, Pierre-Philippe
  25. A new data set on competition in national banking markets By Sofronis Clerides; Manthos D. Delis; Sotirios Kokas
  26. Boosting Productivity in Australia By Vassiliki Koutsogeorgopoulou; Omar Barbiero
  27. The Impact of Capital Structure on Firms’ Performance in Nigeria By Ojah Patrick , Ogebe; Joseph Orinya , Ogebe; Kemi , Alewi

  1. By: Nieswand, Maria; Walter, Matthias
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of endogenous deficit-balancing subsidies on the cost efficiency of local public bus companies by using alternative frontier cost models for panel data. Thereby, the multidimensional performance estimation incorporates the subsidy variable directly. The empirical analysis relies on a unique dataset of 33 German companies observed over a period of up to twelve years. We find a positive effect of endogenous subsidies on the standard deviation of cost inefficiency implying that the range of companies’ cost inefficiency increases with the level of subsidies relative to total costs. Further, we find that non-subsidized firms perform better.
    Keywords: cost efficiency; endogenous subsidies; heteroscedasticity; local public bus transportation; panel data; stochastic cost frontier
    JEL: C13 D24 L92
    Date: 2013–02
  2. By: David, Martín-Barroso; Juan Andres, Nuñez; Francisco J., Velazquez
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of accessibility on the productivity of Spanish manufacturing firms. We suggest the use of accessibility indicators to workers and commodities, integrating transport, land use, and individual components in their measurement, and computing real distances or travelling times using the Spanish full road network. The estimation is carried out in two steps. In the first one we estimate almost a hundred production functions using a panel of 155,937 firms along the 1999-2009 period from SABI database, applying Levinsohn and Petrin technique. From these estimations we derive the Total Factor Productivity function for year 2009, which is then explained in the second estimation step as a function of the accessibility indicators and additional control variables. Results evidence the crucial role of the accessibility to commodities, and a lesser but significant effect of workers’ accessibility on firms’ productivity.
    Keywords: Accessibility, Firm Productivity, Transport Infrastructures.
    JEL: D24 R12 R40
    Date: 2013–04–04
  3. By: Michael Peters (MIT)
    Abstract: There are large and persistent productivity differences across firms within narrowly defined industries. This is especially true in poor countries. Why do productivity differences decline as the economy develops? In this paper I propose a theory where productivity differences exist because different firms use different technologies. The negative correlation between economic development and productivity dispersion occurs because the set of economically viable techniques shrinks as the economy develops. My mechanism stresses the role of managerial inputs. If managers are essential to increase the scale of production, inefficient techniques survive in managerial-scarce economies as productive firms do not have the means to replace them. As the aggregate supply of managers increases, efficient firms expand, best-practice technologies dominate the industry and productivity differences decline. Using firm-level panel data from Chile, I test both cross-sectional and time-series implications of the theory and evaluate different approaches of how to introduce management in firms’ production function.
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Collard-Wexler, Allan; De Loecker, Jan
    Abstract: We measure the impact of a drastic new technology for producing steel, the minimill, on the aggregate productivity of U.S. steel producers, using unique plant-level data between 1963 and 2002. We find that the sharp increase in the industry's productivity is linked to this new technology, and operates through two distinct mechanisms. First, minimills displaced the older technology, called vertically integrated production, and this reallocation of output was responsible for a third of the increase in the industry's productivity. Second, increased competition, due to the expansion of minimills, drove a substantial reallocation process within the group of vertically integrated producers, driving a resurgence in their productivity, and consequently of the industry's productivity as a whole.
    Keywords: competition; productivity; reallocation; technology
    JEL: L1 O3
    Date: 2013–02
  5. By: Cullmann, Astrid; Zloczysti, Petra
    Abstract: Expenditures devoted to research and development (R&D) are scarce and thus need to be used as efficiently as possible given the financial constraints countries are facing. This paper assesses the relative efficiency of R&D expenditures for 26 OECD member countries and 2 non-member countries. As countries differ in their national innovation systems and states of economic development and industrialization, e.g. transition economies in Eastern Europe vs. Asian countries vs. Anglo-Saxon countries, the measurement of R&D efficiency needs to consider differences in the technology of knowledge production. The existing empirical literature on R&D efficiency mainly builds on a homogeneous technology frontier neglecting the importance to account for country-specific heterogeneity. This paper models technological differences in knowledge production among countries using a stochastic frontier model for panel data. Applying a latent class model for SFA, we find empirical evidence for two technological classes, a `capital-intensive' and a `labor-intensive' one. Assuming a common knowledge production technology, as has been done so far in the empirical literature, thus results in biased efficiency estimates.
