nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2013‒06‒09
twenty-one papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Unit labor cost and productivity recovery under non neutral technical change By Charles-Henri Dimaria; Chiara Peroni
  2. Productivity and Deregulation in European Railways By Cantos Sánchez Pedro; Serrano Martínez Lorenzo; Pastor Monsálvez José Manuel
  3. Sustainability matters By Charles-Henri Dimaria
  4. A new unit labour cost changes decomposition Four pillars of cost competitiveness recovery By Charles-Henri Dimaria; Chiara Peronni
  5. Measuring Total Factor Productivity at the Firm Level using OECD-ORBIS By Peter N. Gal
  6. Do wages reflect labor productivity? The case of Belgian regions By Jozef Konings; Luca Marcolin
  7. Horizontal and Vertical Technology Spillovers from FDI in Eastern Europe By Cristina Jude
  8. The innovation efficiency of German regions – a shared-input DEA approach By Tom Broekel; Nicky Rogge; Thomas Brenner
  9. Can intangible investment explain the UK productivity puzzle? By Haskel, J; Goodridge, P; Wallis, G
  10. Measuring Capital Services by Energy Use: An Empirical Comparative Study By Jürgen Bitzer; Erkan Gören
  11. What drives firm growth? The role of demand and TFP shocks By Fabiano Schivardi; Andrea Pozzi
  12. Does Productivity Decline after Promotion? The Case of French Academia By Mareva Sabatier
  13. Expansionary and Contractionary Technology Shocks By Zeno Enders; Almut Balleer
  14. R&D, Patenting and Growth: The Role of Public Policy By Ben Westmore
  15. Recent Changes in Europe’s Competitive Landscape. How the Sources of Demand and Supply Are Shaping Up. By Bart van Ark; Vivian Chen; Bert Colijn1; Kirsten Jaeger; Wim Overmeer
  16. Economic shocks and growth: spatio-temporal perspectives on Europe's economies in a time of crisis By Doran, Justin; Fingleton, Bernard
  17. Exploring Data-Driven Innovation as a New Source of Growth: Mapping the Policy Issues Raised by "Big Data" By OECD
  18. Technological Diversification and Innovation Performance By Thomas Bolli; Martin Wörter
  19. Proceedings of a workshop on "Wheat productivity in the EU: determinants and challenges for food security and for climate change" By Mauro Vigani; Koen Dillen; Emilio Rodriguez Cerezo
  20. Competitive Pressure and Technology Adoption: Evidence from a Policy Reform in Western Canada By Ferguson, Shon; Olfert, Rose
  21. Fiscal Federalism and its Impact on Economic Activity, Public Investment and the Performance of Educational Systems By Hansjörg Blöchliger; Balázs Égert; Kaja Bonesmo Fredriksen

  1. By: Charles-Henri Dimaria (LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - CNRS : UMR7322 - Université d'Orléans, STATEC - Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques - Luxembourg); Chiara Peroni (STATEC - Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques - Luxembourg)
    Abstract: This document proposes a new decomposition of unit labor cost changes (ULC) in terms of efficiency, technical progress and capital deepening. This decomposition is applied to data for western European countries and the US. Results show that sustained growth rates of labor compensation and poor labor productivity gains lead to large losses in cost competitiveness. The poor productivity performance is explained by low technical progress and even technical regress. In addition, it is shown that labor intensive technical change results in positive efficiency changes while capital intensive technical changes improves overall technical change. Last, when technical change is capital intensive cost competitiveness losses are lower.
    Keywords: total factor productivity, efficiency, biased technical change, capital deepening, unit labor cost.
    Date: 2012–05–31
    Abstract: A vast amount of literature is devoted to analyzing the effects of deregulating and restructuring measures in the European railway sector and the results are not totally unambiguous. The contribution of this paper to the existing literature is twofold. Firstly, we estimate efficiency levels derived from two alternative approaches: a non-parametric DEA analysis and a parametric stochastic frontier production. Using two different approaches allows us to test if the heterogeneous results obtained in the literature are due to the different approaches used to measure efficiency. Secondly, we update the sample introducing a data panel with information on 23 national rail systems, and covering data from 2001 to 2008. It is fundamental to use extended and updated data covering the more recent period and more countries, given that most deregulation measures have been implemented in the last few years.
