nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2016‒04‒16
twenty papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Università degli Studi di Verona

  1. A Comparison of Different Window Models for Measuring Technical Efficiency By Rashidghalam, Masoomeh; Heshmati, Almas
  2. Agricultural productivity growth in Latin America and the Caribbean and other world regions: An analysis of climatic effects, convergence and catch-up By Lachaud, Michee Arnold; Bravo-Ureta, Boris E.; Ludena, Carlos E.
  3. Inefficiency in Childcare Production.Evidence from Italian Microdata By Luigi Brighi; Paolo Silvestri
  4. The Canada-U.S. Productivity Puzzle: Regional Evidence of the Pulp and Paper Industry, 1971-2005 By Jean-Thomas Bernard; Jakir Hussain
  5. Firm Level Allocative Inefficiency: Evidence from France By Lionel Fontagné; Gianluca Santoni
  6. Productivity Trends in the Canadian Transport Sector: An Overview By Matthew Calver; Fanny McKellips
  7. Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Endogenous Establishment-Level Productivity By Jose-Maria Da-Rocha; Marina Mendes Tavares; Diego Restuccia
  8. Interview of Professor W. Erwin Diewert By ,; Diewert, W. Erwin; Fox, Kevin J.
  9. A Superlative Index Number Formula for the Hicks-Moorsteen Productivity Index By Hideyuki Mizobuchi
  10. Public investment multipliers in EU countries: Does the efficiency of public sector matter? By Papaioannou, Sotiris
  11. Differences in Quarterly Utilization-Adjusted TFP by Vintage, with an Application to News Shocks By Eric R. Sims
  12. Environment, Energy and Environmental Productivity of Energy: A Decomposition Analysis in China and the US By Mohamad Taghvaee, Vahid; Hajiani, Parviz
  13. Distribution costs in home-care production: what are the effects of local regulations on productive efficiency and spatial equity? By Quitterie Roquebert
  14. Benchmarking Heterogeneous Distribution System Operators: Evidence from Norway By George Elias
  15. Determinants of efficiency of economic systems in Latin America By Monika Szudy
  16. Productivity, congested commuting, and metro size By Rappaport, Jordan
  17. The impact of performance pay on sales and fundraising By Maurice J.G. Bun; Leo Huberts
  18. A Bayesian Approach to Analyzing the Economic Costs of Environmental Regulation in U.S. Dairy Farming By Njuki, Eric; Bravo-Ureta, Boris
  19. Long-Term Productivity Growth and the Environment By Alex Bowen; Tomasz Kozluk
  20. Excess capital and bank behavior : evidence from Indonesia By Hamada, Miki

  1. By: Rashidghalam, Masoomeh (Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran); Heshmati, Almas (Jönköping International Business School (JIBS), Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies (CESIS),& Department of Economics, Sogang University, Seoul, South Korea)
    Abstract: This study analyzes the technical efficiency of Iran's 13 major cotton producing provinces over the period 2000-2012. To assess technical efficiency over time we use several non-parametric versions of the Window methodology. These include Window-DEA, Window-FDH, Window order- and Window order-m models. In a Window’s analysis one uses moving average patterns as a provincial observation in each period treated as if it is a different observation leading to a higher number of observations. The aim is to shed light on temporal patterns and heterogeneity in efficiency, time dependency and sensitivity of the results attributed to different efficiency measurement methodologies that are applied using the same dataset. It then invokes four consistency conditions to examine these scores and rankings. According to our results the models Window-FDH, Window order- and Window order-m are consistent. We were able to identify the most (least) efficient provinces and follow temporal patterns of their performance in the production of cotton. The findings reveal that provinces with larger scales of production are not necessarily more efficient. The results also indicate that although there are differences in the levels of efficiency across the models used, efficiency rankings from various models tend to support similar conclusions about the relative performance of the sample provinces.
    Keywords: Non-parametric; technical efficiency; Window-DEA; Window-FDH; Window order-alpha; Window order-m; consistency conditions
    JEL: C44 D24 D51 Q12
    Date: 2016–04–06
  2. By: Lachaud, Michee Arnold (University of Connecticut); Bravo-Ureta, Boris E. (University of Connecticut); Ludena, Carlos E. (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: This study estimates Climate Adjusted Total Factor Productivity (CATFP) for agriculture in Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) countries, while also providing comparisons with several regions of the world. Climatic variability is introduced in Stochastic Production Frontier (SPF) models by including average annual maximum temperature, precipitation and its monthly intra-year standard deviations, and the number of rainy days. Climatic conditions have a negative impact on production becoming stronger at the end of the 2000s compared to earlier periods. An Error Correction Model is applied to investigate catch-up and convergence across LAC countries. Argentina defines the frontier in LAC and TFP convergence is found across all South American countries, Costa Rica, Mexico, Barbados and The Bahamas. Using IPCC 2014 scenarios, the study shows that climatic variability induces significant reductions in productivity (2.3% to 10.7%), over the 2013-2040 period.