    Keywords: innovation; knowledge production function; latent classes; R&D efficiency; stochastic frontier analysis
    JEL: C40 O31 O57
    Date: 2013–02
  6. By: Kneller, Richard; Misch, Florian
    Abstract: This paper exploits the unique institutional features of South Africa to estimate the impact of provincial public spending on health, education and transport on firm productivity. Our identification strategy is based on within industry-province differences between firms of the effects of public spending. We show that public spending composition affects firm productivity depending on the capital intensity of firms relative to the province-industry mean. Our data and empirical specification allow us to rule out that these results are affected by econometric problems that are commonly encountered when estimating the effects of fiscal policy and by unobserved industry- or province-specific productivity shocks. In contrast to related existing microeconomic evidence, we take into account the government budget constraint so that our results have clear policy implications. --
    Keywords: Public Spending Composition,Productive Public Spending,Firm Productivity
    JEL: D24 H32 H72 O12
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Géraldine Henningsen (DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark); Arne Henningsen (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Uwe Jensen (Institute for Statistics and Econometrics, University of Kiel)
    Abstract: In the estimation of multiple output technologies in a primal approach, the main question is how to handle the multiple outputs. Often an output distance function is used, where the classical approach is to exploit its homogeneity property by selecting one output quantity as the dependent variable, dividing all other output quantities by the selected output quantity, and using these ratios as regressors (OD). Another approach is the stochastic ray production frontier (SR) which transforms the output quantities into their Euclidean distance as the dependent variable and their polar coordinates as directional components as regressors. A number of studies have compared these specifications using real world data and have found significant differences in the inefficiency estimates. However, in order to get to the bottom of these differences, we apply a Monte-Carlo simulation. We test the robustness of both specifications for the case of a Translog output distance function with respect to different common statistical problems as well as problems arising as a consequence of zero values in the output quantities. Although, our results partly show clear reactions to statistical misspecifications, on average none of the approaches is superior. However, considerable differences are found between the estimates at single replications. In the case of zero values in the output quantities, the SR clearly outperforms the OD, although this advantage nearly vanishes when zeros are replaced by a small number.
    Keywords: Multiple Outputs, SFA, Monte Carlo Simulation, Stochastic Ray Production Frontier, Output Distance Function
    JEL: C21 C40 D24
    Date: 2013–04
  8. By: Mariana Cunha (FEP-UP); Vera Rocha (CEF.UP, FEP-UP and CIPES)
    Abstract: In a context of financial stringency like that characterizing the current economic land-scape in Portugal and in several other countries, accountability and efficiency questions gain an additional relevance in the higher education sector. In this paper we apply DEA techniques to evaluate the comparative efficiency of public higher education institutions in Portugal. The analysis is performed for three separate groups: public universities, public polytechnics and the several faculties of University of Porto. By using several inputs and outputs at the institutional-level, we are able to identify the most technically efficient institutions that may work as benchmark in the sector. The results suggest that a great portion of institutions may be working inefficiently, contributing to a significant waste of resources. This exploratory study is a first step towards a deeper understanding of the efficiency deter-minants of higher education institutions.
    Keywords: DEA; Higher Education; Technical Efficiency; Universities; Polytechnics
    JEL: C14 H52 I23
    Date: 2012–09
  9. By: Adelaide Duarte (Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra and GEMF, Portugal); Marta Simões (Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra and GEMF, Portugal); João Sousa Andrade (Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra and GEMF, Portugal)
    Abstract: The Portuguese growth and convergence experience after EU membership can be divided into two periods: 1986-1998, a convergence period during which growth in the Portuguese economy accelerated and Portugal grew faster than the EU14 average; and a stagnation/divergence period from 1999 onwards when its growth rate slowed down to figures lower than the reference group average. Differences among developed countries in terms of output levels and growth are mainly explained by differences in productivity, with Portugal falling behind relative to the EU14 in recent years as far as the former are concerned. In order to better understand the causes for the changes in the growth and convergence rhythm of the Portuguese economy after EU accession this paper analyses productivity growth in a panel of 14 European Union countries over the period 1986-2009. We estimate an empirical model where innovation and imitation provide two potential sources of productivity growth for countries behind the technological frontier, as is the case of Portugal, and those activities are in turn influenced by absorptive capacity and structural and institutional characteristics as well as capital accumulation. The results from the estimation of TFP growth regressions with quantile regression techniques reveal that, for lower rates of productivity growth, an increase of the non-tradables sector share is especially harmful, while the positive influence from technological backwardness and innovation activities are felt less strongly, while the positive influence from capital accumulation is felt more strongly. These results raise strong concerns concerning Portugal’s future growth prospects given its current specialization pattern towards traditional personal services and the country’s still considerable distance from the technological frontier and relatively low innovative intensity.
