nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2018‒03‒19
nineteen papers chosen by

  1. Analysis of Islamic Banking Efficiency Using Maqashid Shariah Approach (Study on Islamic Banks in Indonesia and Malaysia) By Novi Puspitasari
  2. Long-run trends in Italian productivity By Claire Giordano; Gianni Toniolo; Francesco Zollino
  3. Economic Measures of Capacity Utilization: A Nonparametric Cost Function Analysis By Subhash C. Ray; John Walden; Lei Chen
  4. Agricultural extension and input subsidies to reduce food insecurity. Evidence from a field experiment in the Congo By Leuveld, Koen; Nillesen, Eleonora; Pieters, Janneke; Ross, Martha; Voors, Maarten; Wang Sonne, Elise
  5. Political connection and bank in(efficiency) By Omneya Abdelsalam; Sabur Mollah; Emili Tortosa-Ausina
  6. Computerizing Industries and Routinizing Jobs: Explaining Trends in Aggregate Productivity By Sangmin Aum; Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee; Yongseok Shin
  7. Capital-energy substitutability in manufacturing sectors: methodological and policy implications By Valeria Costantini; Francesco Crespi
  8. Does education enhance productivity in smallholder agriculture? Causal evidence from Malawi By Thomas Ferreira
  10. Productivity growth, firm turnover and new varieties By Thomas von Brasch; Diana-Cristina Iancu; Arvid Raknerud
  11. Do Companies Benefit from Public Research Organizations? The Impact of the Fraunhofer Society in Germany By Comin, Diego; Licht, Georg; Pellens, Maikel; Schubert, Torben
  12. A data envelopment analysis of the Italian judicial efficiency By Elisa Fusco; Martina Laurenzi; Bernardo Maggi
  13. Productive inefficiency in dairy farming and cooperation between spouses: Evidence from Senegal: By Hoel, Jessica B.; Hidrobo, Melissa; Bernard, Tanguy; Ashour, Maha
  14. Leapfrogging: Time of Entry and Firm Productivity By Josh Ederington; Georg Goetz
  15. Municipal socialism or municipal capitalism? The performance of local public enterprises in Italy By Nicola Curci; Domenico Depalo; Emilio Vadalà
  16. Importing, Exporting and Aggregate Productivity in Large Devaluations By Joaquin Blaum
  17. Long-term and Spillover Effects of Rice Production Training in Uganda By Yoko Kijima
  18. Foreign Investment and Domestic Productivity in the Czech Republic: A Quantitative Survey By Hampl, Mojmir; Havranek, Tomas
  19. Does cooperative membership improve household welfare? Evidence from a panel data analysis of smallholder dairy farmers in Bihar, India: By Kumar, Anjani; Saroj, Sunil; Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Joshi, Pramod Kumar

  1. By: Novi Puspitasari (Economic Faculty, Universitas Riau, Pekanbaru, Indonesia Author-2-Name: Devi Hardiyanti Rukmana Author-2-Workplace-Name: University of Jember, Jl. Kalimantan 37 Jember, 681121, Jember, Indonesia Author-3-Name: Hari Sukarno Author-3-Workplace-Name: University of Jember, Jl. Kalimantan 37 Jember, 681121, Jember, Indonesia)
    Abstract: Objective – This research aims to analyse the efficiency of Islamic banking in Indonesia and Malaysia based on the maqashid shariah approach. Methodology/Technique – This research uses individual education, creation of justice, and achievement of welfare to measure the efficiency variable. The research period covers the period from 2011 to 2015, using data envelope analysis (DEA). Findings – The result show that there are three (3) Islamic banks that achieve maximum efficiency in Malaysia. These are: Affin Islamic Bank Berhad, which achieved maximum efficiency in terms of distribution and profitability output, CIMB Islamic Bank, which achieved maximum efficiency in terms of distribution output, and RHB Islamic Bank Berhad, which achieved maximum efficiency in terms of distribution output. Meanwhile, two (2) Islamic banks which were considered to be efficient, although not at the maximum level. Novelty – This study shows that Bank Panin Syariah achieves maximum efficiency with respect to distribution output, and that Bank Mega Syariah is considered efficient with respect to profitability output and personal revenue output.
