nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2019‒07‒08
twelve papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Università degli Studi di Verona

  1. Examining eco-efficiency convergence of European Industries.The existence of technological spillovers within a metafrontier framework By Kounetas, Konstantinos; Stergiou, Eirini
  2. Mixed Stochastic Input Oriented Data Envelopment Analysis Model By Nahia Mourad; Assem Tharwat
  3. Productivity impact of CAP Pillar II payments in the EU28 By Vigani, Mauro; Curzi, Daniele
  4. Impacts of industry 4.0 investments on firm performance: Evidence from Italy By Marco Bettiol; Mauro Capestro; Eleonora Di Maria; Andrea Furlan
  5. TOTEX Malmquist Index for RPI-X Regulation: Does it Correctly Estimate the True Frontier Shift? By Roland Meyer; Gert Brunekreeft; George Elias
  6. Does Contracting for the Provision of Public Services Decrease Prices? Evidence from French Water Public Services By Simon Porcher
  7. Measuring the Competitiveness of the Cyprus Economy: the Case of Unit Labour Costs By Marios Polemidiotis; Maria C. Papageorgiou; Maria G. Mithillou
  8. Financial Analysis of Hay Production in Connecticut By Eubanks, Gunnar W.; Bravo-Ureta, Boris E.
  9. Revisions of potential output estimates in the EU after the Great Recession By Jonas Dovern; Christopher Zuber
  10. Marginal cost estimation of agricultural output and ecosystem services By Vígh, Enikő; Miskó, Krisztina; Fogarasi, József
  11. Flexible Estimation of Heteroskedastic Stochastic Frontier Models via Two-step Iterative Nonlinear Least Squares By Federico Belotti; Giancarlo Ferrara
  12. Misallocation or Misspecification? The Effect of “Average” Distortions on TFP Gains Estimations By Elías Albagli; Mario Canales; Antonio Martner; Matías Tapia; Juan M. Wlasiuk

  1. By: Kounetas, Konstantinos; Stergiou, Eirini
    Abstract: European policies regarding global warming have been outspread the last few decades with many initiatives for industrial production process. In this paper we model eco-efficiency performance under a meta-frontier framework for 14 industries from the manufacturing sector from 27 European countries over the 1995-2011 period. The utilization of NOx, SOx, CO2, CH4, N2O, CO, NMVOC and NH3 as undesirable outputs and GVA as the desirable represent the impact of of economic activities on the environment. In the first stage, we estimate eco-efficiency using the conventional Directional Distance Function (DDF) as well as the non-radial DDF approach. In the second stage of analysis, we investigate the existence of conditional and unconditional convergence according to several methodologies. Our eco-efficiency estimates provide a distinct behavior for energy intensive European industries. Moreover, a decline occurs for the majority of them. In addition, our results using distributional dynamics approach and the recent approach of Philips and Sul (2007) supports the non-convergence hypothesis and the creation of distinct clubs. Finally, the establishment of a catch up index indicate an increase in a speed of convergence.
    Keywords: Eco-efficiency,Non-parametric frontier analysis, Convergence, Technological heterogeneity,European Industries.
    JEL: C22 C44 D2 D24 Q4 Q40 Q52
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Nahia Mourad (CERMICS - Centre d'Enseignement et de Recherche en Mathématiques et Calcul Scientifique - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech); Assem Tharwat
    Abstract: Data envelopment analysis (DEA) is a mathematical tool used to evaluate relative efficiency of decision making units (DMUs). It is a bench-marking method for these units. To measure this relative efficiency, data related to a set of inputs and outputs are provided from all the DMUs under analysis, and then implemented in a suitable DEA model. Stochastic DEA allows the inputs or outputs to be stochastic random variables. In this article, we consider combination of deterministic and stochastic inputs following Normal and/or Poisson distribution. To the best of our knowledge, variables following Poisson distribution are not yet considered in these methods. We introduce the stochastic input oriented data envelopment analysis (SIODEA) model. The random inputs, following either normal or Poisson distributions, are controlled by chance constrained. Using functional analysis techniques, the chance constrained with Poisson variables is replaced by difference of Marcum functions evaluated at points related to the parameters of these variables. Consequently, we formulate a deter-ministic equivalent model with mixed random inputs. Finally, a numerical example is presented and the efficiencies of different DMUs are calculated using the obtained equivalent model to test its validity.
