nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2015‒02‒22
27 papers chosen by

  1. A Detailed Analysis of Productivity Trends in the Canadian Forest Products Sector By Ricardo de Avillez
  2. The effect of schooling on worker productivity: Evidence from a South African industry panel By Francis Teal; Rulof P. Burger
  3. Reallocation, Competition and Productivity: Evidence from a Financial Liberalization Episode By Liliana Varela
  4. A New Data Set of Quarterly Total Factor Productivity in the Canadian Business Sector By Shutao Cao; Sharon Kozicki
  5. Trade Liberalization, Selection, and Productivity in a Supply Managed Economy By Chernoff, Alex W.
  6. The Impact of the Oil Boom on Canada's Labour Productivity Performance By Andrew Sharpe; Bert Waslander
  7. Effects of Corruption on Efficiency of the European Airports By Laingo M. Randrianarisoa; Denis Bolduc; Yap Yin Choo; Tae H.Oum; Jia Yan
  8. Measuring Job-Finding Rates and Matching Efficiency with Heterogeneous Jobseekers By Hall, Robert E.; Schulhofer-Wohl, Sam
  9. Efficiency and competition in the Dutch non-life insurance industry: Effects of the 2006 health care reform By Jaap Bikker; Adelina Popescu
  10. The Norwegian productivity puzzle – not so puzzling after all? By Thomas von Brasch
  11. Health information, treatment, and worker productivity: Experimental evidence from Malaria testing and treatment among Nigerian sugarcane cutters By Andrew Dillon; Jed Friedman; Pieter Serneels
  12. Input-output-based genuine value added and genuine productivity in China's industrial sectors (1995-2010) By Gao, Yuning; Zheng, Yunfeng; Hu, Angang; Meng, Bo
  13. We Want them all Covered! Collective Bargaining and Firm Heterogeneity. Theory and Evidence from Germany By Florian Baumann; Tobias Brändle
  14. The productivity effect of migrants : wage cost advantages and heterogeneous firms By Lucht, Michael; Haas, Anette
  15. Agricultural Technology and Structural Change By Markus Eberhardt; Dietrich Vollrath
  16. Finding Balance 2014: Benchmarking the Performance of State-Owned Enterprises in Island Countries By Asian Development Bank (ADB); ; ;
  17. Structural modernization and development traps : an empirical approach By Lavopa A.; Szirmai A.
  18. A Decomposition and Comparison Analysis of International Water Footprint Time Series By Roberto Roson; Martina Sartori
  19. Knowledge base combinations and innovation performance in Swedish regions By Grillitsch, Markus; Martin, Roman; Srholec, Martin
  20. The Online Supplement to “International R&D Spillovers and other Unobserved Common Spillovers and Shocks” By Ruge-Leiva, Diego-Ivan
  21. What Can be Done to Reinvigorate U.S. Agricultural Research? By Pardey, Philip G.; Alston, Julian M.; Chan-Kang, Connie
  22. The Objective Measurement of World-Leading Research By Oswald, Andrew J.
  23. Estimating the Productivity Gains of Importing By Michael Peters; Claire Lelarge; Joaquin Blaum
  24. R&D returns, spillovers, and firm incentives : evidence from China By Goh, Chorching; Li, Wei; Xu, Lixin Colin
  25. Bank market power and firm performance By Manthos D. Delis; Sotirios Kokas; Steven Ongena
  26. Convergence Across Provincial Economies in Canada: Trends, Drivers, and Implications By Evan Capeluck
  27. On the Efficiency of the World Capital Allocation By Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis; Juan Sanchez; Alexander Monge

  1. By: Ricardo de Avillez
    Abstract: The Canadian forest products sector has had an above-average productivity performance in the 2000-2012 period, driven in particular by the wood product manufacturing subsector. While the forestry and logging subsector has also benefited from strong productivity gains, the productivity performance of the paper manufacturing subsector has been far from impressive, especially in the post-2008 period. This report provides a detailed analysis of output, input and productivity trends in the Canadian forest products sector. It also looks at the key drivers of productivity in the sector, investigating potential barriers to productivity growth and discussing policies that could enable faster growth. Given the increasing role of countries with low-labour costs in several forest product markets, maintaining robust productivity growth is an imperative for the Canadian forest products sector if it wants to remain competitive internationally. In this sense, the report recommends renewed focus on human and physical capital investment, as well as on R&D spending.
    Keywords: Productivity, Growth, Forestry, Canada, Research and Development, Capital Intensity, Human Capital, Physical Capital, Wood Product Manufacturing, Paper Manufacuturing, Forest Products Sector
    JEL: O13 O30 O51 J00 E23 Q20 D24 J08
    Date: 2014–05
  2. By: Francis Teal; Rulof P. Burger
    Abstract: Schooling is typically found to be highly correlated with individual earnings in African countries.  However, African firm or sector level studies have failed to identify a similarly strong effect for average worker schooling levels on productivity.  This has been interpreted as evidence that schooling does not increase productivity levels, but may also indicate that the schooling effect cannot be identified when using a schooling measure with limited variation.  Using a novel South African industry-level dataset that spans a longer period than typical firm-level panels, this paper identifies a large ad significant schooling effect.  This result is highly robust across different estimators that allow for correlated industry effects, measurement error, heterogeneous production technologies and cross-sectional dependence.
    Keywords: Returns to schooling, human capital, labour demand, panel data econometrics, South Africa
    JEL: J24 D24 C23
    Date: 2014–01–23
  3. By: Liliana Varela (University of Houston)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of capital market distortions on misallocation, competition and aggregate productivity. Focusing on distortions in the access to international borrowing across firms, I show that a reduction in these distortions leads to an increase in aggregate productivity through two different channels. First, previously credit-constrained firms respond to better financing terms by increasing their investments in technology, a reallocation effect. Second, non-constrained firms also expand their investments in technology due to increased competition, a pro-competitive effect. I provide evidence for these two channels using firm-level census data around the deregulation of international financial flows in Hungary.
    Keywords: TFP, firm-level distortions, financial frictions, market competition, financial liberalization
    JEL: F36 F43 O47
    Date: 2015–02–11
  4. By: Shutao Cao; Sharon Kozicki
    Abstract: In this paper, a quarterly growth-accounting data set is built for the Canadian business sector with the top-down approach of Diewert and Yu (2012). Inputs and outputs are measured and used to estimate the quarterly total factor productivity (TFP). In addition, the estimates of annual TFP growth by Diewert and Yu (2012) are revised and updated to reflect changes in the new national economic accounts and national balance-sheet accounts. The quarterly series also provide suitable data for studying short-run dynamics. To demonstrate, a simple vector autoregressive model is estimated to study the responses of hours worked and investment to TFP shocks. Hours worked drop and investment rises in reaction to a positive TFP shock.
    Keywords: Productivity
    JEL: O47 D24 F43
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Chernoff, Alex W.
    Abstract: In this paper I use farm-level data from the Quebec dairy industry to estimate the relationship between productivity and participation in the Commercial Export Milk (CEM) program (2000-2003). Under the CEM program farmers could sell milk without production quota and faced a farm price that was approximately half of the domestic price under supply management. I find a positive correlation between participation in the CEM program and farm-level total factor productivity (TFP). I then use a difference-in-difference research design with inverse propensity weights to test for causality in the relationship between participation in the CEM program and TFP. I find evidence of a positive and statistically significant effect in two of four regression specifications. A number of economists have argued that the Canadian dairy industry could benefit from trade liberalization through export market growth and returns to scale in production. My results suggest that trade liberalization would also lead to additional productivity and welfare gains from farm-level selection and the direct effects from exposure to a competitive pricing environment.
    Keywords: Firm heterogeneity, Trade liberalization, Productivity, Agriculture, Supply Manage- ment, International Relations/Trade, Public Economics, D24, F14, Q18,
    Date: 2015–01–16
  6. By: Andrew Sharpe; Bert Waslander
    Abstract: The objective of this report is to evaluate the impact of the oil and gas industry on labour productivity growth in Canada since 2000 through an exploration of the various channels, both direct and indirect, by which the oil and gas sector affects aggregate productivity. The report sheds light on the paradoxical lack of a direct negative contribution of the oil and gas sector to aggregate labour productivity growth despite the very large fall in productivity experienced by the sector. It highlights the divergent productivity growth paths for the oil and gas sectors in Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador, which drove the aggregate productivity performance of these two provinces. The report also discusses how developments in the oil and gas industry, notably the increase in the price and production of petroleum, have affected productivity growth in other parts of the economy. It finds that the oil boom has had a substantial negative effect on the cost competitiveness of manufacturing by putting upward pressure on the value of the Canadian dollar – the so-called Dutch Disease. Counteracting this are positive effects associated with demand and incomes generated by the oil boom, as well as increases in spending on R&D and education by the major oil-producing provinces.
    Keywords: Canada, Oil Boom, Oil, Natural Gas, Energy Sector, Labour Productivity, Dutch Disease, Alberta, Newfoundland, Labrador, Oil and Gas Industry, Productivity Growth, Productivity
    JEL: J24 O47 O51 N72
    Date: 2014–12
  7. By: Laingo M. Randrianarisoa; Denis Bolduc; Yap Yin Choo; Tae H.Oum; Jia Yan
    Abstract: The effect of corruption on airport productive efficiency is analyzed using an unbalanced panel data of major European airports from 2003 to 2009. We first compute the residual (or net) variable factor productivity using the multilateral index number method and then apply robust cluster random effects model in order to evaluate the importance of corruption. We find strong evidence that corruption has negative impacts on airport operating efficiency; and the effects depend on the ownership form of the airport. The results suggest that airports under mixed public-private ownership with private majority achieve lower levels of efficiency when located in more corrupt countries. They even operate less efficiently than fully and/or majority government owned airports in high corruption environment. We control for economic regulation, competition level and other airports’ characteristics. Our empirical results survive several robustness checks including different control variables, three alternative corruption measures: International Country Risk Guide (ICRG) corruption index, Corruption Perception Index (CPI) and Control of Corruption Index (CCI). The empirical findings have important policy implications for management and ownership structuring of airports operating in countries that suffer from higher levels of corruption.
    Keywords: Corruption effect, European airport operating efficiency, Residual (or net) variable factor productivity, Ownership form, Random effects model
    JEL: L93 R40 H00
    Date: 2015
  8. By: Hall, Robert E. (Stanford University); Schulhofer-Wohl, Sam (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)
    Abstract: Matching efficiency is the productivity of the process for matching jobseekers to available jobs. Job-finding is the output; vacant jobs and active jobseekers are the inputs. Measurement of matching efficiency follows the same principles as measuring a Hicks-neutral index of productivity of production. We develop a framework for measuring matching productivity when the population of jobseekers is heterogeneous. The efficiency index for each type of jobseeker is the monthly job-finding rate for the type adjusted for the overall tightness of the labor market. We find that overall matching efficiency declined over the period, at just below its earlier downward trend. We develop a new approach to measuring matching rates that avoids counting short-duration jobs as successes. And we show that the outward shift in the Beveridge curve in the post-crisis period is the result of pre-crisis trends, not a downward shift in matching efficiency attributable to the crisis.
    Keywords: Matching efficiency; Job-finding rates; Beveridge curve
    JEL: E24 J63
    Date: 2015–02–06
  9. By: Jaap Bikker; Adelina Popescu
    Abstract: This paper investigates the cost efficiency and competitive behaviour of the non-life – or property and casualty – insurance market in the Netherlands over the period 1995-2012. We focus on the 2006 health care reform, where public health care insurance has been included in the non-life insurance sector. We start with estimating unused scale economies and find that after the health care reform in 2006, unused scale economies are, at 21%, much higher than before the reform (4%), pointing to a relative increase of fixed costs. Scale inefficiencies are generally higher for smaller insurance and lower for large insurance companies. As a benchmark, we also estimate scale economies for non-health lines of business (LOB), which range from 5% to 10%. To measure competition directly, we apply a novel approach that estimates the impact of marginal costs as indicator of inefficiency on either market shares or profits. Over time, competition in health insurance has increased significantly, but the inclusion of the (non-competitive) public health care funds in the health insurance sector in 2006 caused a fall in the average level of competitive pressure. After the reform, competition continued to improve. In the non-health LOB non-life insurance, we find similar significant effects of efficiency on both market shares. The non-life effects are weaker than in life insurance, banking and non-financial sectors, suggesting less heavy competition.
    Keywords: competition, concentration, efficiency, non-life insurance, performance conduct structure model, health care insurance, scale economies, scope economies
    Date: 2014–09
  10. By: Thomas von Brasch (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: The Norwegian productivity puzzle is rooted in three seemingly contradictory “facts”: First, Norway is one of the most productive OECD countries. Second, Norway has experienced high growth in productivity. Third, Norway has a relatively low level of R&D intensity. In this article, I show that the first premise of the puzzle is probably false. Explicitly, I demonstrate that labour productivity in Norway is not particularly high when using production purchasing power parities instead of expenditure purchasing power parities to measure mainland GDP in a common currency. The gap between the two measures is traced back to the use of market exchange rates as proxies for relative net export prices in the calculation of expenditure PPPs. In addition, I show that the high growth rate in productivity can be explained by an empirical growth model that takes both R&D capital, human capital and the distance to the technological frontier into account. Based on these results, there is no reason to claim that the development of productivity in Norway represents a puzzle.
    Keywords: Economic growth; Productivity; Index numbers; Aggregation; Price level
    JEL: C43 E01 E31 O47 O57
    Date: 2015–02
  11. By: Andrew Dillon; Jed Friedman; Pieter Serneels
    Abstract: Agricultural and other physically demanding sectors are important sources of growth in developing countries but prevalent diseases such as malaria adversely impact the productivity, labor supply, and occupational choice of workers in these sectors by reducing physical capacity.  This study identifies the impact of malaria on worker earnings, labor supply, and daily productivity by randomizing the temporal order at which piece-rate workers at a large sugarcane plantation in Nigeria are offered malaria testing and treatment.  The results indicate a significant and substantial intent to treat effect of the intervention - the offer of a workplace based malaria testing and treatment program increases worker earnings by approximately 10% over the weeks following the mobile clinic visit.  The study further investigates the effect of health information by contrasting program effects by workers revealed health status.  For workers who test positive for malaria, the treatment of illness increases labor supply, leading to higher earnings.  For workers who test negative, and especially for those workers most likely to be surprised by the healthy diagnosis, the health information also leads to increased earnings via increased productivity.  Possible mechanisms for this response include selection into higher return occupations as a result of changes in the perceived cost of effort.  A model of the worker labor decision that includes health perceptions in the decisions to supply effort suggests that, in endemic settings with poor quality health services, inaccurate health perceptions may lead workers to misallocate labor thus resulting in sub-optimal production and occupational choice.  The results underline the importance of medical treatment but also of access to improved information about one's health status, as the absence of either may lead workers to deliver lower than optimal effort levels in lower return occupations.
    Keywords: malaria, labor supply, labor productivity, randomized experiment
    JEL: I12 J22 J24 O12
    Date: 2014–03–02
  12. By: Gao, Yuning; Zheng, Yunfeng; Hu, Angang; Meng, Bo
    Abstract: The rapid growth of China's economy has brought about huge losses of natural capital in the form of natural resource depletion and damages from carbon emissions. This paper recalculates value added, capital formation, capital stock, and related multifactor productivity in China's industrial sectors by further developing the genuine savings method of the World Bank. The sector-level natural capital loss was calculated using China's official input–output table and their extensions for tracing final consumers. The capital output elasticity in the productivity estimation was adjusted based on these tables. The results show that although the loss of natural capital in China's industrial sectors in terms of value added has slowed, the impacts on their productivity during the past decades is still quite clear.
    Keywords: China, Input-output tables, Economic sector, Productivity
    JEL: C67 E01 O4
    Date: 2015–02
  13. By: Florian Baumann; Tobias Brändle
    Abstract: This paper establishes a link between the extent of collective bargaining and the degree of productivity dispersion within an industry. In a unionised oligopoly model we show that for only small dierences in productivity levels. a sector-union can design a collective wage contract that covers a wide range of heterogeneous firms. In sectors with higher productivity dispersion, an industry union has an incentive to demand firm-level wage contracts with the most productive firms, so that they can prevent low-productivity firms from leaving collective coverage. However, such firm-level contracts may not prevent firms at the lower end of the productivity distribution from avoiding collective coverage in sectors with high productivity dispersion. We test the predictions of the model using German linked employer-employee data between 1996 and 2010 and find support for our theoretical results.
    Keywords: Collective bargaining; trade unions; heterogeneous rms; unionised oligopoly; linked employer-employee data
    JEL: D22 D43 J51
    Date: 2015–01
  14. By: Lucht, Michael; Haas, Anette (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "Empirical evidence for the US shows that migrants increase the productivity of regions. To explain the impact of migrants on the average firm productivity we construct a general equilibrium model with monopolistic competition a la Melitz (2003). We consider heterogeneous firms with different productivity levels and imperfect substitutability between migrants and natives. This gives rise to wage differences between natives and migrants. As a consequence, firms with a higher share of migrants realize wage cost advantages. The heterogeneous distribution of migrants in our model fosters regional disparities. In equilibrium, it depends on the migrant share which kind of firms survives in the market. The only firms to stay in the market are those which are highly productive or able to compensate a lower productivity level through wage cost advantages. We show that a higher migrant share may explain a higher average productivity in a region. The welfare effects for natives are ambiguous." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: R23 J15 J24 J61
    Date: 2015–02–05
  15. By: Markus Eberhardt; Dietrich Vollrath
    Abstract: Using data for 128 countries we document low (high) elasticities of agricultural output with respect to labor in economies within temperate (tropical/highland) climate zones.  Adopting a standard model of structural change we show that this technology heterogeneity determines the speed of structural transformation following changes in agricultural productivity and population size.  Calibration exercises document shifts in sectoral labor allocation and living standards 2-3 times larger in temperate than in otherwise identical equatorial/highland regions for a given productivity shock.  Eliminating technology heterogeneity can account for up to one-fifth of the observed differences in aggregate income per capita across countries.
    Keywords: agricultural development, technology heterogeneity, agro-climatic environment, structural change
    JEL: O47 O11 C23
    Date: 2014–06–03
  16. By: Asian Development Bank (ADB); (Pacific Department, ADB); ;
    Abstract: State-owned enterprises (SOEs) continue to constrain Pacific economies. They absorb scarce capital, suffer low productivity, and often provide high cost and low quality services. SOE reform is vital to create private investment opportunities, reduce the costs of doing business, and improve service delivery. This fourth study of Pacific SOE performance also assesses SOEs’ impact on island countries outside the Pacific. It evaluates SOEs in Cabo Verde, Fiji, Jamaica, the Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tonga—identifying key performance drivers and reform strategies to guide future policy action. Finding Balance was produced by the Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative, a regional technical assistance facility cofinanced by ADB, the Government of Australia, and the New Zealand Government.
    Keywords: state-owned enterprises, public-private partnerships, private sector development, economic growth, Pacific islands, Fiji, the Marshall islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Mauritius, Jamaica, Cabo Verde, community service obligations, competitive neutrality, corporate governance, ownership monitoring, doing business, privatization, commercialization, legislation
    Date: 2014–08
  17. By: Lavopa A.; Szirmai A. (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyse economic development through the lenses of a newly developed index the structural modernization index. This index combines two dimensions that have been widely invoked as prime drivers of economic development namely, structural change and technological catch up. For each country, the index calculates the productivity gap with respect to the world frontier in activities that typically represent the modern part of the economy, and weighs this relative productivity by the employment share of those activities in the total labour force. In doing so, it combines a technological dimension relative productivity and a structural dimension the size of the modern sector thus providing a concise measure of the degree of modernity of an economy. The index is calculated for a large sample of countries over a long time span. Significant efforts have been made to put together a dataset with international comparable data on value added and employment disaggregated by sectors for 100 countries covering the period 1950-2009. The estimates are used to explore the relationship between structural modernization and the so-called poverty and middle-income traps. In analysing this relationship, the interactive nature of structural change and technological catch up is stressed. Important insights are obtained regarding the nature of low and middle-income development traps. Finally, the usefulness of this new index is illustrated when studying the diverse structural trajectories of a set of countries that can be taken as examples of success and failure in the process of economic development.
    Keywords: Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development; Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology; Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights: General; Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence; Economywide Country Studies: General;
    JEL: O11 O14 O30 O47 O50
    Date: 2014
  18. By: Roberto Roson (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari); Martina Sartori (Department of Economics, University Of Milan, Bicocca)
    Abstract: This paper deals with the construction, decomposition and comparison of water footprint time series in 40 countries and one aggregate macro-region, in the period 1995-2009. The analysis of the different “footpaths” allows us to investigate on the possible causes behind the time evolution of water footprints in the various countries. We notice that the physical and economic impact of economic growth on water resources has been significantly lower than what it could have been, for several reasons. First, both production and consumption patterns are shifting away from water intensive goods. Second, a large part of consumed water is actually not blue water, susceptible of alternative uses. Finally, we do not find strong evidence of gains in the economic productivity of water (dollars per water unit) in many countries, but we do find evidence of indirect efficiency gains, related to the composition of factors in the production processes.
    Keywords: Water, Water Footprint, Structural Decomposition, Cross Country Comparison, World Input-Output Database.
    JEL: O13 O57 Q25 Q56
  19. By: Grillitsch, Markus (CIRCLE, Lund University); Martin, Roman (CIRCLE, Lund University); Srholec, Martin (CIRCLE, Lund University & CERGE-EI, Charles University and Economics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic)
    Abstract: The literature on geography of innovation suggests that innovation outcomes depend on the type of knowledge base employed by firms. While knowledge bases are distinct categories with regards to the nature and the rational of knowledge creation, existing studies also stress that innovation usually involves more than one knowledge base. In fact, new ideas often occur when analytical, synthetic and symbolic knowledge intertwines. It remains unclear, though, which combinations of knowledge bases are most conducive to innovation at the level of the firm, and how this is influenced by the knowledge bases available in the regional milieu. Therefore the contribution of this paper is threefold: i) to measure knowledge bases of firms and their regional heterogeneity in a more comprehensive way than the existing empirical literature has been able to do so far, ii) to quantitatively assess the impact of combinations of knowledge bases on innovation output, iii) to analyze the interplay between firm- and region-level knowledge bases (and combinations thereof) in generating innovations. Empirically, the paper applies econometric analysis on firm- and region-level data from Sweden. The knowledge base of firms is captured using detailed occupational data derived from linked employer-employee datasets that is merged at the firm-level with information from Community Innovation Surveys. The empirical analysis reveals in a quantitative way the extent to which the knowledge base combinations affect innovativeness of firms.
    Keywords: Knowledge bases; knowledge combination; regions; innovation performance; microdata; cross-level interaction; Sweden
    JEL: O30 O31 R10
    Date: 2015–02–08
  20. By: Ruge-Leiva, Diego-Ivan
    Abstract: This document provides a review of the literature on International R&D Spillovers and includes unit root test results, the additional results of static and dynamic models, plots of all series, Stata routines, and tables of the data collection on Gross Expenditure on R&D (GERD) as a percentage of GDP, as found in the study by Ruge-Leiva (2015) "International R&D Spillovers and other Unobserved Common Spillovers and Shocks.”
    Keywords: Productivity, Cross-Section Dependence, Unobserved Common Spillovers and Shocks.
    JEL: C23 C4 O11 O30
    Date: 2015–01–20
  21. By: Pardey, Philip G.; Alston, Julian M.; Chan-Kang, Connie
    Abstract: Over the past century and more, research and development (R&D) has contributed to a transformation of the U.S. food and agricultural sectors. R&D has fueled productivity growth, enabling U.S. farmers to do more with less. It has helped U.S. farmers to remain competitive in increasingly integrated global commodity markets and better achieve an environmentally sustainable supply of biofuels, fiber, and feed, as well as safe, nutritious, and affordable food. But support for U.S. public agricultural R&D has waned at a time when U.S. farm productivity growth is slowing. In what follows we describe the evolving patterns of support for public agricultural and food R&D, the shifting emphasis of spending within the broad portfolio, and some potential policy approaches to revitalize U.S. agricultural research.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy,
    Date: 2013–06
  22. By: Oswald, Andrew J. (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: How should the productivity of research universities be measured? This task is difficult but important. The recent Research Excellence Framework in the UK, which was based on peer review, suggests that there has been a marked improvement in UK academic research in economics and in many other subjects. But is it possible to design an objective check on, and measure of, a nation's 'world-leading research'? Following a variant of a method developed in Oswald (2010), I examine citations data on 450 genuinely world-leading journal articles over the Research Excellence Framework period 2008-2014. The UK produced 54 of these articles, namely, 12%. This compares to 45 articles, namely 10%, using the same methodology over the Research Assessment Exercise period 2001-2008. I conclude that it is possible to produce an objective measure of world-leading research, and that UK economics did show a small improvement.