    Keywords: Islamic Banks; Efficiency; Maqashid Shariah; DEA; Indonesia; Malaysia.
    JEL: G20 G21
    Date: 2017–12–09
  2. By: Claire Giordano (Bank of Italy); Gianni Toniolo (Luiss University and CEPR); Francesco Zollino (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: Based on updated datasets of value added and of labour and capital inputs, this paper provides a reassessment of the proximate causes of Italy’s economic development since its political unification in 1861 to 2016. Italy’s pre-WWII economy featured weak productivity growth, with the exception of the Giolitti era and the 1920s. Italy then embarked on an exceptional catching-up process relative to the technological leaders during the Golden Age. Compared with the pre-WWII years, when the Italian economy was held back by slow productivity growth in the large agricultural sector, the catching-up process during the Golden Age was propelled by the rapid shift of labour out of agriculture. As in many countries, this rapid growth in productivity could not be sustained after 1973, but the further slowdown since the 1990s has been more pronounced in Italy than elsewhere. The disappointing performance of the Italian economy since the early 1990s is largely explained by slow labour productivity growth in the now dominant services sector and by sluggish aggregate total factor productivity. Labour productivity developments actually turned negative during the protracted crisis following the global financial turmoil, due to the decline in capital accumulation and in total factor productivity. Since the start of the recovery in 2013, while total factor productivity has returned to a moderately positive trend, the capital stock has not fully overcome the legacy of the crisis.
    Keywords: labour productivity, sectorial reallocation, growth accounting
    JEL: N10 N30 O47 O57
    Date: 2017–11
  3. By: Subhash C. Ray (University of Connecticut); John Walden (National Marine Fisheries Service); Lei Chen (Jianghan University)
    Abstract: Cost based measures of capacity utilization and capacity output are important metrics for evaluating firm performance. Understanding where firms are producing on their average cost curve provides information about whether capacity utilization is greater then, less than or equal to one. Most firms are multi-output, multi-input in nature which makes estimation of capacity utilization and capacity output challenging if a cost based measure is desired. For a multi-output firm, the relevant concept is ray average cost (RAC) which can be estimated through non-linear DEA models. This paper offers a simple transformation that linearizes the non-linear DEA program to estimate average, or ray average cost, and to determine capacity utilization and optimal output. The methods are empirically tested on data from a number of U.S. electricity producers for the single output case, and a sample of dental practices for the multi-output case. Results show that for both industries, most firms were operating at less than full capacity, and needed to expand output to minimize their costs. For the dental practices, examination of results from six randomly chosen firms showed the importance of operatories in determining optimal levels of output.
    JEL: D24 C61
    Date: 2018–03
  4. By: Leuveld, Koen (Wageningen University); Nillesen, Eleonora (UNU-MERIT); Pieters, Janneke (Wageningen University); Ross, Martha (Wageningen University); Voors, Maarten (Wageningen University); Wang Sonne, Elise (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: Small holder farming in sub-Saharan Africa is plagued by low productivity levels and high malnutrition. Extension services aim to increase knowledge and uptake of new technologies to boost yields. However, despite the potential benefits adoption rates are still low. One explanation may be that providing training and demonstration trials alone is not enough to increase input demand needed to raise productivity. Lifting multiple barriers simultaneously could prove to be more effective. We use a field experiment in eastern DRC to test whether adding input subsidies to an extension programme provides synergistic benefits. Specifically, in a sample of 64 villages that received an agricultural extension programme, a random half was given the opportunity to buy subsidised input packages. We estimate the impact of the subsidy scheme on knowledge, input use, yields and food security indicators. We find robust evidence on input use at the extensive margin: providing subsidies increases fertiliser uptake by 5 percentage points, while uptake of inoculant increases by 3 percentage points, one year after the subsidy scheme was introduced. These effects are substantial given the extremely low baseline use (3% in both cases) of fertiliser and inoculant even after the extension intervention. In addition, villages further away from these markets have lower adoption rates as cost of access increase. Our results caution against overoptimistic views on the downstream effects of productivity enhancing technologies and that investments in structural changes in markets are likely needed to stimulate growth in the agricultural sector.