    Keywords: productivity growth, innovation, imitation, Portugal, EU.
    JEL: C23 O47 O52
    Date: 2013–02
  10. By: Douglas Gollin (Williams College)
    Abstract: According to national accounts data for developing countries, value added per worker is on average four times higher in the non-agriculture sector than in agriculture. Taken at face value this "agricultural productivity gap" suggests that labor is greatly misallocated across sectors in the developing world. In this paper we draw on new micro evidence to ask to what extent the gap is still present when better measures of inputs and outputs are taken into consideration. We find that even after considering sector differences in hours worked and human capital per worker, urban-rural cost-of-living differences, and alternative measures of sector income from household survey data, a puzzlingly large gap remains.
    Date: 2012
  11. By: J.W. Fedderke and T.E. Kaya
    Abstract: This paper explores the impact of some key infrastructure measures in transportation, telecommunication and electricity production sectors on labor productivity, using data on two-digit sectors for the Turkish economy for the years 1987 to 2006. We find both statistical and economic significance of infrastructure on productivity growth, for road, port and air transport, telecommunications and electricity production. In the railway sector, only measures of actual freight carried are consistently statistically significanctly associated with productivity growth, while other measures of infrastructure are insignificantly or perversely associated with productivity growth. Given that the railway transport sector is the only infrastructure sector that remains closed to competition and private participation, this raises the issue of the significance of private sector involvement in infrastructure provision.
    Date: 2013
  12. By: Ho Fai Chan; Bruno S. Frey; Jana Gallus; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: Despite the social importance of awards, they have been largely disregarded by academic research in economics. This paper investigates whether a specific, yet important, award in economics, the John Bates Clark Medal, raises recipients’ subsequent research activity and status compared to a synthetic control group of nonrecipient scholars with similar previous research performance. We find evidence of positive incentive and status effects that raise both productivity and citation levels.
    Keywords: Awards, Incentives, Research, John Bates Clark Medal, Synthetic control method
    JEL: A13 C23 M52
    Date: 2013–03–14
  13. By: Gertler, Paul; Vermeerch, Christel
    Abstract: We nested a large-scale field experiment into the national rollout of the introduction of performance pay for medical care providers in Rwanda to study the effect of incentives for health care providers. In order to identify the effect of incentives separately from higher compensation, we held constant compensation across treatment and comparison groups – a portion of the treatment group’s compensation was based on performance whereas the compensation of the comparison group was fixed. The incentives led to a 20% increase in productivity, and significant improvements in child health. We also find evidence of a strong complementarity between performance incentives and baseline provider skill.
    Keywords: Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General, Public Health, Performance Incentives, Results-Based Financing, Pay-for-Performance, Child Health, Maternal and Child Services
    Date: 2013–02–12
  14. By: Godart, Olivier; Görg, Holger
    Abstract: Using information on more than 1000 firms in a number of emerging countries, we find quantitative evidence that suppliers of multinationals that are pressured by their customers to reduce production costs or develop new products have higher productivity growth than other firms, including other host country suppliers of multinationals. These findings provide first empirical support for a “forced linkage effect” from supplying multinational companies. Our findings hold controlling for other factors within and outside the supplier- customer relationship and when endogeneity concerns are taken into consideration.
    Keywords: backward linkages; forced linkage; multinational customers; productivity spillovers; suppliers
    JEL: F23 O12
    Date: 2013–01
  15. By: Sephorah Mangin (Becker-Friedman Institute, University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper develops microfoundations for a unified aggregate production function. Labor market frictions are naturally built into the aggregate production function because matching and production are two aspects of a single process. Entrepreneurs with heterogeneous productivity levels hire capital and compete for workers. If no entrepreneurs approach a given worker he is unemployed, otherwise the entrepreneur with the highest productivity hires the worker. The model provides new insights into the behavior of factor shares. If the entrepreneurs' productivity distribution is Pareto, the aggregate production function is Cobb-Douglas only in the limit as frictional unemployment disappears. In this limiting case, factors are paid their marginal product and factor shares are constant. Outside this limit, factor shares are not generally constant, enabling us to examine their behavior. A key prediction of the model is that labor's share is counter-cyclical provided that workers' outside option is sufficiently high.
    Date: 2012
  16. By: Forslid, Rikard; Okubo, Toshihiro
    Abstract: This paper introduces scale economies or density economies in transportation in a trade and geography model with heterogeneous firms. This relatively small change to the standard model produces a new pattern of spatial sorting among firms. Contrary to the existing literature, our model produces the result that firms of intermediate productivity relocate to the large core region, whereas high and low productivity firms remain in the periphery. Trade liberalisation leads to a gradual relocation to the core, with the most productive firms remaining in the periphery.
    Keywords: heterogeneous firms; scale economies in transportation
    JEL: F12 F15
    Date: 2013–03
  17. By: Ceren Ozgen (Department of Spatial Economics, VU University Amsterdam and bTinbergen Institute, Amsterdam,); Thomas de Graff (aDepartment of Spatial Economics, VU University Amsterdam)
    Abstract: An increasing amount of research in the migration literature shows a positive association between migrant diversity and rm productivity. However, the potential bias due to unobserved heterogeneity remains a challenge. In this paper we analyse the impact of cultural diversity on firm innovativeness, while using finite mixture modeling to control for observed and unobserved heterogeneity. Recent availability of microdata has enabled us to construct a linked employee- employer dataset through merging datasets on both workers and firms. We explore the possible ways of firm-level knowledge exchange among the employees with different cultural backgrounds and its impact on firms' product and process innovations. We find that workforce diversity is beneficial for innovativeness in capital-intensive sectors. It also positively impacts large firms that operate in high-level services, manufacturing, mining and R&D sectors, that are predominantly located in the non-urban areas in the Netherlands. In labour and land intensive sectors, the impact of cultural diversity on innovativeness is inconclusive.
    Keywords: Cultural diversity, innovativeness, (un-)observed heterogeneity, finite mixture modeling, migration
    JEL: J15 J21
    Date: 2013–04
  18. By: Burcay Erus; Ozan Hatipoglu
    Date: 2013–08
  19. By: Mondher bellalah; Olivier Levyne; Omar Masood (THEMA, Universite de Cergy-Pontoise; Institue Superieur de Commerce de Paris, ISC Paris; Royal Business School, University of East London)
    Abstract: This study aims to give the analysis of the determinants of banks’ profitability in the Kingdom of China over the period starting 2003. The paper investigates the co-integration and causal relationship between total assets (TA) and total equity (TE) of Saudi banks. The analysis employs Augmented Dickey Fuller (ADF) test, Johansen’s cointegration test, Granger causality test. Analyzing the cointegration and other tests on Saudi Arabian banking sector over the study period, the relationships between the two variables are examined. The empirical results have found strong evidence that the variables are co-integrated.
    Keywords: Banking, bank profitability, total assets, total equity, co-integration.
    JEL: E50 F30 F17 G01 G21
    Date: 2013
  20. By: Nanditha Mathew
    Abstract: The paper presents micro evidence on firm dynamics for enterprises in Indian Manufacturing sectors on the grounds of Prowess database provided by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) covering the period 1991-2010. The parameterization of the distributions of growth exhibit high level heterogeneity displayed among firms even within the same sector, which widens over time. The transition probabilities matrix reveals the coexistence of firms with very different characteristics and performance within sectors. Given the wide heterogeneities, the paper resorts to quantile regression to identify the differential effect of regressors at different deciles of the conditional distribution.
    Keywords: Firm Dynamics, AEP Distribution, Heterogeneity, Quantile Regression.
