nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2018‒11‒26
nineteen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Università degli Studi di Verona

  1. Understanding heterogeneity in Peruvian agriculture: A meta-frontier approach for analyzing technical efficiency By Espinoza, M.; Fort, R.; Morris, M.; Sebastian, A.; Villazon, L.
  2. Estimation of irrigation water use efficiency with a stochastic frontier model By Ali, M.K.
  3. Superlative approximation of the Luenberger-Hicks-Moorsteen productivity indicator: Theory and application By Frederic Ang; Pieter Jan Kerstens
  4. The joint impact of the European Union emissions trading system on carbon emissions and economic performance By Antoine Dechezleprêtre; Daniel Nachtigall; Frank Venmans
  5. The Inverted-U Relationship Between Credit Access and Productivity Growth By Aghion, Philippe; Bergeaud, Antonin; Cette, Gilbert; Lecat, Rémy; Maghin, Helene
  6. Working Paper – WP/18/05- Productivity estimates for South Africa from CES production functions By Daan Steenkamp
  7. The Determinants of TFP Growth in the Portuguese Service Sector By Ana Martins; Tiago Domingues; Catarina Branco
  8. The Measurement of Labour Content: A General Approach By Yoshihara, Naoki; Veneziani, Roberto
  10. What Drives China's Growth? Evidence from Micro-level Data By Tomoyuki Iida; Kanako Shoji; Shunichi Yoneyama
  11. Technological progress in US crop production: Productivity gains, abundant supply of crop calories, evolution in the livestock industry and implications for biofuel production By Taheripour, F.; Scott, D.; Tyner, W.
  12. The roles of agroclimatic similarity and returns on scale in the demand for mechanization: Insights from northern Nigeria By Takeshima, Hiroyuki
  13. A review of the empirical literature combining economic and environmental performance data at the micro-level By Antoine Dechezleprêtre; Tobias Kruse
  15. Determinants of family farm income: Findings from the panel data on the type of production in the EU countries By Roma Ry?-Jurek
  16. Finland’s Growth Performance – The Lost Decade and the Prospects in the Near Term By Kaitila, Ville; Kauhanen, Antti; Kuusi, Tero; Lehmus, Markku; Maliranta, Mika; Vihriälä, Vesa
  17. The effects of foreign direct investment on regional growth and productivity By Park, Jaegon
  18. Environmental efficiency of smallholder rubber production By Holtkamp, A.M.; Brummer, B.
  19. Family Firm Performance over the Business Cycle: A Meta-Analysis By Christopher Hansen; Joern H. Block; Matthias Neuenkirch

  1. By: Espinoza, M.; Fort, R.; Morris, M.; Sebastian, A.; Villazon, L.
    Abstract: This paper describes an empirical application of a stochastic method for estimating meta-frontier production functions described by Huang, Huang, and Liu (2014) that has been little applied in the context of heterogeneity of production technology. We use nationally and regionally representative data to explore patterns of productivity within and between regions of Peru and to understand factors that influence technical efficiency. We estimate a stochastic national meta-frontier that allows for a comparison between different systems in relation to the agricultural sector as a whole. Our results support the view that even though total factor productivity (TFP) and technical efficiency (TE) measured at national level are rising steadily, significant differences persist within the country. The extreme heterogeneity of Peru s agricultural sector is reflected in different realities between its regions and farming systems. Levels of productivity technical efficiency differ not only between regions, but also within regions, because farmers located within the same region are not equally productive or efficient. Acknowledgement :
    Keywords: Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
    Date: 2018–07
  2. By: Ali, M.K.
    Abstract: The prospect of future water scarcity due to growing demands and supply uncertainties due to climate change prompted the Government of Alberta, Canada to declare Water for Life strategy in 2003, under which an ambitious goal of improving conservation, efficiency and productivity of water use by 30% over 2005-2015 was targeted. Since irrigation is the largest (over 80%) consumptive sector of surface water in semiarid Southern Alberta, the success of this strategy is conditioned on sustainable water resource management in this sector via improvement in efficiency and productivity of water use. Using panel data for 12 irrigation districts over 2006-2015, this study applies the stochastic production frontier (SPF) methodology to estimate the technical and irrigation water use efficiency of these districts who manage roughly 3.45 billion m3 of surface water to service over 550,000 ha irrigated land in Southern Alberta. The SPF methodology is widely used in the literature of firm productivity because of its capability of distinguishing two potential sources of inefficiency one due to random phenomenon and another due to subpar management and operating skills. Results indicate that the 10-year average technical efficiency of the irrigation districts is 74.9% while their irrigation water use efficiency is 68.5%. Acknowledgement : This study is supported by the author s University of Lethbridge SSHRC Award (ULSA), 2017. The author is grateful to Jennifer Nitschelm of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development(AARD), Lethbridge for providing return flow data.
    Keywords: Research Methods/ Statistical Methods
    Date: 2018–07
  3. By: Frederic Ang (Business Economics Group, Wageningen University); Pieter Jan Kerstens (Department of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: Consisting of the difference between an output indicator and an input indicator, the Luenberger-Hicks-Moorsteen (LHM) productivity indicator allows straightforward interpretation. However, it requires estimation of distance functions that are inherently unknown. This paper shows that a simple Bennet profit indicator is a superlative approximation of the LHM indicator when one can assume profit-maximizing behavior and the input and output directional distance functions can be represented up to the second order by a quadratic functional form. We also show that the Luenberger and LHM-approximating Bennet indicators coincide for an appropriate choice of the directional vectors. Focusing on a large sample of Italian food and beverages companies for the years 1995-2007, we empirically investigate the extent to which this theoretical equivalence translates into similar estimates.
    Keywords: Productivity and competitiveness, Bennet, Luenberger-Hicks-Moorsteen, superlative approximation, Italian food and beverages sector
    JEL: C43 D21 D22 D24
    Date: 2018–11
  4. By: Antoine Dechezleprêtre; Daniel Nachtigall; Frank Venmans
    Abstract: This paper investigates the joint impact of the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), Europe’s main climate change policy, on carbon emissions and economic performance of regulated companies. The impact on emissions is analysed using installation-level carbon emissions from national Polluting Emissions Registries from France, Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom complemented with data from the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR). The impact on firm performance is analysed using firm-level data for all countries covered by the EU ETS. A matching methodology exploiting installation-level inclusion criteria combined with difference-in-differences is used to estimate the policy’s causal impact on installations’ emissions and on firms’ revenue, assets, profits and employment. We find that the EU ETS has induced carbon emission reductions in the order of -10% between 2005 and 2012, but had no negative impact on the economic performance of regulated firms. These results demonstrate that concerns that the EU ETS would come at a cost in terms of competitiveness have been vastly overplayed. In fact, we even find that the EU ETS led to an increase in regulated firms’ revenues and fixed assets. We explore various explanations for these findings.
    Keywords: carbon emissions reductions, competitiveness, EU Emissions Trading System, firm performance
    JEL: Q52 Q54 Q58
    Date: 2018–12–06
  5. By: Aghion, Philippe; Bergeaud, Antonin; Cette, Gilbert; Lecat, Rémy; Maghin, Helene
    Abstract: In this paper we identify two counteracting effects of credit access on productivity growth: on the one hand, better access to credit makes it easier for entrepreneurs to innovate; on the other hand, better credit access allows less efficient incumbent firms to remain longer on the market, thereby discouraging entry of new and potentially more efficient innovators. We first develop a simple model of firm dynamics and innovation-base growth with credit constraints, where the above two counteracting effects generate an inverted-U relationship between credit access and productivity growth. Then we test our theory on a comprehensive French manufacturing firm-level dataset. We first show evidence of an inverted-U relationship between credit constraints and productivity growth when we aggregate our data at sectoral level.. We then move to firm-level analysis, and show that incumbent firms with easier access to credit experience higher productivity growth, but that they also experienced lower exit rates, particularly the least productive firms among them. To confirm our results, we exploit the 2012 Eurosystem's Additional Credit Claims (ACC) program as a quasi-experiment that generated exogenous extra supply of credits for a subset of incumbent firms.
    Keywords: credit constraint; firms; growth; interest rate; productivity
    JEL: G21 G32 O40 O47
    Date: 2018–09
  6. By: Daan Steenkamp
    Abstract: This paper provides estimates of the elasticity of substitution and total factor productivity (TFP) for South Africa. Estimates are based on constant elasticity of substitution (CES) production functions. Estimates of potential output and the output gap implied by different CES model specifications are also compared to those from other models.
    Date: 2018–11–19
  7. By: Ana Martins (GEE - Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos do Ministério da Economia); Tiago Domingues (GEE - Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos do Ministério da Economia); Catarina Branco (Nova School of Business and Economics)
    Abstract: As services today are of great complexity and usually a bundle of different individual inputs, it is sometimes hard to identify characteristics for the overall service sector. As such, empirical research on productivity is less common in this sector. Given the connection between Total Factor Productivity (TFP) and economic growth, and the importance of services for overall economic activity, it is crucial to study, at the firm level, which factors may drive TFP growth in this particular sector. Our empirical assessment is based on a firm-level panel dataset covering Portuguese service firms, between 2010 and 2016. We first estimate TFP through the Levinsohn-Petrin (LP) algorithm and compare results amongst different traditional estimating methods. Secondly, we conclude our econometric framework with a fixed-effects estimation, hence, trying to shed further light on the determinants of TFP growth in the Portuguese service sector. We found evidence for a positive correlation between financial health, innovation, wage premium, and TFP growth, whereas capital intensity, training, and age show a non-linear relationship with TFP growth.
    Keywords: Total Factor Productivity; LEVPET; Fixed e ects; Service Sector
    JEL: C33 D22 D24 O47
    Date: 2018–11
  8. By: Yoshihara, Naoki; Veneziani, Roberto
    Abstract: This paper analyses the theoretical issues related to the measurement of the amount of labour used in the production of — or contained in — a bundle of goods for general technologies with heterogeneous labour. A novel axiomatic framework is used in order to formulate the key properties of the notion of labour content and analyse its theoretical foundations. The main measures of labour content used in various strands of the literature are then characterised. Quite surprisingly, a unique axiomatic structure can be identified which underlies measures of labour aggregates used in such diverse fields as neoclassical growth theory, input-output approaches, productivity analysis, and classical political economy.
    Keywords: labour content, labour productivity, technical change, axiomatic analysis
    JEL: D57 J24 O33
    Date: 2018–10
  9. By: Joseph Hughes (Rutgers University); Julapa Jagtiani (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia); Choon-Geol Moon (Hanyang University)
    Abstract: Using 2013 and 2016 data, we compare the performance of unsecured consumer loans made by U.S. bank holding companies to that of the fintech lender, LendingClub. We focus on the volume of nonperforming unsecured consumer loans and apply a novel technique developed by Hughes and Moon (2017) that decomposes the observed rate of nonperforming loans into three components: a best-practice minimum ratio, a ratio that gauges nonperformance in excess of the best-practice (reflecting the relative proficiency of credit analysis and loan monitoring), and the statistical noise. Stochastic frontier techniques are used to estimate a minimum rate of nonperforming consumer loans conditioned on the volume of consumer loans and total loans, the average contractual lending rate on consumer loans, and market conditions (GDP growth rate and market concentration). This minimum gauges best-observed practice and answers the question, what ratio of nonperforming consumer loans to total consumer lending could a lender achieve if it were fully efficient at credit-risk evaluation and loan management? The frontier estimation eliminates the influence of luck (statistical noise) and gauges the systematic failure to obtain the minimum ratio. The conditional minimum ratio can be interpreted as a measure of inherent credit risk. The difference between the observed ratio, adjusted for statistical noise, and the minimum ratio gauges lending inefficiency. In 2013 and 2016, the largest bank holding companies with consolidated assets exceeding $250 billion experience the highest ratio of nonperforming consumer loans among the five size groups constituting the sample. Moreover, the inherent credit risk of their consumer lending is the highest among the five groups, but their lending efficiency is also the highest. Thus, the high ratio of consumer nonperformance of the largest financial institutions appears to result from assuming more inherent credit risk, not from inefficiency at lending. In 2016, LendingClub’s scale of unsecured consumer lending is slightly smaller than the scale of the largest banks. And like these large lenders, its relatively high nonperforming loan ratio is the result of a higher best-practice ratio of nonperforming consumer loans – i.e., higher inherent credit risk. As of 2016, LendingClub’s lending efficiency is similar to the high average efficiency of the largest bank lenders - a conclusion that may not be applicable to other fintech lenders. While the efficiency metric is well-accepted, widely used, and conceptually sound, it may be subject to some data limitations. For example, our data do not include lending performance during an economic downturn when delinquency rates would be higher and when lenders more experienced with downturns might achieve higher efficiency.
    Keywords: commercial banking, online lending, credit risk, lending efficiency
    JEL: G21 L25 C58
    Date: 2018–11–19
  10. By: Tomoyuki Iida (Bank of Japan); Kanako Shoji (Bank of Japan); Shunichi Yoneyama (Bank of Japan)
    Abstract: This paper discusses the sustainability of China fs rapid growth mainly based on the estimation of the corporate-level total factor productivity of Chinese listed firms. Since the 1980s, both capital accumulation and rapid technological progress -- measured as total factor productivity (TFP) -- have contributed to the high growth of the Chinese aggregate output. Should the prediction of the standard growth theory be correct, however, economic growth led by capital accumulation is not likely to be long lasting, hence we mainly focus on firm level TFP growth. As a result, we identify four channels that would continue to promote the TFP growth of the Chinese corporate sector at an aggregate level: (i) declining proportion of low-productivity state-owned enterprises, (ii) continuous influx of highly competent new start-ups, (iii) broad catching up trend among the laggards in the firm distribution, and (iv) innovation spawning R&D activities. These four channels would underpin the medium-term economic growth of the Chinese economy.
    Keywords: China; Total Factor Productivity; Catching up; R&D
    JEL: N15 O30 O47
    Date: 2018–11–13
  11. By: Taheripour, F.; Scott, D.; Tyner, W.
    Abstract: This paper evaluates in a holistic way major trends in US production of food, feed, and biofuel commodities over the period 1961-2014. It is motivated by literature that examines parts of the changes but does not integrate them. We develop a comprehensive data set and then conduct analysis of the major trends that emerge. We identify eight major trends and then combine them to four major themes. The first theme is the huge gain in agricultural productivity over this period. An important component of this theme is that the productivity gain was sufficient to achieve substantial total production growth as agricultural land declined over the period. Second, there has been a major transformation of the livestock sector as less efficient and more expensive beef has been replaced by more efficient and less expensive poultry. As this change has happened, the livestock sector has become more land efficient, less land used in livestock. The third major change is that US calorie production is now substantially more than the needs for food and feed. Finally, the first three major themes have enabled the fourth, which is growth of US renewable fuel production, while agricultural land declined over time. Acknowledgement : No Acknowledgement
    Keywords: Crop Production/Industries
    Date: 2018–07
  12. By: Takeshima, Hiroyuki
    Abstract: Using farm household data from northern Nigeria as well as various spatial agroclimatic data, this study shows that the adoption of key mechanical technologies in Nigerian agriculture (animal traction, tractors, or both) has been high in areas that are more agroclimatically similar to the locations of agricultural research and development (R&D) stations, and this effect is heterogeneous, being particularly strong among relatively larger farms. Furthermore, such effects are likely to have been driven by the rise in returns on scale in the underlying production function caused by the adoption of these mechanical technologies. Agricultural mechanization, represented here as the switch from manual labor to animal traction and tractors, has been not only raising the average return on scale but also potentially magnifying the effects of productivity-enhancing public-sector R&D on spatial variations in agricultural productivity in countries like Nigeria.
    Keywords: NIGERIA; WEST AFRICA ; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; agricultural mechanization; agroclimatic zones; agricultural productivity; innovation adoption; animal power; tractors; farm size; agroclimatic similarity; returns on scale; inverse probability weighting
    Date: 2017
  13. By: Antoine Dechezleprêtre; Tobias Kruse
    Abstract: This article reviews the empirical literature combining economic and environmental performance data at the micro-level, i.e. firm- or facility-level. The literature has generally found a positive and statistically significant correlation between economic performance, as measured by stock market returns, and environmental performance, as measured by emissions of pollutants or adoption of international environmental standards. The main reason for this finding seems to be that firms that reduce their material and energy costs experience both better economic performance and lower emissions. There is also evidence that greener firms are able to attract more productive employees and face smaller costs of capital, and that the introduction of green products enhances firms’ profitability. Only a small and recent literature analyses the joint causal impact of environmental regulations on environmental and economic performance. Interestingly, this literature shows that environmental regulations tend to improve environmental performance while not weakening economic performance. However, the evidence so far is limited to a handful of environmental regulations that are not extremely stringent, so the result cannot be easily generalized. More research is needed to assess the joint effects of environmental regulations on environmental and economic performance, to explore the heterogeneity of these effects across sectors, countries and types of policies, and to understand which policy designs allow improving environmental quality while not altering the economic performance of regulated businesses.
    Keywords: environmental performance, firm performance, microdata sources
    JEL: Q50 Q58
    Date: 2018–12–06
  14. By: Elena Karnoukhova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Anastasia Stepanova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Maria Kokoreva (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: Innovative companies are a major driver of the global economy. The typical major owner is an institutional investor. In recent years the stakes of institutional owners have increased, which should increase the role of institutional investors. Institutional investors, however, differ. Traditional investment managers, banks, insurance companies and hedge funds have different goals and strategies, so their roles in firms differ significantly. In this article we analyze the difference between technology and non-technology companies to find out the reason for the success of fast-growing corporations. This research uses a Generalized Least Square model on a sample of 12,565 firm-year observations 2004–15, to justify the assumption that different types of investors have different effects on the performance of innovative companies. The research reveals a distinction between the type of investor and the investor strategy. By focusing on the concentration of ownership, we demonstrate the performance effect on different blockholders. Our findings suggest, first, that grey investors decrease firm value; second, that passive independent institutions enhance firm performance in virtue of their active monitoring and long-term investment horizons; third, that innovative firms have different ownership patterns to traditional ones.
    Keywords: ownership structure, institutional investors, innovative companies, ownership concentration
    JEL: G32
    Date: 2018
  15. By: Roma Ry?-Jurek (Pozna? University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: The aim of this research is to present the family farm income and its determinants according to the type of production of farms in the EU countries in 2004-2016. Research is based on European Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN), which includes information about average farms in the EU-28. These data include basic information about economic situation of 2335 production types according to the TF8 grouping, i.e.: fieldcrops, horticulture, wine, other permanent crops, milk, other grazing livestock, granivores and mixed.In this paper an attempt is made to use the panel models to evaluate the determinants of family farm income. The Gretl program is used to evaluate fixed effect models and random effect models allowing to indicate determinants of family farm income depending on the farm?s type of production.
    Keywords: FADN, family farm income, panel data
    JEL: C23 Q12 Q14
    Date: 2018–10
  16. By: Kaitila, Ville; Kauhanen, Antti; Kuusi, Tero; Lehmus, Markku; Maliranta, Mika; Vihriälä, Vesa
    Abstract: Abstract In the report we analyse the reasons for the weakness of Finland’s economic performance over the past decade and assess the growth prospects in the coming 5 years. The weakness of Finland’s performance relative to comparative EU-countries since 2009 can largely be explained by the collapse of Nokia’s production and the deterioration of cost competitiveness. The recovery in turn stems from a stronger export market growth, the fading away of the negative Nokia shock, and the improvement of cost competitiveness. Of the rise of employment by some 100 000 jobs since 2015 about half can be explained by a number of policy measures to increase labour supply and the so-called competitiveness pact. Based on a realistic assumption on productivity growth, we estimate that Finland could achieve an annual growth rate of about 2 per cent in the coming 5 years. This requires, nevertheless, that the employment rate increases by 2023 to the level reached by comparative countries. Although such a change would not be greater than what is taking place during the current government period, ambitious reforms are needed to achieve this.
    Keywords: Growth, Employment, Productivity, Labour supply, Competitiveness, Finland’s economy
    JEL: E37 E61 E62 F10 J11 J20 O11
    Date: 2018–11–12
  17. By: Park, Jaegon
    Abstract: To promote regional economic growth in the current global environment, nations have begun methodically combining internal assets with external capabilities. Against this backdrop, this paper demonstrates how foreign direct investment (FDI) — a major channel for participating in the global production network — influences regional economic development. Its key findings are as follows: 1) Korea has reached the stage where outbound overseas investments outpace inbound FDI, 2) FDI in Korea is heavily concentrated in a handful of regions and in particular the Seoul capital region, 3) inbound FDI has a statistically significant positive impact on regional growth and productivity and 4) outbound foreign investment weighs negatively on regional growth and productivity. The paper concludes by arguing the necessity of utilizing a global perspective in regional policymaking.
    Date: 2018–11
  18. By: Holtkamp, A.M.; Brummer, B.
    Abstract: The economic benefits of Indonesia's rubber production are increasingly questioned because of their associated problematic effects on the environment, such as disturbances of the native ecosystem through alien and invasive organisms and overall negative effects on biodiversity. In order to reconcile economic benefits and threats to ecological functions, the exact nature of the interaction between rubber production and the surrounding ecosystems needs to be analyzed so that adequate policy interventions could be devised. In this paper, we focus on the trade-off relationship between rubber output and the ecosystem disturbance, proxied by the prevalence of invasive plants. Our approach is based on a directional output distance function, which allows the simultaneous estimation of efficiency and of the determinants of environmental efficiency. We apply this model to a household level socioeconomic data set and a plot-level environmental data set, from Jambi in 2012. Our results point towards a concave trade-off curve, indicating that an increase in rubber output is accompanied by an increase in ecosystem disturbance. Farm specific efficiency estimates indicate subdued level of efficiency, illustrating the possibility to reduce ecosystem disturbance while simultaneously increasing rubber output. The inefficiency levels are found affected by several management related variables, e.g., the glyphosate application. Acknowledgement :
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy
    Date: 2018–07
  19. By: Christopher Hansen; Joern H. Block; Matthias Neuenkirch
    Abstract: The financial performance of family firms has been widely studied in the literature. Combining the results of 172 primary studies from 38 countries with data about business cycles, we investigated how family firm performance changes over the business cycle. Using meta-analytic estimation methods, we found that family firms slightly outperform nonfamily firms in both economically good and economically difficult times. For non-OECD countries, we found evidence for a countercyclical effect where the relative outperformance of family firms is higher in economically difficult times. No such cyclical effect was found for family firms in OECD countries. Our study extends the literature on how family firm performance depends on macroeconomic factors.
    Keywords: family firms, financial performance, meta-analysis, business cycle
    Date: 2018

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