    Keywords: agricultural extension, input subsidies, impact evaluation, food security, DRC
    JEL: O13 O33 Q12
    Date: 2018–02–19
  5. By: Omneya Abdelsalam (Durham University); Sabur Mollah (School of Management, Swansea University); Emili Tortosa-Ausina (Universitat Jaume I and Ivie)
    Abstract: Does political connection affect bank efficiency during both financial and political crises? This study addresses this question by adopting a two-stage approach that uses a quantile regression analysis of a unique dataset of listed banks in the Middle East and North Africa region. Our results show that political connection is a driving force behind bank inefficiency in the region. We find that the least efficient banks have the most significant association with political connections, thus supporting the bailout theory. We also find that political connections influenced the efficiency of banks during the 2008-9 global financial crisis but not during the 2011-13 regional political crisis. Our results provide new evidence on the applicability of established political connection theories in developing countries during political regime turmoil. We therefore recommend that global banking regulators and market participants scrutinize the political connections of banks more thoroughly.
    Keywords: Banks, Efficiency, MENA countries, Political connections, Data Envelopment Analysis, Quantile regression.
    JEL: D24 G21 G28 O16
    Date: 2018–02–24
  6. By: Sangmin Aum; Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee; Yongseok Shin
    Abstract: Aggregate productivity growth in the U.S. has slowed down since the 2000s. We quantify the importance of differential productivity growth across occupations and across industries, and the rise of computers since the 1980s, for the productivity slowdown. Complementarity across occupations and industries in production shrinks the relative size of those with high productivity growth, reducing their contributions toward aggregate productivity growth, resulting in its slowdown. We find that such a force, especially the shrinkage of occupations with above-average productivity growth through “routinization,” was present since the 1980s. Through the end of the 1990s, this force was countervailed by the extraordinarily high productivity growth in the computer industry, of which output became an increasingly more important input in all industries (“computerization”). It was only when the computer industry's productivity growth slowed down in the 2000s that the negative effect of routinization on aggregate productivity became apparent. We also show that the decline in the labor income share can be attributed to computerization, which substitutes labor across all industries.
    JEL: E01 E22 E25 O41 O47
    Date: 2018–02
  7. By: Valeria Costantini; Francesco Crespi
    Abstract: The debate on the capacity of the production system to adequate to a low-carbon economy is addressed by computing the capital-energy substitution elasticities ( for manufacturing sectors. We estimated the at aggregate level for the whole manufacturing industry and for 10 distinguished sectors for 21 OECD countries (1990-2008); average substitution values are also computed at sector level comparing alternative econometric methods and for separate sub-periods to trace the time dynamics. Such methodology allows assessing how different sectors could respond to the introduction of new (energy saving) technologies, as in terms of factor productivity and substitutability opportunities. This corresponds to a dynamic evaluation of the speed of reaction of each sector in improving its energy efficiency and the capacity to be on track in a sustainable transition. Such assessment also helps policy makers to individuate sectors deserving transition support according to the speed of adjustment of elasticity values over time.
