New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2014‒08‒02
ten papers chosen by

  1. Does Rising Import Competition Harm Local Firm Productivity in Less Advanced Economies? Evidence from Vietnam's Manufacturing Sector By Tinh Doan; Son Nguyen; Tuyen Tran; Huong Vu; Steven Lim
  2. Efficiency of the Services Sector: a Parametric Approach By Gisela Di Meglio; Stefano Visintin
  3. The effect of land fragmentation on labor allocation and the economic diversity of farm households: The case of Vietnam By Nguyen, Huy
  4. The Management of Organisations as a Target for Productivity Gains in Australia: Intellectual Assets By Christina Boedker; Kieron Meagher; Richard Vidgen; Julie Cogin; Jan Mouritsen
  5. International R&D spillovers and unobserved common shocks By Diego-Ivan Ruge-Leiva
  6. Export diversity or focus? What strategy is best for first-time internationalizing SMEs from an emerging market? By Desislava Dikova; Andreja Jaklic; Anze Burger; Aliaz Kuncic
  7. How important is building energy efficiency in markets with cold winters? Pricing evidence from Finland By Fuerst, Franz; Oikarinen, Elias
  8. Energy Efficiency and Market Efficiency in Belgium: Are More Energy Efficient Homes Rewarded in the Property Market? By Lyons, Ronan
  9. How Does an Increase in Energy Efficiency Affect Housing Prices? A Case Study of a Renovation By McLean, Aliz; Horvath, Ã?ron; Kiss, Hubert Janos
  10. The value of energy efficiency in the real estate market of Northern Italy By Bonifaci, Pietro; Copiello, Sergio

  1. By: Tinh Doan (University of Waikato); Son Nguyen (VNU University of Economics and Business); Tuyen Tran (VNU University of Economics and Business); Huong Vu (University of Waikato); Steven Lim (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether rising import penetration has an effect on the productivity of domestic firms. The study uses data on a 10-year unbalanced panel of firms in the manufacturing sector in Vietnam from 2000 to 2009. Panel and instrumental variable methods are used to control for firm heterogeneity and endogeneity of import penetration. We find significantly negative effects of import competition on local firms’ productivity. Further investigation on the basis of firm size and industry technology levels shows that SMEs are more adversely affected, but that industry technology level does not matter.
    Keywords: import penetration; productivity; Vietnam
    JEL: F19 L25 P45
    Date: 2014–07–11
  2. By: Gisela Di Meglio (Departamento de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico II (Economía Cuantitativa) (Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II (Quantitative Economics)), Instituto Complutense de Analisis Economico (ICAE). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales (Faculty of Economics and Business), Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Complutense University of Madrid)); Stefano Visintin (University of Amsterdam. Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies. The Netherlands)
    Abstract: The question if countries are achieving their maximum production given resource allocation is at the very centre of contemporary debates. The issue becomes even more relevant when directed to service activities, due to their cardinal role in modern societies. However, hardly any studies perform cross-country efficiency comparison of service sectors at aggregated level. The paper aims at measuring and comparing technical efficiency of (total and market) services across 16 developed economies during the past three decades. The empirical estimations are performed by means of frontier parametric techniques applied to both panel data and cross-sectional data. Benchmark figures, useful for cross-country comparison and policy analysis, are provided for efficiency scores and for their evolution across time.
    Keywords: Service sector; Efficiency; Parametric methods; Panel data; Benchmarking.
    JEL: C14 D24 L80
    Date: 2014–07
  3. By: Nguyen, Huy
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impacts of land fragmentation on economic diversity of farm households in Vietnam. To develop the empirical analysis, a model is presented in which the estimated impact of land fragmentation on economic diversification allows for non-neutral technical change. The paper tests the theoretical predictions of this model by providing empirical evidence of the impact of land fragmentation on farm and nonfarm outcomes such as labour supply, profits, labour intensity and productivity. By using different methods aimed at verifying and checking the consistency of the results, we find that land consolidation may reduce farm labour supply, labour intensity, and improve farm profits and productivity. Similarly, it may release more farm labour to nonfarm sectors and increase nonfarm profits. The empirical results show that factor-biased technical change plays an important role in explaining the impact of agricultural technical change on economic diversification in Vietnam.
    Keywords: Agricultural technical change, land fragmentation, land consolidation, labour allocation, and elasticity of substitution, nonfarm sectors, and economic diversification
    JEL: D13 J22 O3 Q18
    Date: 2014–07–23
  4. By: Christina Boedker; Kieron Meagher; Richard Vidgen; Julie Cogin; Jan Mouritsen
    Abstract: Discussion around total factor productivity gains for the Australian Economy often focuses on infrastructure bottlenecks, technology adoption, competition and labour market flexibility. Although a potential area for gains, management is typically omitted from the public policy debate because it is considered too hard to quantify and as a result there is no concrete case for improvement. In this paper we describe our approach to measuring management as a productivity driver in service firms, developed as part of a study commissioned by the Australian Commonwealth Government. Management, as measured by internal stocks of intellectual assets are significantly related with higher productivity: our analysis predicts that a low performing firm could realise an increase in productivity of up to 13.3% if it were to improve its intellectual asset. However, after controlling for intellectual assets competition and ownership structure are not significant determinants of firm level productivity. We also discuss policy initiatives available to policy makers.
    Keywords: productivity, service industries, public policy, intellectual assets, management
    Date: 2014–07
  5. By: Diego-Ivan Ruge-Leiva
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of the domestic and foreign R&D weighted by bilateral imports on productivity accounting for the heterogeneous impact of unobserved micro and macroeconomic common shocks, which are modeled in a multifactor error structure. Using a panel of 50 economies from 1970-2011, I find that when unobserved common shocks are not regarded, as has been done by the literature in this area, estimates of domestic R&D and foreign R&D might be biased and inconsistent. Once unobserved common shocks are accounted for, by allowing for heterogeneous technology coefficients, significant estimates become more sizable, consistent and not seriously biased in most cases. However, these estimates might be capturing not only returns to domestic R&D and trade-related knowledge spillovers, but also unobserved common spillovers and other effects. This indicates that knowledge spillovers and effects of unknown form cannot be easily separated. Therefore, unobserved common shocks should be considered when estimating returns to domestic R&D and international R&D spillovers.
    Keywords: Productivity, Spillovers, Cross-Section Dependence, Unobserved Common Shocks.
    Date: 2014–07
  6. By: Desislava Dikova; Andreja Jaklic; Anze Burger; Aliaz Kuncic (Institute for International Business/WU Vienna; Faculty of Social Sciences/University of Ljubliana; Faculty of Social Sciences/University of Ljubliana; Economic Development and Globalization Division/United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia)
    Abstract: The question how much internationalization is beneficial for emerging-market small and medium enterprises (EM SMEs) remains challenging for both international business (IB) scholars and managers. We explore export strategies of first time exporters and focus on the scope of EM SMEs internationalization activities. We tackle the question whether more focused or more diversified internationalization through exporting is beneficial for EM SMEs. We examine the impact of foreign market (geographic) diversification, product diversification and export intensity on firm performance of an entire population of EM SMEs from an emerging east European economy. In addition, we test whether a complex export strategy - an export strategy of simultaneous product- and geographic export diversification - is beneficial for EM SMEs. We use a panel population data of first time Slovenian exporters in the period 1994-2012. We find that diversified internationalization, both in terms of product- and foreign market diversity, and export intensity significantly improve productivity and sales performance for EM SMEs. Furthermore, EM SMEs with complex export strategies enjoy significantly improved productivity and sales performance.