    Keywords: Efficiency, railways, regulation.
    JEL: D24 L92 L51
    Date: 2012–11
  3. By: Charles-Henri Dimaria (LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - CNRS : UMR7322 - Université d'Orléans, STATEC - Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques - Luxembourg)
    Abstract: This documents aims at bridging productivity measurement and weak sustainability in a specific data envelopment analysis framework that allows for negative output. In this framework countries use two inputs: capital and labour and seeks to maximize output and adjusted net saving. The indicator suggested dwell on the new growth theory with multiple equilibria. Adjustment net saving is seen as a sustainability indicator and then the productivity indicator computed can be understood as a sustainability productivity index.
    Keywords: Weak sustainability, adjusted net savings, productivity, technical change, efficiency.
    Date: 2013–02–19
  4. By: Charles-Henri Dimaria (LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - CNRS : UMR7322 - Université d'Orléans, STATEC - Institut national de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques - Luxembourg); Chiara Peronni (STATEC - Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques - Institut de Luxembourg)
    Abstract: This article presents a new decomposition of unit labour costs into compensation per worker and labour productivity, which, in turn, is decomposed into e ffciency gains, technical progress and capital deepening. Data for Western European countries and the US show that the evolution of labour productivity components counteracts the deterioration in countries' cost competitiveness caused by increases in nominal wages. The policy implication is that e fforts aimed at reducing nominal labour costs should be accompanied by policies fostering capital deepening. Further improvements in countries' cost competitiveness can be achieved by enhancing efficiency gains and technical progress, which has been mostly negative during the period under study.
    Keywords: unit labour cost; internal devaluation; labour productivity; technical change; capital deepening.
    Date: 2012–05–14
  5. By: Peter N. Gal
    Abstract: Recent OECD research has utilised harmonised cross-country firm level data to explore the contribution of public policies to cross-country differences in productivity, innovation and resource allocation. This paper describes the steps taken to and the trade-offs involved in constructing firm-level total factor productivity (TFP) measures using ORBIS, a cross-country longitudinal firm-level database available from Bureau van Dijk, an electronic publishing firm. First, it shows that not all productivity measures can be calculated using readily available variables for all countries, and presents possible solutions to this problem by using imputations for certain variables. Second, it assesses the accuracy of these imputations on a set of countries where the available data in ORBIS provides a good coverage, for a wide range of TFP measures. Indeed, an extensive comparison of the actual and the imputed values of TFP for those countries suggests that TFP measures using imputations provide a reasonable approximation for the "true" values. Furthermore, to improve representativeness, resampling weights are constructed - which help correcting for the underrepresentation of small firms - while for the sake of international comparability, industry-level PPP conversions are also applied. Finally, as a plausibility check and to illustrate the potential of the database, the paper explores the country-composition of the globally most productive firms, the forces of convergence to the productivity frontier and the impact of regulation on productivity growth, in a sample of 18 OECD countries.<P>Mesurer la productivité totale des facteurs au niveau de l'entreprise à l'aide de la base de données OCDE-ORBIS<BR>Des travaux récents de l'OCDE ont utilisé des données harmonisées d’entreprises des pays de l’OCDE afin d’étudier la contribution des politiques publiques aux différences entre pays dans la productivité, l'innovation et l'allocation des ressources. Ce document décrit les mesures prises pour et les compromis impliqués dans la construction des séries au niveau de l’entreprise, de la productivité totale des facteurs (PTF) à l'aide d’ORBIS, une base de données d’entreprises longitudinale mises à disposition par le Bureau van Dijk, une maison d'édition électronique. D'abord, il montre que toutes les mesures de la productivité ne peuvent être calculées à l'aide de variables facilement disponibles dans tous les pays, et présente d’éventuelles solutions à ce problème en utilisant des imputations pour certaines variables. Deuxièmement, il évalue l'exactitude de ces imputations sur un ensemble de pays où les données, disponibles dans ORBIS, offrent une bonne couverture pour un large éventail de mesures de la PTF. En effet, une comparaison approfondie des valeurs réelles et imputées des PTF pour ces pays suggère que les mesures de la PTF, utilisant des imputations, constituent une approximation raisonnable des valeurs «réelles». En outre, afin d'améliorer la représentativité, des poids de rééchantillonnage ont été construits – afin d’aider à corriger la sous-représentativité des petites entreprises - pour des raisons de comparabilité internationale, des conversions en PPP ont également été appliquées au niveau des industries. Enfin, comme contrôle de plausibilité et pour illustrer le potentiel de la base de données, ce document examine la composition pays des entreprises les plus productives au niveau mondial, les forces de convergence vers la frontière de la productivité et l'impact de la réglementation sur la croissance de la productivité, dans un échantillon de 18 pays de l'OCDE.
    Keywords: firm level data, productivity measurement, cross-country analysis, données sur les entreprises, mesure de la productivité, analyses comparatives entre pays
    JEL: D22 D24 O47
    Date: 2013–05–21
  6. By: Jozef Konings; Luca Marcolin
    Abstract: Unemployment rates are significantly different across regions in Belgium. In the search for an explanation for this fact, we simultaneously estimate a wage and labor productivity equations where we include regional dummies as explanatory variables. We find that the wage-productivity gap reached 11% for Brussels and 4.2% for Wallonia in the years 2005-2012. This was driven by the negative performance in labor productivity of the firms in these regions relative to Flanders, which more than compensated for the advantage in unit labor costs they could profit from. On the other hand, the gap for Brussels is found to be currently decreasing in time thanks to a positive growth rate in labor productivity. The sign and magnitude of the wage-productivity gap is robust to the estimation of the relationship using hours worked instead of employees, and including benefits to salaries into the cost of labor. These results are coherent with the existence at the regional level of institutional barriers to the firm-level adjustment of wages to labor productivity. Among the possible explanations for this, our estimations suggest that a reduction in the gap between labor costs and productivity may be achieved through greater wage flexibility at the regional level.
    Date: 2013
  7. By: Cristina Jude (LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - CNRS : UMR7322 - Université d'Orléans, FSEGA - Babes Bolyai University Cluj Napoca - Universitatea Babeş-Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca)
    Abstract: The aim of our paper is to empirically estimate the direction and magnitude of technological spillovers from FDI using a plant level dataset of Romanian firms for the period 1999-2007. We use the Levinsohn Petrin (2003) methodology in order to estimate total factor productivity and compute several measures of spillover effect based on time varying Input-Output tables. We find local suppliers to benefit from positive backward spillovers while local clients are negatively affected by forward spillovers. Using several measure of absorptive capacity like human capital or R&D does not change our results. On the other hand, a large technological gap favors the capture of technological spillovers. Labor mobility is the only significant horizontal spillovers. We also find that labor mobility changes direction according to different human capital levels. We finally show that local firms buying inputs from FDI suppliers are negatively affected by a second order vertical spillover.
    Keywords: FDI, spillovers, technology transfer, total factor productivity, absorptive capacity
    Date: 2012–08–31
  8. By: Tom Broekel (Leibnitz-University Hannover); Nicky Rogge (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven); Thomas Brenner (Philipps-Universität Marburg)
    Abstract: The paper contributes to the debate on how to measure regions’ innovation performance. On the basis of the concept of regional innovation efficiency, we propose a new measure that eases the issue of choosing between industry-specific or global measures. We argue for the use of a robust shared-input DEA-model to estimate regions’ innovation efficiency in a global manner, while it can be disaggregated into industry-specific innovation efficiency measures. The latter is particularly useful when relating the innovative output to the R and D input involves the use of blurry matching procedures. We illustrate the use of the method by investigating the innovation efficiency as well as its change in time of German labor market regions. It is shown that the method treats regions that have industry structures skewed towards industries with high and low innovation intensities more fairly than traditional approaches.