    Keywords: Sustainable energy transition; Manufacturing sectors; OECD countries; Capital-energy substitutability; Allen elasticity; Translog function
    JEL: D24 L60 Q43 Q47
    Date: 2018–03
  8. By: Thomas Ferreira (Department of Economics, Stellenbosch University)
    Abstract: Malawi is a low-income country where the majority of the poor live and work in smallholder agriculture. In settings like these, schooling is believed to be a valuable tool in lifting people out of poverty. Yet, little is known about how schooling affects agricultural productivity. The effect of education on smallholder agricultural production has been estimated before but this paper contributes to the literature by estimating, for the first time, the causal effects of education on agricultural productivity using an instrumental variable approach (IV). The introduction of free primary education (FPE) and the age of paternal orphanhood are used as IV's for education. The instruments are shown to calculate local average treatment effects for individuals who only entered school due to FPE and only left school due to paternal orphanhood. It is found that there are large differences in returns to education between the subgroups. Returns are low and insignificant when FPE is used as an IV but they are larger and there is a significant effect when age of paternal orphanhood is used. Thus, while education can have large effects on agricultural productivity, this is not so for individuals specifically targeted by large scale expansions in educational access.
    Keywords: Returns to education; agricultural productivity; Instrumental variables; Malawi
    JEL: J24 J43
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Armanda Cetrulo; Valeria Cirillo; Dario Guarascio
    Abstract: In the last decades, labour flexibility has been introduced all across Europe with the aim of spurring jobs and productivity. This work explores the link between the use of temporary employment and the propensity to introduce product innovations by firms. The analysis performed at the sectoral level combines information on innovation, economic performance and employment for five major European economies observed over the period 1998-2012. Taking into account the variety of technological patterns, the authors find that industries using temporary employment more intensively are characterized by a weak product innovation propensity. The negative correlation between temporary employment and innovation is stronger in medium and high-tech sectors identified alternatively by Peneder classification and by the concentration of firms’ intangible assets proxing different Schumpeterian regimes of accumulation.
    Date: 2018–03
  10. By: Thomas von Brasch; Diana-Cristina Iancu; Arvid Raknerud (Statistics Norway)
    Abstract: We reconcile two different strands of the literature: the literature on how new goods impact prices and the literature on productivity growth and firm turnover. To our knowledge, this is the first paper to provide a fully consistent decomposition of aggregate productivity growth that identifies the contribution from new firms producing new varieties. We extend the estimator for the demand elasticity, proposed by Feenstra (1994) and supplemented by Soderbery (2015), in two dimensions: First, we create a two-stage estimation framework that exploits the boundary cases where simultaneity is not an issue, i.e. when supply is elastic or inelastic, to obtain a more efficient estimator. Second, we make it robust towards choice of reference unit. To illustrate the decomposition and estimator, we analyse the case of firm turnover in Norway, using panel data covering the period from 1995 to 2016 for manufacturing firms. Our results indicate that net creation of new varieties from firm turnover contributes by about one half percentage point to annual aggregate productivity growth.
    Keywords: Aggregation; Productivity growth; Variety gains; Demand elasticity
    JEL: C43 E24 O47
    Date: 2018–03
  11. By: Comin, Diego (Dartmouth College & CEPR); Licht, Georg (ZEW); Pellens, Maikel (ZEW & KU Leuven); Schubert, Torben (CIRCLE & Fraunhofer ISI)
    Abstract: Among available policy levers to boost innovation, investment in applied research organisations has received the least attention. In this paper, we analyze the case of the Fraunhofer Society, the largest public applied research organization in Germany. We analyze whether project interaction with Fraunhofer affect the performance and strategic orientation of firms. To that end, we assemble a unique dataset based on the confidential Fraunhofer-internal project management system and merge it with the German contribution to the Community Innovation Survey (CIS), which contains panel information on firm performance. Using instrumental variables that exploit the scale heteroscedasticity of the independent variable (Lewbel, 2012), we identify the causal effects of Fraunhofer interactions on firm performance and strategies. We find a strong, positive effect of project interaction on turnover and productivity growth. We also provide evidence that a major driver of the positive performance effects is the firms increased share of sales from new products and an increase in the share of workers with tertiary education. More detailed analyses reveal, amongst others that the performance effects become stronger the more often firms interact with Fraunhofer and that interactions aiming at generation of technology have a stronger effect than interactions aiming merely at the implementation of existing technologies.
