New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2014‒03‒01
thirteen papers chosen by

  1. An Economic Approach to Identifying the Drivers of Productivity Change in the Market Sectors of the Australian Economy By Christopher O`Donnell
  2. Technical Efficiency of Takaful Industry- A Comparative Study of Malaysia and GCC Countries By Hela Miniaoui; Anissa Chaibi
  3. Parenthood and Productivity of Highly Skilled Labor: Evidence from the Groves of Academe By Matthias Krapf; Heinrich W. Ursprung; Christian Zimmermann
  4. An Aggregation Paradigm for Hicks-Moorsteen Productivity Indexes By Andreas Mayer; Valentin Zelenyuk
  5. The skewness of scientific productivity By Javier Ruiz-Castillo; Rodrigo Costas
  6. FDI inflows and outflows, intellectual property rights, and productivity growth By Sasatra, Sudsawasd; Santi, Chaisrisawatsuk
  7. Revisiting the Matching Function By Britta Kohlbrecher; Christian Merkl; Daniela Nordmeier
  8. IT and Management in America By Nicholas Bloom; Erik Brynjolfsson; Lucia Foster; Ron Jarmin; Megha Patnaik; Itay Saporta-Eksten; John Van Reenen
  9. Firm Productivity, Occupational Choice, and Inequality in a Global Economy By Bulent Unel; Elias Dinopoulos
  10. Performance Effects of Appointing Other Firms' Executive Directors to Corporate Boards: An Analysis of UK Firms By Muravyev, Alexander; Talavera, Oleksandr; Weir, Charlie
  11. The effectiveness of R&D support in Italy. Some evidence from matching methods By Aiello, Francesco
  12. Systèmes d'éducation performants et réformateurs efficaces : Qui sont-ils ? By OCDE
  13. Socially Responsible and Conventional Investment Funds: Performance Comparison and the Global Financial Crisis By Leonardo Becchetti; Rocco Ciciretti; Ambrogio Dalo; Stefano Herzel

  1. By: Christopher O`Donnell (School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: This paper uses a relatively new total factor productivity (TFP) index to measure productivity change in the Australian economy. Unlike the TFP indexes used by most statistical agencies, the index used in this paper satisfies a suite of common sense axioms from index number theory. It can also be exhaustively decomposed into measures of technical change, environmental change, and various types of efficiency change. This paper uses least squares methods to estimate these components. The main driver of productivity change in the Australian economy is found to have been scale-mix efficiency change. Scale-mix efficiency is a measure of how well a firm is capturing economies of scale and scope.
    Date: 2014–02
  2. By: Hela Miniaoui; Anissa Chaibi
    Abstract: The present study empirically investigates the technical efficiency of takaful industry operations in Malaysia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) was employed to estimate the technical efficiency of using Constant Returns to Scale (CRS) and Variable Return to Scale (VRS) during the period 2006- 2009. The study reveals that takaful companies operating in GCC countries are more efficient than Malaysian operators that are encouraged to have aggressive marketing and wider distribution channels to capture more demand.
    Keywords: Takaful Industry, DEA, Efficiency, Malaysia, GCC
    JEL: C7 D8
    Date: 2014–01–06
  3. By: Matthias Krapf (Empirical Research in Business, Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management, University of Zürich, Switzerland); Heinrich W. Ursprung (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany); Christian Zimmermann (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, St. Louis, MO 63166-0442, USA)
    Abstract: We examine the effect of parenthood on the research productivity of academic economists. Combining the survey responses of nearly 10,000 economists with their publication records as documented in their RePEc accounts, we do not find that motherhood is associated with low research productivity. Nor do we find a statistically significant unconditional effect of a first child on research productivity. Conditional difference-in-differences estimates, however, suggest that the effect of parenthood on research productivity is negative for unmarried women and positive for untenured men. Moreover, becoming a mother before 30 years of age appears to have a detrimental effect on research productivity.