    Keywords: economics of science, evaluation, European economics, United Kingdom, peer-review, Research Excellence Framework (REF), citations, Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)
    JEL: J0 D24 I23 J24 O32
    Date: 2015–02
  23. By: Michael Peters (London School of Economics); Claire Lelarge (INSEE); Joaquin Blaum (Brown University)
    Abstract: Trade in intermediate inputs raises firm productivity as it enables producers to access both better and novel inputs of production. The question is: by how much? This paper develops a framework to answer this question. We explicitly allow for (i) firms sourcing from multiple countries, (ii) heterogeneity in the quality of these varieties, (iii) heterogeneity of fixed costs at the firm level and (iv) non-homothetic import demand. We provide direct evidence that all these aspects are empirically important. Our main results are as follows. First, we derive a simple formula, which is a consistent estimator for the distribution of productivity gains of past liberalization episodes and can be implemented in readily available firm-level data. In particular, the formula only requires knowledge of firms' domestic expenditure share and the elasticity of substitution between domestic and foreign varieties, which we obtain via production function estimation and exogenous variation in import spending. Secondly, we show that to perform counterfactual policy analysis the full model needs to be estimated. With homothetic demand, this is possible using simple linear econometric techniques. When non-homotheticities are allowed for, we need to take into account the entire non-linear structure of the theory. For the population of French importers, we find that the average firm-level gains relative to autarky are XX% [estimation in progress]. A 10% reduction in trade barriers increases firm productivity by XX% [estimation in progress] on average.
    Date: 2014
  24. By: Goh, Chorching; Li, Wei; Xu, Lixin Colin
    Abstract: This paper uses a new data set of 12,000 firms in China to estimate the returns to research and development investment and its spillover effects, and investigates how the returns to research and development depend on firm incentives. For the firms in the sample, the results show that on average firm output increases around 0.4 yuan for each additional 1 yuan spent on research and development in the previous year, and there is high research and development return regardless of whether the analysis deals with the endogeneity of research and development intensity. Interestingly, the marginal return to research and development is significantly higher in firms whose chief executive officers were not appointed by the government and lower when the chief executive officer's pay is directly related to annual performance. The return to research and development is higher in relatively poor regions and for firms with worse access to finance. There are also non-trivial research and development spillover effects.
    Keywords: E-Business,Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems,Scientific Research&Science Parks,Science Education,Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems
    Date: 2015–02–01
  25. By: Manthos D. Delis; Sotirios Kokas; Steven Ongena
    Abstract: Does bank market power affect firm performance? We answer this question by examining 25,236 syndicated loan facilities granted between 2000 and 2010 by 296 banks to 9,029 US non-financial firms. Even though recently poorly-performing firms obtain loans from banks with more market power, we find that in the year after loan origination bank market power positively affects firm performance, albeit mostly for moderate levels of market power. Our estimates thus suggest that a moderate level of bank market power not only facilitates access to credit by poorly-performing firms but also boosts the performance of those firms that obtain it.
    Keywords: Bank market power, Lerner index, Firm performance, Syndicated loans
    Date: 2015–02
  26. By: Evan Capeluck
    Abstract: Canada has long been characterized by significant regional disparities. Such inequalities can create and exacerbate regional tensions and lead to demands for further redistribution of wealth. The objective of this study is to report on the current state of provincial differences in twenty-five economic variables related to income, productivity, the labour market, well-being and fiscal capacity, and to analyze trends toward or away from convergence for these economic variables. This report also examines the factors influencing these trends and discusses the implications for the federation.
    Keywords: Regional Disparities, Inequality, Regional, Redistribution, Income, Productivity, Labour Markets, Well-Being, Fiscal Capacity, Convergence, Federation
    JEL: N92 O47 J20 J10 J30 J40
    Date: 2014–05
  27. By: Raul Santaeulalia-Llopis (Washington University in St. Louis); Juan Sanchez (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis); Alexander Monge (Penn State University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we use an extended version of the neoclassical multi-country growth model to explore the efficiency in the allocation of physical capital across countries. In our framework, the observed marginal product of capital (MPK) can differ across countries because of two different factors: (a) differences in the countries' production functions, specifically output shares of mobile factors; and (b) differences in the distortions (wedges) in the use of capital across countries. We use the model to evaluate the importance of these two factors in accounting for the cross-country dispersion in the implied MPKs over the last 40 years and assess how efficiently capital is and has been allocated. Our findings indicate that in the last two decades the world has decidedly moved in the direction of efficiency. Moreover, we find that a realigment of capital to countries with higher TFP and capital-output shares accounts for a large fraction of the gains in efficiency. However, we find that even today, distortions (factor b) are still quantitatively significant and that the global output gains are would be significant if those distortions were eliminated. The gains are even larger in policy counterfactuals with capital accumulation. We also find a large degree of heterogeneity. For example, we find significant output loses for countries which heavily distort international trade and for countries with weak financial markets.
    Date: 2014

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