    Keywords: Agriculture, Total Factor Productivity, Stochastic Production Frontiers, Climate Effects, Convergence, Forecasting, Latin America and the Caribbean
    JEL: D24 Q54 O47 E27
    Date: 2015–09
  3. By: Luigi Brighi; Paolo Silvestri
    Abstract: The purpose of the paper is to study inefficiency in the production technology of the childcare service and to carry out a comparative analysis of public and private day-care centres. An empirical analysis on cross-section micro-data from a region of northern Italy has been conducted by using an input-distance function with a translog specification. Estimates of the multi-output production technology and input-oriented technical inefficiency are obtained in a stochastic frontier model with a half-normally distributed one-sided error. Heteroscedasticity has been modelled to investigate the determinants of inefficiency and estimate their marginal effects. We find that production exhibits increasing returns with an estimated elasticity of scale of 1.21. Separability between inputs and outputs is rejected at a 5% level of significance. The average estimate of technical inefficiency is 10% and public centres are more inefficient than private centres by 4.1 percentage points. The proportion of part-time children and the presence of mixed-age classrooms are significant determinants of inefficiency which equally affect both public and private centres.
    Keywords: Childcare, Day-Care Center, Technical Inefficiency, Stochastic Frontier, Analysis, Input-Distance Function
    JEL: D24 H44 J13
    Date: 2016–03
  4. By: Jean-Thomas Bernard (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa); Jakir Hussain (PhD Candidate, Department of Economics, University of Ottawa)
    Abstract: We analyze the total factor productivity (TFP) of the pulp and paper industry in three Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec) and in three U.S. states that are contiguously located south of the border (Washington, Illinois, and Maine) over the period of 1971 to 2005. We find that the industry in the three Canadian provinces had much higher TFP growth rates in the era following the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), signed in 1988. In terms of productivity trend, this relative TFP surge has allowed the industry in the three Canadian provinces to move ahead of Illinois and Washington and closer to Maine which is the U.S. leader in the sample. Our results in this particular case do not support the commonly accepted view that Canada has a productivity problem relative to the U.S.
    Keywords: Total factor productivity, income convergence, pulp and paper industry
    JEL: D24 L73 N62
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Lionel Fontagné (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique); Gianluca Santoni (CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique)
    Abstract: A large portion of productivity differentials among locations is related to density. Firms located in denser areas are more productive due to agglomeration economies (Combes et al., 2012). We provide in this paper an explanation of such economies: lower input misallocation. The distribution of resources among heterogeneous firms has relevant consequences on allocative efficiency and denser areas provide a more favorable environment for dynamic matching between employers and employees. Using a methodology proposed by Petrin and Sivadasan (2013) we are able to assess the degree of resource misallocation among firms within sectors for each of the 96 French "Départements". Based on firm-level productivity estimates, we identify in the gap between the value of the marginal product and marginal input price the output loss due to inefficiencies in inputs allocation. Over the period 1993-2007 the average gap at firm level is around 10 thousands euro, showing a relevant increase starting from the early 2000s. Importantly, firms misallocations are lower in denser areas, suggesting that the matching mechanism is playing a role in explaining the productivity premium of agglomerated locations.
    Keywords: Misallocation, Productivity, Firm Level Data
    Date: 2015–07
  6. By: Matthew Calver; Fanny McKellips
    Abstract: In recent decades, the overall growth in productivity of many subsectors of the Canadian transportation and warehousing sector has been above average. In particular, while labour productivity (real GDP per worker) grew an average of 0.64 per cent per year between 2000 and 2014 in the transportation and warehousing sector, labour productivity grew an average of 1.83 per cent per year in the truck transportation subsector, 3.25 per cent per year in the air transportation subsector and 2.09 per cent in the train transportation subsector for the same period. Conversely, in the urban transit subsector, labour productivity decreased an average of 0.76 per cent per year between 2000 and 2014. This report provides a detailed analysis of output, input and productivity trends in four subsectors of the Canadian transportation and warehousing sector. It also examines drivers of the productivity growth for each subsector as well as policies that could enable faster growth. Given the impact that the transportation sector has on many Canadian industries as well as the Canadian economy, maintaining productivity growth is important.
    Keywords: Transportation, Canada, Productivity, Rail Transportation, Air Transportation, Trucking Transportation, Urban Transit, Public Policy, Technological Change
    JEL: O33 R41 L90 L91 L92 L93 L98
    Date: 2016–04
  7. By: Jose-Maria Da-Rocha; Marina Mendes Tavares; Diego Restuccia
    Abstract: The large differences in income per capita across countries are mostly accounted for by differences in total factor productivity (TFP). What explains the differences in TFP across countries? Empirical evidence points to factor misallocation across heterogeneous production units as an important factor. We study factor misallocation in a model where establishment-level productivity is endogenous. In this framework, policy distortions not only misallocate resources across a given set of productive units, but also worsen the productivity distribution of establishments and this effect is substantial quantitatively. Reducing the dispersion in revenue productivity by half to the level of the U.S. benchmark in the model implies an increase in aggregate output and TFP by a factor of 7.8-fold. Improved factor allocation accounts for 38 percent of the gain, whereas the change in the productivity distribution accounts for the remaining 62 percent.
    Keywords: distortions, misallocation, investment, endogenous productivity, establishments.
    JEL: O1 O4
    Date: 2016–04–07
  8. By: ,; Diewert, W. Erwin; Fox, Kevin J.
    Abstract: In this paper, Fox interviews Diewert on his academic career. His contributions to the development of flexible functional forms, superlative index numbers, the difference approach to index number theory, the measurement of waste, the user cost of capital, the measurement of Total Factor Productivity, the use of generalized concavity in economics, the measurement of financial sector outputs and inputs and the comparative statics of maximizing behavior are covered. His work on the development of international manuals on the Consumer Price Index, the Producer Price Index, on Property Prices and on the International Comparison of Prices is also noted. His pioneering work on the nonparametric of preferences and of technologies is also mentioned.
    Keywords: Flexible functional forms, superlative index numbers, measurement of waste, user cost of capital, Total Factor Productivity measurement, generalized c
    JEL: C23 C43 C51 C61 D12 D24 D90 E01 E31 E41
    Date: 2016–04–08
  9. By: Hideyuki Mizobuchi (Faculty of Economics, Ryukoku University)
    Abstract: The Malmquist and Hicks-Moorsteen productivity indexes are the two most widely used theoretical indexes for measuring productivity growth. Since these productivity indexes are defined by unknown distance functions, it is necessary to estimate the distance functions to compute them in principle. On the other hand, the Törnqvist productivity index is an empirical index number formula that is directly computable from the prices and quantities of the inputs and outputs alone. Caves, Christensen, and Diewert (1982) (CCD) imply that the Malmquist index coincides with the Törnqvist index, under profit maximising behaviour and constant returns to scale technology. The purpose of the present paper is to point out that the Hicks-Moorsteen productivity index coincides with the Törnqvist productivity index under the same condition. We emphasize that the condition of constant returns to scale is indispensable for deriving the equivalence between two indexes. Moreover, even when this condition is relaxed to the 𠛼 returns to scale, the equivalence between the Hicks-Moorsteen and Törnqvist productivity indexes is shown to hold true.
    Keywords: Törnqvist productivity index, Hicks-Moorsteen productivity index, Malmquist productivity index, Translog functional form, Superlative index number
    Date: 2016–03
  10. By: Papaioannou, Sotiris
    Abstract: This study examines whether differences in public sector efficiency are associated with diverging effects of public investment on growth. At first stage, we estimate public investment multipliers for each country of the European Union (EU). Their size varies considerably across countries. Then we construct measures of public sector efficiency which are used in the econometric analysis to study the relationship between public investment and growth. The main result of the econometric analysis is that the efficiency of public sector indeed matters in raising the influence of public investment on growth. This result remains robust to several changes in the econometric specification and to various measures of government efficiency which used as explanatory variables in the econometric estimations.
    Keywords: Public investments, Fiscal multipliers, Public sector efficiency, Economic growth.
    JEL: E62 H30 O40
    Date: 2016–03–22
  11. By: Eric R. Sims
    Abstract: This paper documents large differences across vintages in the properties of the widely-used quarterly utilization-adjusted TFP series produced by Fernald (2014), who provides updated data each quarter on his website. The most recent vintage of the adjusted TFP series has correlations with earlier vintages of the series that are less than 0.6. Compared to earlier vintages, the most recent vintage of the adjusted TFP data is more weakly correlated with output and more strongly negatively correlated with hours worked. I revisit the empirical analysis from Barsky and Sims (2011), who use an earlier vintage of Fernald's adjusted TFP data to identify impulse responses to news shocks about future productivity in a structural VAR. The vintage of adjusted TFP data matters for their estimated impulse responses, and in some specifications the differences using the most recent vintage of the adjusted TFP data are qualitatively large in a way that is more favorable to theories of news-driven business cycles.