    Keywords: mathematical programming,performance,efficiency,decision making,data envelopment analysis,input oriented DEA,stochastic inputs,chance constrained
    Date: 2019–05–31
  3. By: Vigani, Mauro; Curzi, Daniele
    Abstract: The productivity impacts of the CAP payments, and especially of the Rural Development measures, are still uncertain and mixed effects from a diversity of empirical approaches have been found in the literature. This paper analyses the effects of the CAP on the productivity of the farms in the EU28 by adopting an alternative approach based on a system of equations derived from a non-nested production function with constant elasticity of substitution. The econometric strategy consists of a simultaneous equation model with GMM estimator which allows dealing with potential endogeneity bias. Results show that the majority of Pillar I and II payments have a positive impact on the productivity of the farming sector, with the noticeable exceptions of agro-environmental schemes and other rural development subsidies. However, the productivity impact of CAP payments is sensitive to the composition of the sample and it is different for different groups of Member States.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy
    Date: 2019–05–29
  4. By: Marco Bettiol (Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova); Mauro Capestro (Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova); Eleonora Di Maria (Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova); Andrea Furlan (Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova)
    Abstract: The adoption of industry 4.0 technologies is assumed to bring superior competitive advantage for adopting firms as drivers of efficiency, differentiation as well as support to innovation. However, no studies capture the impacts of industry 4.0 technologies on firm’s financial performance. The paper explores the relationship between investments in digital technologies and firm performances, by also examining which are the technologies more likely to be associated with superior performance and eventually the cumulative effect of technologies on performance. Based on unique data gathered in 2017 on a sample of 1,149 Italian firms, results show the positive impacts on adopters’ performance and the role of robotics and laser cutting in this relationship. No cumulative effect (i.e. adopting more than one or two technologies) is instead observed.
    Keywords: digital technologies, performance, strategy, industry 4.0
    Date: 2019–06
  5. By: Roland Meyer; Gert Brunekreeft; George Elias
    Abstract: The factor X in the RPI-X regulation aims to adjust price or revenue allowances to changes in total factor productivity and input prices. A cost Malmquist index can be applied to determine the efficient cost change (ECC). However, regulators typically do not have the necessary data on input quantities and prices. Instead, a TOTEX Malmquist allows for calculating the total cost change (TCC). We study under which conditions the TCC of a TOTEX Malmquist correctly estimates the true ECC. We have two main findings. TCC is an undistorted estimate of ECC if (1) the frontier firms are either fully efficient, or if their inefficiency remain constant over time, and (2) if input prices either stay constant or change by the same proportion for all firms.
    Keywords: price regulation, Malmquist index, total factor productivity, data envelopment analysis
    JEL: L51 D24
    Date: 2019–07
  6. By: Simon Porcher (IAE - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises)
    Abstract: This article looks at the reasons for and results of contracting out in local public services, with specific regards to its possible effects on price and other performance determinants. It uses a rich city-level dataset of water public services in France between 1998 and 2008. We find evidence, using alternative econometric methods, that contracting out to private operators is associated with higher prices on average ceteris paribus. This pattern is consistent with the study of units switching from an organizational form to another. We finally discuss several reasons for the existing price gap between direct management (public management) and contracting out (private management) using the expense-preferences of managers.
    Keywords: public-private partnerships,water,efficiency,differences-in-differences,Propensity score matching
    Date: 2019–06–03
  7. By: Marios Polemidiotis (Central Bank of Cyprus); Maria C. Papageorgiou (Central Bank of Cyprus); Maria G. Mithillou (Central Bank of Cyprus)
    Abstract: The focus of this paper is on developments in unit labour costs (ULC) in Cyprus, an important indicator of competitiveness. The data points to a significant correction in the nominal ULC index in the period 2013-2016, almost exclusively driven by the significant wage declines observed in the public and private sectors, with the decline in the private sector driven mainly by construction and the trade, transport and tourism sectors. Once the index is adjusted for the impact of prices (to arrive at the real ULC index, a complementary indicator that is sometimes informative to analyse), the data points to an earlier and more pronounced correction in ULC. The marginal rise in the ULC index in 2017 is due to the small rise in wages, largely in the public sector, which still leaves the level of the index well below its pre-crisis level. Furthermore, developments in the ULC index are in line with recent macroeconomic performance. Overall, the significant wage moderation observed prior to the crisis, and especially the immediate and continuous adjustment of wages (as well as that of prices) following the March 2013 events, demonstrates the Cyprus economy’s potential to achieve internal devaluation as a mechanism for the correction of macroeconomic imbalances.
    Keywords: Competitiveness, labour productivity, unit labour costs, wages, crisis
    JEL: E24 J08 J21 J31 J38 J45 J68
    Date: 2018–07
  8. By: Eubanks, Gunnar W.; Bravo-Ureta, Boris E.
    Keywords: Agricultural Finance, Crop Production/Industries, Productivity Analysis
    Date: 2019–03–11
  9. By: Jonas Dovern; Christopher Zuber
    Abstract: Using European Commission real-time data, we show that potential output (PO) estimates were substantially and persistently revised downwards after the Great Recession. We decompose PO revisions into revisions of the capital stock, trend labor, and trend total-factor productivity (TFP). Initially, trend TFP revisions contribute most to the overall PO revisions while all three components are almost equally important in the longer run. Revisions of the capital stock happen quickly while revisions of trend labor, mainly driven by revisions of the non-accelerating wage rate of unemployment (NAWRU), are made gradually. The relative contributions of the components to overall PO revisions differ systematically across countries. This suggests that heterogeneous policies are needed to push different countries back to their previous growth paths.
    Keywords: potential output, trend, output gap, hysteresis, EC
    JEL: E32
    Date: 2019
  10. By: Vígh, Enikő; Miskó, