nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2018‒05‒28
nine papers chosen by

  1. A Total Factor Productivity Toolbox for MATLAB By Balk, B.M.; Barbero, J.; Zofío, J.L.
  2. Firm performance and participation in public procurement: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa By Bernard Hoekman; Marco Sanfilippo
  3. Directed Technological Change and Technological Congruence: A New Framework for the Smart Specialization Strategy. By Antonelli, Cristiano; Feder, Christophe; Quatraro, Francesco
  4. Heterogeneous Sectoral Growth Effects of FDI in Egypt By Shimaa Elkony; Hilary Clistina Ingham; Robert Allan Read
  5. Have R&D Spillovers Changed? By Nick Bloom; Brian Lucking; John Van Reenen
  6. Geographic Environmental Kuznets Curves: The Optimal Growth Linear-Quadratic Case By Raouf Boucekkine; Giorgio Fabbri; Salvatore Federico; Fausto Gozzi
  7. Synergies and trade-offs between adaptation, mitigation and agricultural productivity: A synthesis report By Jussi Lankoski; Ada Ignaciuk; Franck Jésus
  8. An Offer that you Can't Refuse? Agrimafias and Migrant Labor on Vineyards in Southern Italy By Stefan Seifert; Marica Valente
  9. Soil resource and the profitability and sustainability of farms: A soil quality investment model By Alice Issanchou; Karine Daniel; Pierre Dupraz; Carole Ropars-Collet