    Keywords: Innovation; R&D; diffusion; applied research; Fraunhofer
    JEL: O33 O38
    Date: 2018–03–07
  12. By: Elisa Fusco; Martina Laurenzi (Insight service, Logista Italia); Bernardo Maggi ("Sapienza" University of Rome)
    Abstract: In recent years, the Italian judicial system has been at the center of both the political debate and policy actions aiming at modifying the territorial structure and the organization of the courts as well as the procedural processes. The measures adopted concerned the reorganization of the magistrates’ career and the reform of judicial districts. However, despite the several reforms adopted, the Italian judicial system does not reach yet the European standards, principally for the so called magistrate-duration procedures binomial, according to which the number of magistrates is above the European average level and the time of legal trials is too long compared with most European countries. Hence, key words such as performance, effectiveness and in particular efficiency are worthy of attention. In this framework, our paper analyzes the efficiency of Italian judicial districts, using a Data Envelopment Analysis approach.
    Keywords: Courts Efficiency, Law Enforcement, Productivity, Non-Parametric Methods, PCA
    JEL: D24 K41 K42
    Date: 2018–03
  13. By: Hoel, Jessica B.; Hidrobo, Melissa; Bernard, Tanguy; Ashour, Maha
    Abstract: We examine productive inefficiencies in dairy farming in pastoralist house-holds in Northern Senegal, and using laboratory games, measure the relation-ship between spousal cooperation and productive inefficiency directly. In house-holds that behave less cooperatively in the games, cows owned by men produce10.6% more milk per day than cows owned by women, a gap that remainslarge and statistically significant after controlling for household, owner, andcow characteristics. Our results suggest that frictions between spouses mayindeed explain gender gaps in productivity, and support the use of lab-basedmeasures of household cooperation to complement survey data in explainingcollective behaviors.
    Keywords: efficiency; cooperation; dairy,
    Date: 2017
  14. By: Josh Ederington (University of Kentucky); Georg Goetz (University of Giessen)
    Abstract: We develop a model in which ex ante identical firms make endogenous entry and technology adoption decisions. We show that this model is capable of matching the stylized facts in which entry and adoption are dispersed over time and that, in many industries, it is the newest firms which are the most likely to exhibit high productivity growth and adopt new innovations (i.e., leapfrogging). We then derive the characteristics of those industries where such leapfrogging is likely to occur and show that leapfrogging can induce reverse preemption (i.e., forward-looking incumbent firms delaying entry and adoption due to leapfrogging behavior). As an application, we demonstrate how, in an industry conducive to leapfrogging, research subsidies can actually reduce short-run consumer welfare by discouraging firms from entering the market with a basic technology.
    Keywords: entry, technology adoption
    JEL: L11
    Date: 2018
  15. By: Nicola Curci (Bank of Italy); Domenico Depalo (Bank of Italy); Emilio Vadalà (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the performance of Italian local public enterprises (LPEs) with respect to their private sector counterparts. We address the following questions: i) do LPEs perform worse than (comparable) private firms?; ii) does the performance gap depend on the ownership structure (the share held by the public) or on the market structure (the degree of competition in the sector)?; iii) which are the main determinants of LPEs' performance in terms of productivity? The main findings – which are robust to the possible endogeneity of the ownership structure – are as follows: i) LPEs perform less well than private companies by about 8 percent in terms of TFP; ii) although both ownership structure and market structure matter, our results suggest that the ownership structure is more important; and iii) the performance gap of LPEs with respect to private firms seems to be driven by over-capitalization rather than by over-employment.
