nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2015‒12‒01
twenty-one papers chosen by

  1. R&D and productivity in OECD firms and industries: A hierarchical meta-regression analysis By Ugur, Mehmet; Trushin, Eshref; Solomon, Edna; Guidi, Francesco
  2. Services in Developing Economies: A new chance for catching-up? By Gisela Di Meglio; Jorge Gallego; Andrés Maroto; Maria Savona
  3. Bankruptcy and Cross-Country Differences in Productivity By Julian Neira
  4. Workforce diversity, productivity and wages in France: the role of managers vs. the proprietary structure of the firm By Andrea Garnero
  5. Reap What You Sow: Agricultural Productivity, Structural Change and Urbanization By Danny McGowan; Chrysovalantis Vasilakis
  6. Do firms learn by exporting or learn to export? Evidence from Senegalese manufacturing plant By Cié Fatou; Ji Eun Choi
  7. Firm Productivity Growth and Skill By Maré, Dave C.; Hyslop, Dean; Fabling, Richard
  8. Does corporate environmental performance change through environmental policies between pre and post 2011? Evidence from firm-level data in Germany and Japan By Lara Makowski; Qi Wu; Michiyuki Yagi; Katsuhiko Kokubu
  9. Inverted-U relationship between innovation and survival: Evidence from firm-level UK data By Ugur, Mehmet; Trushin, Eshref; Solomon, Edna
  10. Frontier Firms, Technology Diffusion and Public Policy: Micro Evidence from OECD Countries By Dan Andrews; Chiara Criscuolo; Peter N. Gal
  11. Rethinking Baselines: An Efficiency-based Approash to Better REDD+ Governance By Majah-Leah V. Ravago; James A. Roumasset
  12. An Impact Evaluation of Investment in Infrastructure: The Case of the Railway Connection in Uzbekistan By Yoshino, Naoyuki; Abidhadjaev, Umid
  13. Social Networks and Labour productivity: A survey of recent theory and evidence By Farzana Afridi; Amrita Dhillon; Swati Sharma
  14. Productivity, resource endowment and trade performance of the wood product sector. By Bertrand M. Koebel; Anne-Laure Levet; Phu Nguyen-Van; Indradev Purohoo; Ludovic Guinard
  15. Anatomy of a performance management system: the elusive path from targets to productivity By Carl Deschamps; Jan Mattijs
  16. Farm Performance during the Transition to Organic Production: Analysis and Planning Tools Based on Minnesota Farm Record Data By Delbridge, Timothy A.; King, Robert P.; Nordquist, Dale W.; DiGiacomo, Gigi; Moynihan, Meg
  17. Supply Function Competition and Exporters: Nonparametric Identification and Estimation of Productivity Distributions and Marginal Costs By Quang Vuong; Ayse Pehlivan
  18. Economic and mathematical modeling of the costs of production in industrial enterprises (english version) By Dudin, Mikhail Nikolaevich; Lyasnikov, Nikolaj Vasil'evich; Dzhurabaeva, Gulnora Kahramanovna; Dzhurabaev, Kahraman Tursunovich
  19. Cartels Destroy Productivity: Evidence from the New Deal Sugar Manufacturing Cartel, 1934-74 By Bridgman, Benjamin; Qi, Shi; Schmitz, James A.
  20. Economies of Scale, the Lunch-Breakfast Ratio, and the Cost of USDA School Breakfasts and Lunches By Ollinger, Michael; Guthrie, Joanne
  21. Embodied energy in agricultural inputs. Incorporating a historical perspective By Eduardo Aguilera; Gloria I. Guzmán; Juan Infante-Amate; David Soto; Roberto García-Ruiz; Antonio Herrera; Inmaculada Villa; Eva Torremocha; Guiomar Carranza; Manuel González de Molina

  1. By: Ugur, Mehmet; Trushin, Eshref; Solomon, Edna; Guidi, Francesco
    Abstract: Effects of R&D investment on frim/industry productivity have been investigated widely thanks to pioneering contributions by Zvi Griliches and others in late 1970s and early 1980s. We aim to establish where the balance of the evidence lies and what factors may explain the variation in the research findings. Using 1,258 estimates from 65 primary studies and hierarchical meta-regression models, we report that the average elasticity and rate-of-return estimates are both positive, but smaller than those reported in prior narrative reviews and meta-analysis studies. We discuss the likely sources of upward bias in prior reviews, investigate the sources of heterogeneity in the evidence base, and discuss the implications for future research. Overall, this study contributes to existing knowledge by placing the elasticity and rate-of-return estimates under a critical spot light and providing empirically-verifiable explanations for the variation in the evidence base.
    Keywords: R&D, knowledge capital, productivity, meta-analysis
    JEL: C8 D24 O30 O32
    Date: 2015–08–11
  2. By: Gisela Di Meglio (Department of Economic Analysis II Complutense University of Madrid, Spain); Jorge Gallego (Department of Economic Analysis Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain.); Andrés Maroto (Department of Economic Analysis Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain.); Maria Savona (Science Policy Research Unit University of Sussex, UK.)
    Abstract: The paper analyses the potential contribution of services as a driving force of economic growth in developing countries within a Kaldorian framework. In doing so, we revisit Kaldor Growth Laws and econometrically test them for a number of economic activities (including four service branches) across twenty-nine developing countries from Asia, Latin-America and Sub-Saharan Africa during a time span of three decades (1975-2005). Panel data estimations are complemented with a decomposition of labour productivity growth by means of a shift-share analysis. The results induce to question the traditional role posed to services as unlikely drivers of productivity growth in developing economies. As a matter of fact, business services seem to allow productivity growth by the same Kaldorian mechanisms that have traditionally made manufacturing the key driver of growth.
    Keywords: structural change, growth, development, productivity, Kaldor
    JEL: L16 O14 O47 C23
    Date: 2015–11
  3. By: Julian Neira (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)
    Abstract: Using a harmonized dataset constructed from national statistical agencies’ data for a sample of OECD countries, I document a systematic positive relationship between i) aggregate productivity, ii) the employment share by large firms and iii) the proportion of large firms in the economy. I propose that differences in bankruptcy procedures can explain this relationship. In a model of financial intermediation and informational frictions, I show that as bankruptcy procedures worsen — measured by the amount a lender can recover from bankrupt borrowers — lenders respond by shifting their portfolio of loans to smaller (less productive) enterprises. This finding is supported by empirical evidence: across countries, efficient bankruptcy procedures are associated with a higher proportion of new bank loans allocated to large firms. In the model, moving the level of recovery rate from the U.S. level to that of the lowest recovery rate country in the OECD sample reduces TFP by 30%.
    Keywords: Aggregate Productivity, Bankruptcy, Financial Frictions, Small Firms, Employment Shares, Firm-Size Distribution, OECD, Misallocation.
    JEL: E44 E23 E02 D24 O47
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Andrea Garnero
    Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of workforce diversity on productivity, wages, and productivity–wage gaps in a sample of French firms using data from a comprehensive establishment-level survey (REPONSE) for 2011 matched with companies’ balance sheet data. Controlling for a wide set of workers’ and firms’ characteristics, findings suggest that age and gender diversity are negatively linked to firm’s productivity and wages while education diversity is positively linked. Contrary to some widespread beliefs, the paper finds no differential effect according to manager characteristics (gender, age, education and tenure) but some heterogeneity according to the type of proprietary structures of the firms.
    Keywords: labour diversity; productivity; wages; management; firm ownership
    JEL: D24 J24 J31 M12
    Date: 2015–10–09
  5. By: Danny McGowan (University of Nottingham); Chrysovalantis Vasilakis (Bangor University and IRES)
    Abstract: This paper explores the effects of agricultural productivity shocks on structural change. We exploit the invention of hybrid corn seed as an exogenous source of variation in US agricultural productivity. The technology significantly increased land productivity in counties suited to producing corn. Using a difference-in-difference estimation strategy we show that the treatment group experienced structural change as economic activity became more concentrated in agriculture. Owing to the factor bias of the technology, agricultural labor demand increased leading labor to reallocate from manufacturing to agriculture. We also find the rate of urbanization significantly decreases in treated counties, consistent with structural change causing a decrease in living standards. The findings support recent economic theory that argues factor-biased productivity shocks in agriculture can differentially affect structural change and economic development.
    Keywords: agriculture, productivity, structural change, urbanization
    JEL: D22 D24 L16 Q11
    Date: 2015–11–19
  6. By: Cié Fatou; Ji Eun Choi
    Abstract: The increasing quantity of literature investigating the impact of trade openness on firm efficiency has not yet provided a definite prediction of the direction of causality. This paper investigates how the relationship between exporting and productivity impacts on manufacturing sectors in Senegal. Using unique firm-level panel data for the period 1998.2011, we estimate productivity and exporting dynamics, controlling for other unobserved effects, and using General Method of Moments. Our results indicate evidence both that the most efficient firms self-select for entry into the export market and that learning has an impact on the export market. From a policy perspective, this evidence of learning by exporting suggests Senegal has much to gain from encouraging exports by helping domestic firms overcome barriers to entering foreign markets, particularly by investing in skilled workers and promoting access to patents and licenses
    Keywords: exporting, total factor productivity, learning by exporting, general method of moment; Economic assistance and foreign aid, Infrastructure (Economics), Millennium Development Goals
  7. By: Maré, Dave C. (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust); Hyslop, Dean (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust); Fabling, Richard (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between firm multifactor productivity growth (mfp) and changing skill levels of labour in New Zealand, over the period 2001-12, using longitudinal data from Statistics New Zealand's Longitudinal Business Database (LBD) and Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI). We estimate that the average skill of workers declined by 1.8% over the period, reflecting strong employment growth for workers with lower than average skill levels. The net decline was the combined effect of a 3.6% decline in unobserved skill outweighing a 1.8% increase in observed skill, resulting in 1.8% slower estimated skill-adjusted labour growth (13.3%) than the 15.0% growth in full-time equivalent (FTE) employment. Mirroring the skill-dilution, skill-adjusted mfp growth averaged 0.24% per annum over the period compared to 0.14% pa for unadjusted growth. The patterns were stronger over the pre-GFC period to 2008, during which adjusted and unadjusted mfp grew 0.57% pa and 0.42% pa respectively. Our analysis of the effect of changing skill on mfp growth finds that the impact of skill adjustment was almost entirely due to changing skill composition within continuing firms.
    Keywords: productivity, reallocation, decomposition, linked employer-employee data, LBD, firm turnover
    JEL: D24 J24
    Date: 2015–11
  8. By: Lara Makowski (Graduate School of Business Administration, Kobe University); Qi Wu (Graduate School of Business Administration, Kobe University); Michiyuki Yagi (Graduate School of Business Administration, Kobe University); Katsuhiko Kokubu (Graduate School of Business Administration, Kobe University)
    Abstract: After the nuclear disaster, in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, the Japanese government shut down all nuclear power plants in Japan. The German government decided to permanently phase out nuclear power. Japan was, and still is, directly affected by the nuclear disaster and Germany is considered the most sensitive country to nuclear energy after the nuclear disaster. This study aims to empirically examine whether there were changes in corporate environmental performance through companies’ implementations of environmental policies from before 2011 to after 2011 in Germany and Japan in the non-financial and non-energy. The dependent variable (as corporate environmental performance) is defined as a firm’s sales divided by corporate direct greenhouse gas emissions (Scope 1) in the logarithm form. The independent variables are nine corporate policies, which all are dummy variables. This study uses the global firm dataset from the Bloomberg professional service where the number of observation is 832 in over a seven-year period (2006-2012). In the regression result, we find that when roughly examining pre and post 2011, using a dummy variable, there is significant change regarding the Japan and both sample. We then find that in eight out of the nine cases there is no effect of implementing the environmental policies on corporate efficiency.
    Keywords: Environmental efficiency; Pre and post disaster; Germany and Japanese companies; environmental, social, and governance policies; greenhouse gas emissions
    JEL: F21 O13 Q54
    Date: 2015–11
  9. By: Ugur, Mehmet; Trushin, Eshref; Solomon, Edna
    Abstract: Theoretical and empirical work on innovation and firm survival has produced varied and often conflicting findings. In this paper, we draw on Schumpeterian models of competition and innovation and stochastic models of firm dynamics to demonstrate that the conflicting findings may be due to linear specifications of the innovation-survival relationship. We demonstrate that a quadratic specification is appropriate theoretically and fits the data well. Our findings from an unbalanced panel of 39,705 UK firms from 1997-2012 indicate that an inverted-U relationship holds for different types of R&D expenditures and sources of funding. We also report that R&D intensity is more likely to increase survival when firms are in more concentrated industries and in Pavitt technology classes consisting of specialized suppliers of technology and scale-intensive industries. Finally, we report that the effects of firm and industry characteristics as well as macroeconomic environment indicators are all consistent with prior findings. The results are robust to step-wise modeling, controlling for left truncation and use of lagged values to address potential simultaneity bias.
    Keywords: Innovation, post-entry performance, R&D, survival analysis
    JEL: C41 D22 L1 O21 O3
    Date: 2015–10–19
  10. By: Dan Andrews; Chiara Criscuolo; Peter N. Gal
    Abstract: This paper analyses the characteristics of firms that operate at the global productivity frontier and their relationship with other firms in the economy, focusing on the diffusion of global productivity gains and the policies that faciliate it. Firms at the global productivity frontier – defined as the most productive firms in each two-digit industry across 23 countries – are typically larger, more profitable, younger and more likely to patent and be part of a multinational group than other firms. Despite the slowdown in aggregate productivity, productivity growth at the global frontier remained robust over the 2000s. At the same time, the rising productivity gap between the global frontier and other firms raises key questions about why seemingly non-rival technologies do not diffuse to all firms. The analysis reveals a highly uneven process of technological diffusion, which is consistent with a model whereby global frontier technologies only diffuse to laggards once they are adapted to country-specific circumstances by the most productive firms within each country (i.e. national frontier firms). This motivates an analysis of the sources of differences in the productivity and size of national frontier firms vis-à-vis the global frontier and the catch-up of laggard firms to the national productivity frontier. Econometric analysis suggests that well-designed framework policies can aid productivity diffusion by sharpening firms’ incentives for technological adoption and by promoting a market environment that reallocates resources to the most productive firms. There is also a role for R&D tax incentives, business-university R&D collaboration and patent protection but trade-offs emerge which can inform the design of innovation-specific policies.<P>Entreprises en pointe, diffusion des technologies et politiques publiques : Microdonnées des pays de l'OCDE<BR>Ce document analyse les caractéristiques des entreprises qui se situent à la frontière mondiale en matière de productivité et leurs relations avec les autres entreprises de l’économie. Les entreprises à la frontière de la productivité mondiale – que l’on définit comme étant les entreprises les plus productives dans chaque industrie correspondant à un code à deux chiffres de la classification des activités économiques, dans 23 pays – sont en général de plus grande taille, plus rentables, plus jeunes, présentent une plus grande propension à breveter et font plus souvent partie d’un grand groupe multinational que les autres entreprises. Malgré le ralentissement de la croissance de la productivité globale, la croissance à la frontière mondiale est demeurée robuste pendant les années 2000, tandis que le creusement de l’écart de productivité entre les entreprises à la frontière et les autres soulève d’importantes questions quant aux raisons faisant que des technologies non rivales n’atteignent pas toutes les entreprises. À cet égard, l’analyse concorde avec un modèle selon lequel les technologies à la frontière mondiale ne rejoignent les entreprises retardataires que lorsqu’elles sont adaptées aux exigences propres à chaque pays des entreprises qui se situent à la frontière nationale. Ce processus très inégal de diffusion des technologies justifie une analyse des différences internationales en ce qui concerne les écarts de performances entre les entreprises à la frontière mondiale et celles qui se situent à la frontière nationale, et le rattrapage des entreprises retardataires par rapport à la frontière de productivité nationale. L’analyse économétrique donne à penser que des politiques-cadres judicieuses peuvent favoriser la diffusion de la productivité en affinant les motivations des entreprises à adopter des technologies nouvelles et en promouvant un environnement de marché qui réaffecte les ressources aux entreprises les plus productives. Les incitations fiscales à la R-D, la collaboration entreprises-universités en R-D et la protection par brevet ont un rôle à jouer, mais des arbitrages nouveaux peuvent inspirer des politiques spécifiques en faveur de l’innovation.
    Keywords: productivity, firm dynamics, reallocation, réaffectation, productivité
    JEL: M13 O30 O40 O43 O57
    Date: 2015–11–12
  11. By: Majah-Leah V. Ravago (University of the Philippines); James A. Roumasset (University of Hawaii)
    Abstract: We present an approach for determining dynamic baselines for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation plus sequestration (REDD+) based on the efficient path of forest emissions absent carbon prices. We show that, unlike industrial emissions, baseline emission permits for forests should be negative. Positive entitlements for forest emissions are unnecessary and may be ineffective in the absence of additional governance mechanisms. A numerical illustration for the case of Indonesia shows that the potential gains from the efficiency-based approach are nearly twice those from conventional REDD+ proposals.
    Keywords: Governance; REDD+; deforestation; carbon emissions; sequestration; climate change
    JEL: Q23 Q28 Q54 Q57
    Date: 2015–11
  12. By: Yoshino, Naoyuki (Asian Development Bank Institute); Abidhadjaev, Umid (Asian Development Bank Institute)
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to examine the nature and magnitude of the effects of infrastructure provision on regional economic performance. The empirical evidence of our analysis is based on difference-in-difference estimation linking the changes in the growth rate of regional-level economic outcomes in affected regions to the newly built railway connection in the southern part of Uzbekistan, conditioned on the regions’ time-invariant individual effects, time-varying covariates, and evolving economic characteristics. To explore the differential nature of infrastructure provision, we employ an estimation examining regional, spillover, and connectivity effects from the railway connection, as well as the anticipation, launch, and postponed effects of such a connection. Our empirical results suggest that the Tashguzar–Boysun–Kumkurgon railway line in Uzbekistan encouraged an increase of around 2% in the regional gross domestic product growth rate in affected regions in the frame of connectivity effects. This seems to have been driven by increases in industry value added and services value added of approximately 5% and 7%, respectively. Positive and significant changes in the industrial output of the directly affected and neighboring regions mostly took place during the design and construction period in anticipation of the railway connection. The impact on agricultural output has been moderate in comparison to the abovementioned sectors, constituting around 1%, which is consistent with previous literature on the differential impact of public capital. Our results and the framework provided might help regulatory bodies to conduct comprehensive estimations of the impact of infrastructure and develop the formulation of both promotional and compensatory measures related to or induced by the effects of infrastructure provision.
    Keywords: Infrastructure investment; impact evaluation; Uzbekistan; railway connection
    JEL: H54 O11 O23 R11
    Date: 2015–11–22
  13. By: Farzana Afridi (Economics and Planning Unit,Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi and Research Fellow, IZA); Amrita Dhillon (Department of Political Economy, King’s College London, External Affiliate, CAGE, University of Warwick and Associate Member, Nuffield College.); Swati Sharma (Economics and Planning Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, New Delhi)
    Abstract: In this paper we survey some of the more recent theoretical and empirical literature on social networks and labour productivity. We discuss the use of referrals in recruitment of workers and the possible mechanisms underlying their use as well as ex-post effects on productivity from having connected workers in the firm and the channels for these effects. We also suggest some open questions for further research.
    Keywords: Referrals, Screening, Search, Learning, Moral Hazard, Peer effects, co-worker networks, strength of ties, wage premia, wage penalty, favouritism. JEL Classification: J41, J31, D82, D86, O12, O17
    Date: 2015
  14. By: Bertrand M. Koebel; Anne-Laure Levet; Phu Nguyen-Van; Indradev Purohoo; Ludovic Guinard
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants of international trade of wood products, considering three main groups: woodworking products, pulp and paper and wooden furniture. We extend the Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek (HOV) framework in order to take into account the forest resource endowment as well as industrial performance factors. Empirical tests are based on data on European countries between 1995 and 2007. The HOV hypothesis is partially confirmed in that the forest resource endowment is a significant determinant for explaining differences in net trade of two products (pulp and paper and furniture) but not for woodworking products. In addition, empirical tests also show the limits of the HOV model for explaining international trade of wood products. Indeed, factors reflecting industrial performance of wood sectors, including total factor productivity and average labor cost, have a significant role in determining differences in net trade of wood products.
    Keywords: Heckscher-Ohlin-Vanek hypothesis; international trade; wood products, panel data.
    JEL: F10 L60 Q23
    Date: 2015
  15. By: Carl Deschamps; Jan Mattijs
    Abstract: The performance management trend that has swept over public organizations in the last 25 years has had its share of successes and failures. Even in the organizations that have a good track record with performance management, the benefits of the system are sometimes ambiguous. In this paper, we study the link between measured results and productivity in a public organization that has a strong history of performance management using indicators. Across its different missions, the Belgian federal National Employment Office measures all aspects of its activities and uses performance targets to evaluate its results. Using statistical analysis of 5 years of monthly data across 30 regional offices, we found links between productivity and both indicators scores and targets, indicating that the productivity of employees increases when targets are harder to meet. However, the causality links between results, targets, and productivity are inconsistent across different activities, indicating areas where the performance management system works more effectively than others. Indeed, the link from targets to productivity is far from straightforward, as correlations are specific to activities that meet certain conditions, such as moderate task complexity and degree of automation. More research is needed to elaborate on the specific conditions.
    Keywords: Performance management; Productivity; Motivation theories; Goal-setting theory; Public administration
    Date: 2015–09–30
  16. By: Delbridge, Timothy A.; King, Robert P.; Nordquist, Dale W.; DiGiacomo, Gigi; Moynihan, Meg
    Keywords: Farm Management, Production Economics,
    Date: 2015–11
  17. By: Quang Vuong (New York University); Ayse Pehlivan (Bilkent University)
    Abstract: In this paper we develop a structural model in which exporters are competing in supply functions and study the nonparametric identification and estimation of productivity distributions and marginal costs in this framework using disaggregated bilateral trade data. Our model is able to reconcile the existence of multiple sellers, multiple prices, and variable markups that we observe in data and also incorporates features such as strategic pricing and incomplete information. Our identification and estimation methodology gains insights from methodologies used in empirical auctions. Our identification and estimation methodology makes an important contribution to the empirical auction literature by showing that the underlying structure is identified nonparametrically even if we do not observe the entire schedules, but only the transaction points instead; whereas the methodology in the literature of empirical auctions depends heavily on the fact that the entire bid/supply schedule is observed. Moreover, in view of the recent studies in international trade that have shown the sensitivity of the gains from trade estimates to the parametrization of productivity distributions, maintaining a flexible structure for productivity distributions is very important. We apply our model to the German market for manufacturing imports for 1990 using disaggregated bilateral trade data, which consists only of trade values and traded quantities. We recover the destination-source specific productivity distributions and destination-source specific marginal cost functions nonparametrically. Our empirical results do not support the distributional assumptions that are commonly made in the international trade literature such as Fréchet and Pareto. In particular, we find that the productivity distributions are not unimodal; low productivities are more likely to occur as expected, but there is not a single mode. Our results provide important insights about cross country and cross destination differences in productivity distributions, trade costs and markups.
    Date: 2015
  18. By: Dudin, Mikhail Nikolaevich (Russian Academy of Entrepreneurship); Lyasnikov, Nikolaj Vasil'evich (Russian Academy of Entrepreneurship); Dzhurabaeva, Gulnora Kahramanovna (Novosibirsk State Technical University); Dzhurabaev, Kahraman Tursunovich (Novosibirsk State Technical University)
    Abstract: This article presents a theoretical and methodological study to review and study the feasibility of using different approaches to economic and mathematical modeling of the costs attributable to the cost and volume of production / sales of industrial enterprises.
    Keywords: the cost price, industry, economic and mathematical modeling, econometric methods, graphical analysis, regression analysis
    Date: 2015
  19. By: Bridgman, Benjamin (Bureau of Economic Analysis); Qi, Shi (Florida State University); Schmitz, James A. (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)
    Abstract: The idea that cartels might reduce industry productivity by misallocating production from high to low productivity producers is as old as Adam. However, the study of the economic consequences of cartels has almost exclusively focused on the losses from higher prices (i.e., Harberger triangles). Yet, as the old idea suggests, we show that the rules for quotas and side payments in the New Deal sugar cartel led to significant misallocation of production. The resulting productivity declines essentially destroyed the entire cartel profit. The magnitude of the deadweight losses (relative to value added) was large: we estimate a lower bound for the losses equal to 25 percent and 42 percent in the beet and cane industries, respecttively.
    Keywords: Cartels; Quota; Monopoly
    JEL: L00 L43 L6
    Date: 2015–10–31
  20. By: Ollinger, Michael; Guthrie, Joanne
    Abstract: Through USDA’s National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, schools receive financial support to assist them in serving nutritious meals to students. Meal reimbursements are provided to a school food authority (SFA) on the basis of a child’s financial need, allowing schools to provide healthy meals to low-income students for free or at a reduced price. Reimbursement rates are set nationwide, yet variation in school location, size, and other factors may influence the costs to schools for providing meals, with implications for the adequacy of reimbursement. Previous ERS research using data from the 2002-03 school year found that school food service costs vary by location. This study uses those same data to build on that research by examining breakfast and lunch costs separately to assess how economies of scale and the balance between the number of breakfasts and lunches served affect costs. Costs of both breakfasts and lunches vary considerably across SFAs. Economies of scale exist for both breakfasts and lunches but are much stronger for breakfasts. The balance between breakfasts and lunches served also affects costs, with the cost per breakfast dropping dramatically as the number of breakfasts and lunches served become more balanced.
    Keywords: National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, school meals, school food service costs per meal, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, Industrial Organization,
    Date: 2015–11
  21. By: Eduardo Aguilera; Gloria I. Guzmán; Juan Infante-Amate; David Soto; Roberto García-Ruiz; Antonio Herrera; Inmaculada Villa; Eva Torremocha; Guiomar Carranza; Manuel González de Molina
    Abstract: This working paper analyzes the energy embodied in agricultural inputs from a historical perspective. The study is based on a wide literature review, which has been complemented with own estimations in order to create a coherent database including all direct and indirect energy associated to the main agricultural inputs with the maximum possible level of disaggregation. The inputs studied include human labour, energy carriers such as fuels and electricity, materials, machinery, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, organic inputs, propagation material, irrigation inputs, buildings, greenhouses, transport and non-material services. For each input we describe its historical evolution from an energetic perspective, the most common methods used for the calculation of its embodied energy published in the literature and temporal data series on the historical evolution of this energy. The temporal data series are expressed in 10-year time-steps and, in the majority of cases, they cover the whole 20th century and the first decade of the 21st century. The values provided are global averages or covering the main producing regions. The results show the large changes that have occurred in the energy efficiency of the production of agricultural inputs, underlining the need for the use of dynamic coefficients in historical energy analyses of agricultural systems.
    Keywords: Embodied Energy, Energy Balances, Agricultural Inputs, EROI, Life Cycle Assessment, Industrial History, Energy Efficiency
    JEL: N54 Q01 Q18 Q57
    Date: 2015–11

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.