    JEL: E22 E23 E32 O47
    Date: 2016–04
  12. By: Mohamad Taghvaee, Vahid; Hajiani, Parviz
    Abstract: The global warming, if not global burning, is a dire warning about environmental pollution dangers to everyone, living on the only one Earth. This study aims to measure relative contributors to the environmental quality changes during 2002-2011 using Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index in China and the US. Since these countries are the biggest polluters in the world, the decomposition technique is used to cut their wide environmental issues into the tiny bits of problems, being easy to cope with. Moreover, we employed Environmental Performance Index (EPI) to evolve the concept of Environmental Productivity of Energy (EPE). The results suggest that economic growth and income equality are environmentally-friendly while energy consumption is environmentally-unfriendly; and the Environmental Productivity of Energy (EPE) and technology progress are environmentally-moody (with various effects on environment). Consequently, the policy makers are advised to develop those economic sectors which are independent of pollutant energies; to replace the black energies by the green ones; and to invest on the research about the products whose demand is price inelastic.
    Keywords: Environment, Energy, Productivity, Decomposition
    JEL: Q5
    Date: 2016
  13. By: Quitterie Roquebert (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Poster for the labex OSE meeting 2015. Research project :Distribution costs in home-care production: what are the effects of local regulations on productive efficiency and spatial equity? Research questions : In home-care production, how do production costs vary with the geographical location of users? What are the effects of local public regulation in terms of productive efficiency and spatial equity?
    Keywords: long term care,home-care-services
    Date: 2015–12–14
  14. By: George Elias
    Abstract: Regulatory authorities in the European electricity sector use benchmarking techniques to determine the cost-e_cient production level for an incentive regulation of distribution system operators (DSOs). With nearly 900 DSOs operating in the German electricity sector, of which 200 subject to incentive regulation, the issue of heterogeneity of DSOs has to be addressed. Using publicly available data of 133 Norwegian DSOs and replicating the model employed by the German regulator (who refuses access to the data), I show its assumption of homogeneous technology cannot be maintained. Quantile regressions (QR) across the cost distribution reveal heterogeneity in the coe_cients of the explanatory variables, resulting in biased e_ciency scores derived from stochastic frontier analysis. To correct for this heterogeneity in coe_cients, I propose a Bayesian estimation of a more flexible SFA with latent classes for selected parameters that reflect variation in technologies. This estimation has better goodness of fit, reduced variance of all coe_cients, and higher e_ciency scores for nearly all DSOs, compared to the conventional alternative.
    Keywords: E_ciency measurement; cost function; incentive regulation; electricity sector
    JEL: C11 C21 D24 L94
    Date: 2016–03
  15. By: Monika Szudy (University of Economics in Katowice, Poland)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of efficiency of economic systems across Latin American countries during recent periods of economic liberalization. The empirical analysis considers fourteen Latin American countries representing different varieties of capitalism. The indicators relate to the period between 1995 and 2014. Consistent with extant literature, the empirical analysis of the sample economic systems suggests that the source of inefficiency is regulatory. The most resounding conclusion is that higher economic role of the state tends to be associated with lower efficiency of the economic system. The results also shows that one of the most important positive factors in economic systems’ efficiency is competition. The quality of institutions and demographic factors are the other influencing determinants in efficiency of economic systems. Moreover, the analysis of the indicators shows that richer countries exhibit better efficiency. Strategies for better quality of institutions and competition, and better level of education may help to increase the efficiency of economic systems in Latin America.
    Keywords: economic system, efficiency, institutions, Latin America
    JEL: P00 P17 O54
  16. By: Rappaport, Jordan (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City)
    Abstract: The monocentric city model is generalized to a fully structural form with leisure in utility, congested commuting, and the equalizing of utility and perimeter land price across metros. Exogenous and agglomerative differences in total factor productivity (TFP) drive differences in metro population, radius, land use, commute time, and home prices. Quantitative results approximate observed correspondences among these outcomes across U.S. metros. Traffic congestion proves the critical force constraining population. Self-driving cars significantly increase the sensitivity of metro population to productivity. Population becomes less responsive to increases in productivity as metros become larger. Correspondingly, the productivity “cost” of metro population—the TFP required to support a given population—increases convexly with size. Benchmark estimates suggest that agglomerative productivity suffices to support increases in population from low levels, allowing chance to play a significant role in determining which locations with sufficient exogenous TFP develop into small metros. But agglomerative productivity falls considerably short of supporting increases in population from high levels, suggesting that large metros arise from strong “fundamentals” such as high exogenous TFP.