    JEL: C14 D22 L10 L25 L60
    Date: 2013–03–01
  21. By: Akbar Ullah (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad); Ejaz Ghani (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad); Attiya Y. Javed (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad)
    Abstract: Using a panel of eight Pakistani manufacturing industries, we have examined the changes in price-cost margin (gross profitability) during 1998- 2009. In this study the traditional industrial organization approach of Structure- Performance has been applied to analyse the effects of concentration and import intensity on price-cost margins. It has been found that market concentration measured by four-firm concentration leads to high price-cost margin. Imports have the tendency to make the domestic firms more competitive, but their effect on more-concentrated firms is smaller as compared to non-concentrated firms. The minimum efficient scale and assets of industry have positive effects on margins while capital intensity has been found to reduce gross profitability.
    Keywords: Price-Cost Margin, Concentration, Manufacturing, Pakistan
    Date: 2013
  22. By: Yu, Bingxin; Zhu, Tingju; Breisinger, Clemens; Manh Hai, Nguyen
    Abstract: This paper examines how a changing climate may affect rice production and how Vietnamese farmers are likely to adapt to various climatic conditions using an innovative yield function approach, taking into account sample selection bias and endogeneity of inputs. Model results suggest that although climate change can potentially reduce rice production, farmers will respond mainly by adjusting the production portfolio and levels of input use. However, investments in rural infrastructure and human capital will have to support farmers in the adaptation process if production levels and farm incomes are to be sustained in the future.
    Keywords: Climate change; rice; control function; endogeneity; Sampling; Agriculture; rice; crop yield;,
    Date: 2013
  23. By: Boris E. Bravo-Ureta (University of Connecticut); Jeremy Jelliffe (University of Connecticut); Adam Rabinowitz (University of Connecticut); Joyce Meader (University of Connecticut); Richard Meinert (University of Connecticut); Joseph Bonelli (University of Connecticut); Sheila Andrew
    Abstract: The average total cost of production for milk in Connecticut in 2011 is $31.52/cwt, based on a sample of 39 state dairy producers. Additional total cost of production (COP) estimates are provided for different farm-size classes, ranging from $26.05/cwt for the largest size class to $35.76/cwt for the smallest. The most significant costs to CT dairies are feed and labor, which make up close to 60% of total COP and are primarily responsible for the variation seen in the projected 2012 monthly COP estimates. Monthly estimates of the 2012 CT COP for milk are based on the 2011 COP, which is adjusted using USDA NASS indices and CT production figures for the corresponding month. The estimated COP for milk in CT has increased in every month in 2012, from $31.97/cwt in January to $39.10/cwt in September. The Statistical Uniform Price (SUP) for milk in Hartford, CT decreased monthly for the first half of 2012 and increased in each month of the third quarter, resulting in a net increase from January to September. Given the monthly trends in COP and the SUP, the value of payments to CT dairy farms under CT Public Act 09-229 has increased month-to-month from $6.95/cwt in January to $12.71/cwt in September.
    Date: 2012–12
  24. By: Bosquet, Clément; Combes, Pierre-Philippe
    Abstract: We study the effect of a large set of department characteristics on individual publication records. We control for many individual time-varying characteristics, individual fixed-effects and reverse causality. Department characteristics have an explanatory power that can be as high as that of individual characteristics. The departments that generate most externalities are those where academics are homogeneous in terms of publication performance and have diverse research fields, and, to a lesser extent, large departments, with more women, older academics, star academics and foreign co-authors. Department specialisation in a field also favours publication in that field. More students per academic does not penalise publication. At the individual level, women and older academics publish less, while the average publication quality increases with average number of authors per paper, individual field diversity, number of published papers and foreign co-authors.
    Keywords: economic geography; economics of science; networks; productivity determinants; selection and endogeneity
    JEL: I3 J24 R12
    Date: 2013–03
  25. By: Sofronis Clerides; Manthos D. Delis; Sotirios Kokas
    Abstract: We estimate the degree of competition in the banking sectors of 148 countries worldwide over the period 1997-2010. We employ three methods, namely those of Lerner (1934), Koetter, Kolari and Spierdijk (2012) and Boone (2008a). For the estimation of marginal cost required under all methods, we use the semi-parametric methodology of Delis (2012) that allows increasing the flexibility of the functional form imposed on the cost function. All three indices show that the competitive conditions in banking have deteriorated on average during the period 1997-2006. This trend reverses until 2008, while in 2009 and 2010 market power again increases. Thus, we provide evidence that the competitive conditions are correlated with financial stability. The empirical results also highlight important differences between regional and income groups of countries. On average, the banking systems of Sub-Saharan Africa and subsequently of East Asia and Pacific are the least competitive, while the banking systems of Europe and Central Asia and South Asia seem to be the most competitive ones. Further, the non-OECD countries characterized by either high- or low-income levels have less competitive banking sectors, while middle-income countries have more competitive banking sectors. For the OECD countries the results of the Lerner-type indices and the method by Boone (2008a) give conflicting results.