    Keywords: Keywords: regional innovation efficiency, shared-input DEA, nonparametric efficiency analysis, regional innovation.
    JEL: R12 O18 O31
    Date: 2013–05–29
  9. By: Haskel, J; Goodridge, P; Wallis, G
    Date: 2013–05–24
  10. By: Jürgen Bitzer (University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics); Erkan Gören
    Abstract: From an engineering perspective, a capital good’s service is energy conversion – e.g., the physical ‘work’ done by a machine – and can thus be measured directly by the energy consumed in production. We show important empirical advantages of our concept over traditional measures. The empirical application reveals that our concept avoids a number of conceptual problems of the latter. Furthermore, our measure is more sensitive to fluctuations in economic activity and therefore captures the utilization of the capital stock better. In a growth accounting exercise, this results in higher TFP growth rates, especially in times of global recession.
    Keywords: capital service, utilization, energy consumption, total factor productivity, growth accounting
    JEL: E22 D24 O47
    Date: 2013–04
  11. By: Fabiano Schivardi (University of Cagliari); Andrea Pozzi (Einaudi Institute for Economics and Fina)
    Abstract: We disentangle the contribution of unobserved heterogeneity in idiosyncratic demand and productivity to firm growth. We use a model of monopolistic competition with Cobb-Douglas production and a dataset of Italian manufacturing firms containing unique information on firm-level prices to reach three main results. First, demand is at least as important for firm growth as productivity. Second, firms' responses to shocks are lower than those predicted by our frictionless model, suggesting the existence of adjustment frictions. Finally, the deviation is more substantial for TFP shocks. We provide direct evidence that sluggish price adjustment influences responses to shocks, magnifying the effect of market appeal and dampening that of TFP. Moreover, organizational rigidity within the firm also contributes to reducing the response to TFP shocks, while it has no effects on that to demand shocks. These findings emphasize the importance of considering both dimensions of unobserved heterogeneity. They also imply that it is more difficult to fully adjust to TFP shocks.
    Date: 2012
  12. By: Mareva Sabatier (IREGE - Institut de Recherche en Gestion et en Economie - Université de Savoie)
    Abstract: The present research examined the effect of promotion decisions on ex-post productivity in French academia. As, once promotion decisions are known, most external incentives vanish for promoted candidates, their productivity was expected to decrease. This hypothesis was tested by using an original dataset and matching methods to evaluate the impact of promotion on publication scores. The robustness of the matching estimates was tested using sensitivity analysis. The results clearly show that the removal of extrinsic incentives following promotion does not lead to a fall in productivity in French academia.
    Keywords: promotions ; extrinsic and intrinsic incentives ; academic career
    Date: 2012–09–01
  13. By: Zeno Enders (University of Heidelberg); Almut Balleer (Institute for International Economic Studies Stockholm)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of expansionary technology shocks (shocks that increase labor productivity and factor inputs) as opposed to contractionary technology shocks (shocks that increase labor productivity, but decrease factor inputs). We estimate these two shocks jointly based on a minimum set of identifying restrictions in a structural VAR. We show that most of the business cycle variation of key macroeconomic variables such as output and consumption is driven by expansionary technology shocks. However, contractionary technology shocks are important to understand the variation in labor productivity and production inputs. In addition, these shocks trigger different reactions of certain variables, which can help explain why existing evidence on technology shocks does not deliver clear results. In a simple DSGE model with managerial technology, which is consistent with our identifying restrictions, we interpret contractionary technology shocks as process innovations and motivate the difference to expansionary technology shocks.
    Date: 2012
  14. By: Ben Westmore
    Abstract: This paper uses panel regression techniques to assess the policy determinants of private sector innovative activity – proxied by R&D expenditure and the number of new patents – across 19 OECD countries. The relationship between innovation indicators and multifactor productivity (MFP) growth is also examined with a particular focus on the role of public policies in influencing the returns to new knowledge. The results establish an empirical link between R&D and patenting, as well as between these measures of innovation intensity and MFP growth. Innovation-specific policies such as R&D tax incentives, direct government support and patent rights are found to be successful in encouraging the innovative activities associated with higher productivity growth. However, direct empirical evidence of the positive effects of these policies on productivity is less forthcoming. A pervasive theme from the analysis is the importance of coupling policies aimed at encouraging innovation or technological adoption with well designed framework policies that allow knowledge spillovers to proliferate. In particular, the settings of framework policies relating to product market regulation, openness to trade and debtor protection in bankruptcy provisions are found to be important for the diffusion of new technologies.<P>R&D, brevets et croissance : le rôle des politiques publiques<BR>Ce document utilise des techniques de régression en panel pour évaluer les déterminants politiques de l'activité d'innovation du secteur privé – représentée par les dépenses de R & D et le nombre de brevet - à travers 19 pays de l'OCDE. La relation entre les indicateurs de l'innovation et la croissance de la productivité multifactorielle (PMF) est également analysée avec une attention particulière sur le rôle des politiques publiques pour influencer les rendements de nouvelles connaissances. Les résultats établissent un lien empirique entre la R & D et les brevets, ainsi qu'entre ces mesures de l'intensité de l'innovation et la croissance de la PMF. Des politiques spécifiques d'innovation telles que des incitations fiscales pour la R & D, le soutien direct de l'État et les droits de brevet sont avérées efficaces pour encourager les activités innovantes associées à une plus forte croissance de la productivité. Toutefois, les preuves empiriques directes des effets positifs de ces politiques sur la productivité sont plus rares. Un thème récurrent de l'analyse est l'importance du couplage des politiques visant à encourager l'innovation ou l'adoption technologique avec des politiques-cadres bien conçues qui permettent une plus large diffusion des connaissances. En particulier, les paramètres des politiques-cadres relatives à la réglementation des marchés de produits, l'ouverture au commerce et à la protection du débiteur dans les dispositions de la faillite sont jugés importants pour la diffusion des nouvelles technologies.
    Keywords: productivity growth, innovation, public policy, intangible assets, politiques publiques, croissance de la productivité multifactorielle (PMF), innovations, immobilisations incorporelles
    JEL: L20 O30 O40
    Date: 2013–05–22
  15. By: Bart van Ark; Vivian Chen; Bert Colijn1; Kirsten Jaeger; Wim Overmeer
    Abstract: This paper revisits the issue of Europe’s growth slowdown in the light of the developments of the first decade of the 21st century, including the devastating effects from the 2008/09 recession and the subsequent economic and financial crisis on Europe’s growth performance. From a supply side perspective, using a growth accounting approach, there are virtually no signs of even the beginnings of a reversal in the slowing growth trend, which is primarily driven by a weak productivity performance in most European countries. From a demand perspective, using a global value chain-type analysis, it turns out that activities contributing directly or indirectly to production for the global market, account for roughly a quarter of employment as well as a quarter of labour productivity growth in Europe. Projecting growth out to 2025, using growth accounting projections, productivity remains the critical factor for a recovery of Europe’s future growth performance. Large differences between individual European countries have emerged. The paper sketches four possible growth scenarios which describe the possible “states” Europe may find itself in 10-12 years’ time, using a strengthening of supply-side capabilities, including productivity and innovation, and global demand for goods and services at the key dimensions defining the future states of the union. These scenarios provide the setting for a discussion of policy choices for Europe’s growth and competitiveness agenda.
    JEL: J24 O11 O47 O52
    Date: 2013–04
  16. By: Doran, Justin; Fingleton, Bernard
    Abstract: The response by regional and national economies to exogenous impulses has a well-established literature in both spatial econometrics and in mainstream econometrics and is of considerable importance given the current economic crisis. This paper focuses on dynamic counterfactual predictions and impulse-response functions to provide insight regarding the question of whether responses to economic shocks are transitory or permanent. Analysis shows that output shocks have permanent effects on productivity with economies adjusting to new levels following a shock. This suggests that the current recession will be embodied permanently within the memory of some of Europe's leading economies as a hysteretic effect.