    Keywords: City size; Commuting; Congestion; Land use; Metropolitan size; Self-driving cards; Time use
    JEL: J22 R12 R41
    Date: 2016–01–04
  17. By: Maurice J.G. Bun; Leo Huberts (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: In recent years there has been wide criticism of bonuses and performance pay in different forms. This can often be traced back to the recent financial crisis. Empirical evidence on the effects of bonuses and performance related pay is increasing. We contribute to the discussion by analyzing the impact of changes in the payment structure of a large Dutch marketing company. Specifically, we investigate the consequences for company sales of higher fixed pay in combination with lower bonuses. Exploiting shift level data of individual workers we find that average productivity decreases when the pay structure shifts more to fixed pay. Further analysis shows that this is a pure incentive effect and not due to sorting.
    Date: 2016–01–14
  18. By: Njuki, Eric (University of Connecticut); Bravo-Ureta, Boris (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: This paper develops a comprehensive pollution index based on EPA (2009) methodologies, which contrasts with previous studies that rely on partial measures based only on surplus nitrogen stemming from the over-application of fertilizer. Second, it uses a directional output distance function on a Bayesian framework, to generate empirical estimates of the economic impact associated with hypothetical environmental regulations in the dairy sector. Results indicate that on average, values of foregone output following regulatory intervention lead to revenue losses ranging from 1.8% to 13.1% across different regions between 1978 and 2007.
    Keywords: Environmental regulation, undesirable outputs, directional output distance function, Morishima elasticity of substitution, Bayesian framework, shadow prices, dairy farming
    JEL: D22 Q15 Q52
    Date: 2014–05
  19. By: Alex Bowen; Tomasz Kozluk
    Abstract: The natural environment provides crucial inputs and services for economic development, but its role for productivity growth is insufficiently explored. Environmental scarcities can pose a drag on productivity growth and a risk for its sustainability. At the same time productivity growth is often seen as the solution to environmental challenges. Methodological problems abound, overall the literature suggests that environmental issues are a potentially important risk factor. Theoretical models tend to focus the role of resource-augmenting technical progress in the long run, in light of environmental constraints. Macroeconomic studies suggest the contribution of the natural environment to productivity growth has been modest overall. Microeconomic studies focus on partial equilibrium impacts, which in many cases have been found larger than expected. Finally, case-studies of historical civilisation collapses suggest the risks may be significant. Le milieu naturel fournit des ressources et des services cruciaux pour le développement économique, mais son rôle dans la croissance de la productivité n’est pas suffisamment étudié. Les pénuries de ressources environnementales peuvent engendrer un frein à la croissance de la productivité et un risque pour sa pérennité. Dans le même temps, la croissance de la productivité est souvent considérée comme la solution aux défis environnementaux. Les problèmes méthodologiques abondent, mais dans l'ensemble, les rapports suggèrent que les questions environnementales sont un facteur de risque potentiellement important. Les modèles théoriques ont tendance à se concentrer sur l’impact du progrès technique et l’augmentation des ressources dans le long terme, à la lumière des contraintes environnementales. Les études macroéconomiques suggèrent que la contribution de l'environnement naturel dans la croissance de la productivité a été globalement modeste. Les études microéconomiques quant à elles se concentrent sur les impacts d'équilibre partiel, qui dans de nombreux cas se sont révélés plus importants que prévus. Enfin, des études de cas sur l'effondrement des civilisations historiques suggèrent que les risques peuvent être importants.
    Keywords: environmental services, sustainability, productivity growth, environment, natural resource scarcity, rareté des ressources naturelles, environnement, durabilité, services environnementaux, croissance de la productivité
    JEL: O13 O44 Q56
    Date: 2016–04–12
  20. By: Hamada, Miki
    Abstract: The Indonesian banking sector has been restructured since Asian financial crisis and restored to soundness. The capital adequacy ratio (CAR) returned to a sound level; however, the average excess capital has become too high, while credit disbursement has remained low. This paper investigates the determinants of excess capital among Indonesian banks and its effects on credit growth during the 2000s. The results indicate that the determinants of excess capital vary widely depending on bank type. Return on equity (ROE) affects excess capital negatively among domestic banks, and the effect of non-performing loans is mixed, differing for various bank types. Excess capital affects credit growth positively, except among foreign banks.
    Keywords: Banks, Finance, Bank capital, Bank lending, Bank behavior
    JEL: G21 G30 N25
    Date: 2016–03

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