    Keywords: Bank competition, Semi-parametric estimation, World sample
    Date: 2013–03
  26. By: Vassiliki Koutsogeorgopoulou; Omar Barbiero
    Abstract: Australia’s productivity growth has decelerated markedly around the turn of the century. Part of the decline is probably temporary, but raising multifactor productivity is key to ensure that living standards continue to grow strongly, especially if the currently strong terms of trade weaken over time. Recent efforts by the government are welcome. Ensuring responsive, high quality, vocational and higher education systems is indispensable to long-term growth. Raising the completion rate of vocational students, and enhancing the level of collaboration among the key innovation players are priorities. The productivityenhancing effects of infrastructure could be boosted by more effective and strategic planning, new sources of funding, and better use of existing capacity. Efficient pricing for infrastructure services and rapid progress towards harmonisation of regulations across states would boost competition and productivity.<P>Un nouvel élan pour la productivité en Australie<BR>La croissance de la productivité a sérieusement fléchi en Australie à l’aube du nouveau siècle. Une partie de ce recul est probablement temporaire, mais il est primordial d’augmenter la productivité globale des facteurs pour garantir une forte progression des niveaux de vie, en particulier si les termes de l’échange, actuellement favorables, devaient s’affaiblir dans le temps. Les initiatives récentes des autorités sont encourageantes. La garantie de systèmes d’enseignement professionnel et d’enseignement supérieur de qualité et capables d’adaptation est indispensable à la croissance à long terme. L’augmentation du taux de réussite des élèves en filière professionnelle et le renforcement du niveau de collaboration entre les principaux acteurs de l’innovation sont des objectifs prioritaires. Les effets de rationalisation de l’infrastructure sur la productivité pourraient être amplifiés par une planification stratégique plus efficace, de nouvelles sources de financement et une meilleure utilisation des capacités existantes. Enfin, une tarification optimale des services d’infrastructure et l’évolution rapide vers une harmonisation réglementaire entre les États doperaient la concurrence et la productivité.
    Keywords: productivity, education, Australia, innovation, regulation, transport, energy, infrastructure, multifactor productivity, water, higher education, vocational training, public-private partnerships, user charges, productivité, Australie, innovation, partenariats public-privé, éducation, transport, régulation, énergie, infrastructure, eau, productivité multifactorielle, formation professionnelle, éducation supérieure, péage routier
    JEL: H43 I21 L51 L91 L94 O3 O4 Q15
    Date: 2013–02–18
  27. By: Ojah Patrick , Ogebe; Joseph Orinya , Ogebe; Kemi , Alewi
    Abstract: This study seeks to investigate the impact of capital structure on firm performance in Nigeria from 2000 to 2010. We considered the impact of some key macroeconomic variables (gross domestic product and inflation) on firm performance. The traditional theory of capital structure was employed to determine the significance of leverage and macroeconomic variables on firm’s performance. The study makes a comparative analysis of the selected firms which are classified into highly and lowly geared firms setting a leverage threshold of above 10% as being highly geared. A static panel analysis was used to achieve the objectives of the study. Using fixed effect regression estimation model, a relationship was established between performance (proxied by return on investment) and leverage of the firms over a period of ten years. The results provide strong evidence in support of the traditional theory of capital structure which asserts that leverage is a significant determinant of firms’ performance. A significant negative relationship is established between leverage and performance. From our findings, we strongly recommended that firms should use more of equity than debt in financing their business activities, this is because in spite of the fact that the value of a business can be enhanced with debt capital, it gets to a point that it becomes detrimental. Each firm should establish with the aid of professional financial managers, that particular debt-equity mix that maximizes its value and minimizes its weighted average cost of capital.
    Keywords: Capital Structure,Firm Performance and Leverage
    JEL: G32
    Date: 2013–04–04

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