    Keywords: vector error correction, European Union, economic shocks, crisis, Verdoorn law, productivity
    JEL: C32 C53 E27 R11
    Date: 2012–08
  17. By: OECD
    Abstract: This report explores the potential role of data and data analytics for the creation of significant competitive advantage and for the formation of knowledge-based capital. Five sectors are discussed in this report as areas in which the use of data can stimulate innovation and productivity growth. They include online advertisement, health care, utilities, logistics and transport, and public administration. The report then maps the areas where coherent public policies and practices are needed to unlock the potential of big data for promoting growth and well-being.
    Date: 2013–04–18
  18. By: Thomas Bolli (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Martin Wörter (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of technological diversity on innovation inputs and success using Swiss firm-level panel data. While we do not find any impact of diversity on R&D intensity, we confirm a positive impact of diversity on patent applications as suggested by the literature. However, since patent applications reflect an intermediate innovation input rather than output, we extend the analysis to the share of sales generated by new products. We find a significant negative effect of diversity on the sales share of new products. Hence, technologically more specialized firms have a lower propensity to patent and greater shares of new products. We find neither a direct nor indirect effect of diversity on the sales share generated by improved products. These results suggest that specialization pays-off through more drastic innovations that yield greater market success through a passing monopoly status.
    Keywords: patent applications, innovative sales share, new products, improved products, technological diversity
    JEL: O3
    Date: 2013–06
  19. By: Mauro Vigani (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Koen Dillen (European Commission – JRC - IPTS); Emilio Rodriguez Cerezo (European Commission – JRC - IPTS)
    Abstract: Wheat is one of the world’s key staple products, with a global production of 654.7 million tons in 2010. Currently, wheat is providing 21% of the food calories and 20% of the protein to more than 4.5 billion people. Wheat production is highly concentrated in a few countries, and the European Union is by far the most important producer accounting for 21% of total world harvest (EUROSTAT). In the next decades it is expected an increase in the global demand of food, and of wheat in particular. Towards 2050 the world population may rise from 7 to 9 billion people, and the expected improved economic conditions will allow for greater food consumption. To help reaching the goal of improved wheat productivity for global food security, many important initiatives and research programs started both at national and international level. The G20 Agricultural ministries in their 2011 action plan endorsed the Wheat Initiative, to promote coordination and collaborations among national and international research programs for wheat improvement. However, the annual increase in wheat yields has fallen globally from 2.9% to 1.3% since 1966, and this rate will be not sufficient to meet the expected future food demand without a large expansion of crop production area. Given the limited possibilities of increasing the amount of cultivated area, the efficiency of the wheat production factors must improve. In this respect, Europe has a key position as main global wheat producer and exporter. Wheat yields in Europe have shown a constant growth trend during the second half of the 20th century, mainly thanks to the progress in breeding and in the use of inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation. These constant yield improvements allowed Europe to satisfy the growing internal demand after the Second World War and to consolidate its position on the global wheat market. However, since the mid 1990’s, there seems to be a decline in wheat yield growth rates, especially in the most important European producing countries, like France, Germany and the UK. Considering this background, the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) is starting a new research line with the aim to describe the current situation and analyze the elements affecting wheat yields and wheat farming productivity. To scope the issue, the JRC organised a workshop on "Wheat productivity in the EU: determinants and challenges for food security and for climate change" in Seville on 22nd and 23rd November 2012. In this JRC Scientific and Policy Reports we report the main conclusions of the meeting. It appears that the causes of this stagnation in yields are diverse, and identifying them and their individual contribution to this phenomenon is a very complex task. In some cases, scientists have carefully studied the role of specific factors, such as the genetic potential of wheat varieties, yet research addressing the other factors potentially affecting this change in yield trends such as changes in agricultural input use, agronomic and risk management practices, climate change, policy reforms and market signals is not particularly abundant. The analysis of these factors affecting wheat yields and productivity in Europe is now a priority in order to clarify present and future food security challenges and the evolution of the European wheat sector.