    Keywords: Fertility, research productivity, gender gap, life cycle
    JEL: J13 I23 J24
    Date: 2014–02–14
  4. By: Andreas Mayer (School of Economics, The University of Queensland); Valentin Zelenyuk (CEPA - School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: In this paper we consider the problem of aggregation of Hicks-Moorsteen productivity indexes. The aggregate indexes are derived in a manner which is justified by economic theory, consistent with previous aggregation results, and maintains analogous decompositions to the original measures. These aggregate Hicks-Moorsteen productivity indexes allow researchers to consider the change in group productivity over time, with and without allowing full reallocation of inputs and outputs. We illustrate these indexes with an application to the productivity of countries, demonstrating the difference between the group index and the frequently used simple average.
    Date: 2014–01
  5. By: Javier Ruiz-Castillo; Rodrigo Costas
    Abstract: This paper exploits a unique 2003-2011 large dataset, indexed by Thomson & Reuters, consisting of 17.2 million disambiguated authors classified into 30 broad scientific fields, as well as the 48.2 million articles resulting from a multiplying strategy in which any article co-authored by two or more persons is wholly assigned as many times as necessary to each of them. We measure individual productivity as the number of articles per person, and as the mean citation per article per person in the same period. We focus on three types of field productivity distributions, corresponding to successful authors with an above average number of publications, as well as the population as a whole and authors with above average productivity when productivity is defined as mean citation per article per person. The main result is that, in spite of wide differences in production and citation practices across fields, field productivity distributions in these three cases share two important features: (i) they are very similar across fields, and (ii) they are highly skewed according to a robust index of skeweness, as well as the Characteristic Scores and Scales approach.
    Date: 2014–01
  6. By: Sasatra, Sudsawasd; Santi, Chaisrisawatsuk
    Abstract: Using panel data of 57 countries during the period of 1995-2012, this study investigates the impact of intellectual property rights (IPR) processes on productivity growth. The IPR processes are decomposed into three stages, innovation process, commercialization process, and IPR protection process. Our results suggest that better IPR protection is directly associated with productivity improvement only in developed economies. In addition, the contribution of IPR processes on growth through foreign direct investment (FDI) appears to be very limited. Only FDI inflows in developed countries which help to create a better innovative capability lead to a higher growth. And in connection with FDI outflows, only IPR protection and commercialization processes are proven to improve productivity in the case of developing countries, particularly when the country acts as the investing country.
    Keywords: Developing countries, Developed countries, Intellectual property, Foreign investments, Productivity, International business enterprises, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Intellectual property rights, Productivity growth
    JEL: F23 O34
    Date: 2014–02
  7. By: Britta Kohlbrecher; Christian Merkl; Daniela Nordmeier
    Abstract: Many labor market models use both idiosyncratic productivity and a vacancy free entry condition. This paper shows that these two features combined generate an equilibrium comovement between matches on the one hand and unemployment and vacancies on the other hand, which is observationally equivalent to a constant returns Cobb-Douglas function commonly used to model match formation. We use German administrative labor market data to show that the matching function correlation solely based on idiosyncratic productivity and free entry is very close to the empirical matching function. Consequently, we argue that standard matching function estimations are seriously biased if idiosyncratic productivity plays a role for match formation. In this case, they are not suitable for the calibration of labor market models
    Keywords: matching function, idiosyncratic productivity, job creation, vacancies
    JEL: E24 E32 J63 J64
    Date: 2014–02
  8. By: Nicholas Bloom; Erik Brynjolfsson; Lucia Foster; Ron Jarmin; Megha Patnaik; Itay Saporta-Eksten; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: The Census Bureau recently conducted a survey of management practices in over 30,000 plants across the US, the first large-scale survey of management in America. Analyzing these data reveals several striking results. First, more structured management practices are tightly linked to higher levels of IT intensity in terms of a higher expenditure on IT and more on-line sales. Likewise, more structured management is strongly linked with superior performance: establishments adopting more structured practices for performance monitoring, target setting and incentives enjoy greater productivity and profitability, higher rates of innovation and faster employment growth. Second, there is a substantial dispersion of management practices across the establishments. We find that 18% of establishments have adopted at least 75% of these more structured management practices, while 27% of establishments adopted less than 50% of these. Third, more structured management practices are more likely to be found in establishments that export, who are larger (or are part of bigger firms), and have more educated employees. Establishments in the South and Midwest have more structured practices on average than those in the Northeast and West. Finally, we find adoption of structured management practices has increased between 2005 and 2010 for surviving establishments, particularly for those practices involving data collection and analysis.
    Keywords: IT, Management, Productivity, Organization
    JEL: M1
    Date: 2014–02
  9. By: Bulent Unel; Elias Dinopoulos
    Abstract: This study proposes a simple theory of trade with endogenous firm productivity, occupational choice, and income inequality. Individuals with different managerial talent choose to become self-employed entrepreneurs or workers. Entrepreneurs enhance firm productivity by investing in managerial capital. The model generates three income classes: low-income workers facing the prospect of unemployment; middle-income entrepreneurs managing domestic firms; and high-income entrepreneurs managing global firms. A reduction in per-unit trade costs raises productivity of global firms, reduces productivity of domestic firms, and worsens personal income distribution by generating labor-market polarization. A reduction in fixed exporting costs reduces productivity of every firm and has an ambiguous effect on personal income distribution. Trade-liberalization policies raise unemployment and improve welfare.
  10. By: Muravyev, Alexander (St. Petersburg University GSOM and IZA); Talavera, Oleksandr (University of Sheffield); Weir, Charlie (Robert Gordon University)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect on company performance of appointing non-executive directors that are also executive directors in other firms. The analysis is based on a new panel dataset of UK companies over 2002-2008. Our findings suggest a positive relationship between the presence of these non-executive directors and the accounting performance of the appointing companies. The effect is stronger if these directors are executive directors in firms that are performing well. We also find a positive effect when these non-executive directors are members of the audit committee. Overall, our results are broadly consistent with the view that non-executive directors that are executives in other firms contribute to both the monitoring and advisory functions of corporate boards.
    Keywords: executive directors, non-executive directors, company performance
    JEL: G34 G39
    Date: 2014–02
  11. By: Aiello, Francesco
    Abstract: In this study several matching procedures have been used to evaluate the impact of public R&D support received by Italian manufacturing firms over the three-year period 2004-2006. Data are from the Capitalia-UniCredit survey and estimations refer to a sample of 605 treated firms untreated are 2414). The evidence is mixed and depends on the objective-variable under consideration. As far as the total amount of R&D investments is concerned, the role of public support to innovation is positive and significant, while no impact has been found when considering the R&D intensity and the share of sales due to innovative-products. These differences in results are quite regular, whatever the matching method applied in the evaluation.
    Keywords: Policy Evaluation; R&D Investments; Innovative Sales; Matching estimators
    JEL: C2 H2 H7 L1 L2 L6 O32 O38
    Date: 2013–12–02
  12. By: OCDE
    Abstract: Les systèmes d’éducation performants et les réformateurs efficaces partagent certaines caractéristiques essentielles : la foi dans le potentiel de tous leurs élèves, une solide volonté politique, et la capacité de toutes les parties prenantes à déployer des efforts durables et concertés pour atteindre leurs objectifs d’amélioration. Les pays/économies qui ont amélioré leur performance en compréhension de l’écrit au fil des cycles PISA y sont parvenus en réduisant le pourcentage d’élèves peu performants, en augmentant celui des élèves très performants, et/ou en atténuant l’impact du milieu socio-économique des élèves sur la performance de ces derniers.
    Date: 2013–11
  13. By: Leonardo Becchetti (University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Rocco Ciciretti (University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Ambrogio Dalo (CEIS University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Stefano Herzel (University of Rome Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: We investigate the performance of Socially Responsible Funds (SRFs) and Conventional Funds (CFs) in different market segments during the 1992-2012 period. From an unbalanced sample of more that 22,000 funds, we define a matched sample using a beta-distance measure to match any SRF with the \nearest neighbor" CF in terms of risk factors. Using this novel matching approach and a recursive analysis, we identify several switch points in the lead/lag relationship between the two investment styles over time in different market segments (geographical area and size). A relevant finding of our analysis is that SRFs played an "insurance role" outperforming CFs during the 2007 global financial crisis.
    Keywords: Socially Responsible Investment Fund; Jensen's Alpha; Global Financial Crisis.
    JEL: D84 E44 F30 G17 C53
    Date: 2014–02–18

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.