  1. By: Balk, B.M.; Barbero, J.; Zofío, J.L.
    Abstract: Total Factor Productivity Toolbox is a new package for MATLAB that includes functions to calculate the main Total Factor Productivity (TFP) indices and their decompositions, based on Shephard’s distance functions and using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) programming techniques. The package includes code for the standard Malmquist, Moorsteen-Bjurek, price-weighted and share-weighted TFP indices, allowing for the choice of orientation (input or output), reference period (base, comparison, geometric mean), re- turns to scale (variable or constant), and specific decompositions (aggregate or identifying scale effects as well as input and output mix effects). Classic definitions of TFP corresponding to the Laspeyres, Paasche, Fisher, or Törnqvist formulas can also be calculated as particular cases. This paper describes the methodology and implementation of the functions and reports numerical results so as to ease the comparison between indices and illustrate their use.
    Keywords: Total factor productivity, Malmquist, Moorsteen-Bjurek, Fisher, Törnqvist, distance function, data envelopment analysis, MATLAB
    Date: 2018–05–15
  2. By: Bernard Hoekman; Marco Sanfilippo
    Abstract: This paper exploits a firm-level dataset for nineteen Sub-Sharan African countries that provides information on the share of total sales to government entities to provide new insights into the relative importance of participation in public procurement activity for different types of firms. We investigate whether participation in public procurement is associated with realization of the types of goals that underlie industrial policy – an improvement in measures of firm performance – and find that firms that sell a larger share of their output to government entities have better productivity performance. This is most strongly the case for domestically-owned firms, especially small companies, firms engaged in manufacturing activities and those located in the capital city. A positive relationship between participation in public procurement and performance is not observed for foreign-owned firms or companies that are in the service sector.
    Keywords: Firm performance, productivity, government demand, public procurement, industrial policy, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: H57 O12
    Date: 2018–03
  3. By: Antonelli, Cristiano; Feder, Christophe; Quatraro, Francesco (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Technological congruence implements the analysis of directed technological change showing how the match between the relative size of outputs’ elasticity and the relative abundance and cost of production factors has powerful effects on total factor productivity (TFP). Smart specialization strategies can rely upon technological congruence to support the introduction and diffusion of new directed technologies characterized by the best mix of factors relative cost -as determined by pecuniary externalities in the regional factor markets- and output elasticity. The evidence of 278 European regions in the years 1980-2011 confirms that the levels and the changes in technological congruence, brought about by the introduction of directed technological changes, have significant effects on the levels and the changes of TFP. The key policy implication is that the optimal S3 policy mix should not only look at the history of local industrial or technological specializations, but it should also take into account the pecuniary externalities that characterize local factor markets to promote technological changes directed to augmenting the output elasticity of the cheaper regional production factors.
    Date: 2018–04
  4. By: Shimaa Elkony; Hilary Clistina Ingham; Robert Allan Read
    Abstract: This paper is one of the first to investigate the sectoral dimension/perspective of FDI spillovers. It examines empirically the heterogeneous technology effects and efficiency gains of FDI across economic sectors in Egypt between 1990 and 2007. The results reveal many aspects of the aggregation bias of cross-country studies. In aggregate, inflows of FDI have no significant impact upon growth in Egypt; instead, growth is driven by government investment. The disaggregated analysis however, reveals that FDI has distinct sector-specific effects on the Egyptian economy that derive exclusively from investment in the Telecommunication & Information Technology. FDI in Services however, generates negative growth effects. The sectoral growth effects of FDI also depend upon the region of origin. Although the growth impact of FDI in Telecommunications from both the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) and Western economies is positive, the finding is primarily driven by investment from the latter nations. Further, there is some evidence to support the view that FDI into the Manufacturing & Petroleum sector from the MENA region has adverse growth effects. There is also limited evidence to suggest that ‘market-seeking’ Western (European and US) capital flows into the Services sector have conspicuous ‘crowding-out’ effects.
    Keywords: Foreign Direct Investment, Sectoral Spillovers, Egypt
    JEL: F23 O11 O14 O47
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Nick Bloom; Brian Lucking; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: This paper revisits the results of Bloom, Schankerman, and Van Reenen (2013) examining the impact of R&D on the performance of US firms, especially through spillovers. We extend their analysis to include an additional 15 years of data through 2015, and update the measures of firms' interactions in technology space and product market space. We show that the magnitude of R&D spillovers appears to have been broadly similar in the second decade of the 21st Century as it was in the mid-1980s. However, there does seem to have been some increase in the wedge between marginal social returns to R&D and marginal private returns with the ratio of marginal social to private returns increasing to a factor of 4 from 3. There is certainly no evidence that the need to subsidize R&D has diminished. Positive spillovers appeared to increase in the 1995-2004 boom.
    Keywords: innovation, RD, patents, productivity and spillovers
    JEL: O31 O32 O33 F23
    Date: 2018–05
  6. By: Raouf Boucekkine (Aix-Marseille Univ., CNRS, EHESS, Centrale Marseille, AMSE; Iméra; and Institut Universitaire de France); Giorgio Fabbri (Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, INRA, Grenoble INP, GAEL); Salvatore Federico (Università degli Studi di Siena, Dipartimento di Economia Politica e Statistica); Fausto Gozzi (Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli)
    Abstract: We solve a linear-quadratic model of a spatio-temporal economy using a polluting one-input technology. Space is continuous and heterogenous: locations differ in productivity, nature self-cleaning capacity and environmental awareness. The unique link between locations is transboundary pollution which is modelled as a PDE diffusion equation. The spatio-temporal functional is quadratic in local consumption and linear in pollution. Using a dynamic programming method adapted to our infinite dimensional setting, we solve the associated optimal control problem in closed-form and identify the asymptotic (optimal) spatial distribution of pollution. We show that optimal emissions will decrease at given location if and only if local productivity is larger than a threshold which depends both on the local pollution absorption capacity and environmental awareness. Furthermore, we numerically explore the relationship between the spatial optimal distributions of production and (asymptotic) pollution in order to uncover possible (geographic) Environmental Kuznets Curve cases.
    Keywords: growth, geography, transboundary pollution, infinite dimensional optimal control problems
    JEL: C61 C69 O44 R11
    Date: 2018–05
  7. By: Jussi Lankoski (OECD); Ada Ignaciuk (OECD); Franck Jésus (OECD)
    Abstract: This report develops quantitative and qualitative frameworks to test the possibility of systematically assessing a range of policies and their intended and unintended effects. The analysis spans the three policy objectives of enhanced productivity, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation. The preliminary findings and lessons learned are drawn from two applications of a qualitative framework (France and the Netherlands), where information was gathered through a wide-ranging questionnaire, and from two applications of a quantitative modelling framework which was tested using data from Finland and from selected sites in one region of the United States.
    Keywords: adaptation, agricultural policy, greenhouse gas emissions, mitigation, Productivity
    JEL: Q18 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2018–05–28
  8. By: Stefan Seifert; Marica Valente
    Abstract: In the 2011 post-Arab Spring migration wave, over 64,000 migrants landed on the southern Italian coast, with many of them potentially working illegally on farms through caporalato, a widespread system of illegal recruitment of underpaid farm labor run by Italian agrimafias. To test this hypothesis, this paper evaluates the causal effects of the 2011 migration wave on reported labor productivity focusing on vineyards in southern Italy. Based on a dynamic panel data model, labor productivity is estimated to increase by about 11% on average for 2011 and 2012. We show that this corresponds to a total of around 10 million unreported work hours, or 21,000 full-time employees, in each year. We interpret this as an increase in employment of illegal workforce due to the migration wave. Magnitude, direction, and statistical significance of the effect are confirmed under various model specifications and using synthetic control and post-lasso approaches.
    Keywords: Migration wave, agrimafias, illegal employment, vineyard productivity
    JEL: F22 J61 J43
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Alice Issanchou; Karine Daniel; Pierre Dupraz; Carole Ropars-Collet
    Abstract: There is a growing public concern for soils and the maintenance or enhancement of soil quality. Actually, soil resource plays a central role in issues regarding food security and climate change mitigation. Through their practices, farmers impact the physical, biological and chemical quality of their soils. However, in a strained economic environment, farmers face a trade-off between short term objectives of production and profitability, and a long term objective of soil resource conservation. In this article, we investigate the conditions under which farmers have a private interest to preserve the quality of their soil. We also characterize the optimal management strategies of soil quality dynamics. We use a simplified theoretical soil quality investment model, where farmers maximise their revenues under a soil quality dynamics constraint. In our production function, soil quality and productive inputs are cooperating production factors. In addition, productive inputs have a detrimental impact on soil quality dynamics. It appears that in some cases, farmers have a private and financial interest in preserving the quality of their soil at a certain level, since it is an endogenous production factor cooperating with productive inputs. However, situations can occur wherein the cooperative production benefits of soil quality and productive inputs are smaller than the marginal deterioration of soil quality due to productive inputs. In this case, one cannot draw conclusions about the existence of an equilibrium.
    Keywords: optimal control, soil quality, endogenous production factor
    JEL: D90 Q10 Q24
    Date: 2018

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