    Keywords: Productivity, Yield, Innovation, Biotechnology, Bioeconomy, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Agronomy, Policy, Competitiveness
    JEL: Q11 Q16 Q18 Q54
    Date: 2013–03
  20. By: Ferguson, Shon (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)); Olfert, Rose (Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy)
    Abstract: We measure the impact of the removal of a railway transportation subsidy on the adoption of technology for Western Canadian farms, using a unique combination of Census and freight rate data. We exploit the large regional variation in these one-time freight rate increases in order to identify causal effects of increased competitive pressure. Using a difference-in-differences methodology we find that higher freights rates – and hence lower farm gate prices – induced farmers to adopt new, more efficient production technology. We also find that farmers experiencing the greatest transportation cost increases also increased fertilizer usage and made significant land use changes.
    Keywords: Agricultural Trade Liberalization; Export Subsidy; Technical Change
    JEL: F14 O13 Q16 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2013–05–31
  21. By: Hansjörg Blöchliger; Balázs Égert; Kaja Bonesmo Fredriksen
    Abstract: Intergovernmental fiscal frameworks usually reflect fundamental societal choices and history and are not foremost geared towards achieving economic policy objectives. Yet, like most institutional arrangements, fiscal relations affect the behaviour of firms, households and governments and thereby economic activity. This paper presents empirical research on the potential effects of fiscal decentralisation on a set of outcomes such as GDP, productivity, public investment and school performance. The results can be summarised as follows: decentralisation, as measured by revenue or spending shares, is positively associated with GDP per capita levels. The impact seems to be stronger for revenue decentralisation than for spending decentralisation. Decentralisation is strongly and positively associated with educational outcomes as measured by international student assessments (PISA). While educational functions can be delegated either to sub-central governments (SCG) or to schools, the results suggest that both strategies appear to be equally beneficial for educational performance. Finally, investment in physical and – especially – human capital as a share of general government spending is significantly higher in more decentralised countries.<P>Le fédéralisme budgétaire et son impact sur l'activité économique, l'investissement public et la performance des systèmes éducatifs<BR>Les cadres budgétaires intergouvernementaux sont habituellement le reflet de choix sociétaux fondamentaux ainsi que de l’histoire, et n’ont pas pour vocation première d’atteindre des objectifs de politique économique. Pourtant, comme la plupart des modalités institutionnelles, les relations budgétaires influent sur le comportement des entreprises, des ménages et des pouvoirs publics et, partant, sur l’activité économique. Le présent document fait une synthèse des études empiriques consacrées aux effets potentiels de la décentralisation budgétaire sur une série de résultats comme le PIB, la productivité, l’investissement public et les performances des établissements scolaires. Ces résultats peuvent être résumés comme suit : la décentralisation, mesurée en pourcentage des recettes ou des dépenses, est corrélée positivement avec le niveau de PIB par habitant. L’impact semble plus marqué pour la décentralisation des recettes que pour celle des dépenses. La décentralisation semble être fortement et positivement corrélée avec les résultats de l’éducation tels que mesurés par le Programme international pour le suivi des acquis des élèves (PISA). Si les fonctions éducatives peuvent être déléguées soit aux échelons infranationaux de l’administration, soit aux établissements scolaires, les résultats donnent à penser que les deux stratégies semblent également bénéfiques pour les performances des écoles. Enfin, l’investissement dans le capital physique mais, plus particulièrement, dans le capital humain exprimé en part des dépenses des administrations publiques, est nettement plus élevé dans les pays décentralisés
    Keywords: productivity, fiscal federalism, public spending, PISA, fiscal decentralisation, economic growth, public investment, education decentralisation, croissance économique, productivité, dépenses publiques, fédéralisme budgétaire, PISA, décentralisation budgétaire, investissement public, décentralisation de l’éducation
    JEL: H10 H70 H75 H77 I22 O43
    Date: 2013–05–29

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