    Keywords: local public firm, firm performance, instrumental variables
    JEL: L33 L25 H42 C26
    Date: 2017–11
  16. By: Joaquin Blaum (Brown University)
    Abstract: Large economic crises are characterized by sharp currency devaluations, collapses in imports and declines in aggregate TFP. The standard mechanism for the decline in aggregate productivity is that firms' access to foreign inputs is restricted when foreign goods become more expensive. The effect of the crisis therefore crucially depends on the degree of substitutability between domestic and foreign inputs in firms’ technologies. Because this elasticity is typically estimated above unity, recent quantitative trade models imply that import shares, both at the firm and aggregate level, should decrease after a crisis. I provide evidence that in fact aggregate import shares increase after large depreciations, such as Mexico 1994, Brazil 1998, the East Asian crisis in 1997 and Argentina 2001, among others. Using Indonesian firm-level data, I show that this fact is explained by the entry of new exporters, as well as by existing exporters increasing their export intensity, after the devaluation. Because exporting is an import-intensive activity, this can account for the increase in the aggregate import share. These facts suggest that understanding the macroeconomic effects of large crises requires a joint account of the import and export behavior of firms. To explore this hypothesis, I develop a model with firm heterogeneity where exporting and importing decisions are made jointly. Exporting and importing are complementary activities because increases in revenue and reductions in unit cost interact in the profit function. I discipline the model to match salient features of the Indonesian micro data. I explore the effects of a devaluation on aggregate productivity and compare the results to the standard model of the literature which only features the importing channel. [work in progress].
    Date: 2017
  17. By: Yoko Kijima
    Abstract: Using panel data from 2009, 2011, and 2015, this study estimates the impact of rice production training conducted in Uganda on the adoption of improved cultivation practices and productivities. Since participants were encouraged to share information with fellow farmers, the average effects on training participants and non-participants in training villages (spillover effects) are separately estimated by selecting comparable households from villages without training projects. Because of the non-random assignment of project villages and training participation, a difference-in-differences model with household fixed effects is combined with propensity score weighting for mitigating biases. We find that training increases adoption rates for improved cultivation practices among training participants, both in the short and long term, and the long-term impact of training on rice yield is 0.47 tons per hectare. Although non-participants in training villages increased the adoption of transplanting in the long term, no improvements in non-participants’ knowledge on rice cultivation nor in rice productivity were detected. The results of the heterogeneous impacts on non-participants’ adoption show non-participants who visited the demonstration plot increased the adoption of transplanting, but those who talked with training participants about rice cultivation did not increase the adoption rate more than those who did not.
    Keywords: Agricultural training project, Impact evaluation, Sub-Saharan Africa
    Date: 2018–02
  18. By: Hampl, Mojmir; Havranek, Tomas
    Abstract: In this paper we take stock of the evidence concerning the effect of foreign direct investment (FDI) on the productivity of locally owned firms in the Czech Republic. To this end, we collect 332 estimates previously reported in journal articles, working papers, and PhD theses. We find that the mean reported externality arising for domestic firms due to the presence of foreign firms (the “FDI spillover”) is zero. There is no evidence of publication bias, i.e., no sign of selective reporting of results that are statistically significant and show an intuitive sign. Nevertheless, we find that the overall spillover effect is positive and large when more weight is placed on estimates that conform to best-practice methodology. Our results suggest that, as of 2018, a 10-percentage-point increase in foreign presence is likely to lift the productivity of domestic firms by 11%. The effect is even larger for joint ventures, reaching 19%.
    Keywords: Foreign direct investment; productivity; spillovers; meta-analysis
    JEL: C83 F23 O12
    Date: 2018–03–01
  19. By: Kumar, Anjani; Saroj, Sunil; Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Joshi, Pramod Kumar
    Abstract: The promotion of cooperatives is widely viewed as the most important institutional arrangement for spurring dairy development in India and much of the success of the White Revolution in India is attributed to the cooperative framework of the country's dairy development strategies. However, empirical evidences on impact of dairy cooperatives based on sound econometric analysis are scarce. To bridge the gap in literature, this paper examines the impact of dairy cooperative membership on farm performance indicators, such as milk yield, net returns, and adoption of food safety measures (FSM) in milk production, using panel data from a survey of milk producers in 2007 and 2015 in Bihar, India. An endogenous switching regression model, which accounts for selection bias, is used in the analysis.
    Keywords: food safety, dairy cooperatives, dairy farms, profitability, agricultural development, milk yield, returns, agricultural policies, food policies,
    Date: 2018

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