    Keywords: first-time exporters, export performance, export diversification
    Date: 2014–07
  7. By: Fuerst, Franz; Oikarinen, Elias
    Abstract: This study uses a unique dataset of the Finnish housing market to investigate the hypothesised link between energy efficiency and house prices. It explores the following research questions: 1) Does the energy efficiency rating of a dwelling have an independent impact on its price and if so, how large is the price effect? 2) Does the energy efficiency rating affect the liquidity of housing? 3) Does a high energy efficiency rating always translate into lower maintenance costs (and vice versa)? 4) Has the capitalization of energy efficiency ratings into prices changed during 2006-2012, as the rating system has matured and the awareness of the rating system has grown? 5) Do the lower maintenance costs induced by energy efficiency fully capitalise into house prices? Controlling for a large number of spatial and property characteristics, we find that a low energy efficiency rating affects the price negatively but do not detect a significant premium for higher-rated buildings in most estimations.
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Lyons, Ronan
    Abstract: Residential buildings account for a significant proportion of all emissions of greenhouse gases. It is the aim of EU policy to reduce emissions by up to 95% by 2050. This means that the energy efficiency of the stock of residential property will need to improve dramatically. But will such improvements be rewarded in the property market?Using a dataset of Belgian property listings from 2012, this research explores the extent to which energy efficiency is rewarded in the various sales and lettings segments of the Belgian property market. The study further investigates whether the premium to energy efficiency varies across Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels. Lastly, the detailed natured of the CPEB energy efficiency rating and large dataset allow an investigation of non-linearities in the energy efficiency premium, a heretofore unexplored aspect of the relationship between energy efficiency and accommodation costs.
    Date: 2013
  9. By: McLean, Aliz; Horvath, Ã?ron; Kiss, Hubert Janos
    Abstract: This paper presents a case study from Hungary on the effect of greater energy efficiency on residential housing prices, using a dataset on real estate transactions. The sample consists of all transactions from 2003 to mid-2012 in a treatment and a control group in Budapest's third district.The paper uses a difference-in-differences framework to test whether prices in a large block of flats - the largest in Hungary - which underwent major energy-efficiency related renovation developed differently following the renovation than prices in comparable, neighbouring blocks. Our results show that the renovation resulted in prices 9.42% higher than they would have been absent the renovation, which amounts to over 1 million Hungarian forints on the average flat. This can be contrasted with around 70 thousand forints in yearly energy savings and the 1.3 million forint cost of the renovation per flat. The latter implies that outside funding may also be required to make investment into energy-efficient renovation worthwhile.
    Date: 2013
  10. By: Bonifaci, Pietro; Copiello, Sergio
    Abstract: In the last years several studies about the relationship between buildings' energy performance and residential property prices in Europe have been published. Nevertheless, there is a lack of studies regarding the Italian real estate market, probably due to the difficulties to access official data on property characteristics and transactions prices.Following the recast of European Commission's Energy Performance of Building Directive (2010/31/EU), since 2012, in Italy, is mandatory to provide information about energy performance on the real estate advertisements for the sale of a property, including energy label and CO2 emissions. Buildings are rated on a scale A to G, with A being the highest rating.The purpose of this research is to evaluate the impact of buildings' energy performance, as expressed by Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), on the prices of residential properties in the city of Padua, representative of medium-size cities in Northern Italy.The study is based on a hedonic price model which aims to estimate the impact on house prices due to the improvement of energy performance. The study adopts a semi-logarithmic regression model. The analysis is performed on a dataset of nearly a thousand dwellings, listed on websites for property sales.The model considers as dependent variable the offer prices of dwellings, and includes indipendent variables that represent attributes such as location, typology, dimension, mainteinance condition and other features, as well as the energy label.The dwellings are all located in the city of Padua, with the exclusion of some areas of the city centre, in which the location variable could prevail on the others independent variables. The data collection period lasted from July to September 2013.Empirical findings show a positive and statistically significant relationship between buildings with better EPCs and house prices. Furthermore the relationship is stronger from class G to C, than from class C to A. The price premium for a higher energy rating is tested for robustness and consistency. Nevertheless, the study reveals a negative gap between the net present value of potential future savings and the estimated price premium.
    Date: 2014

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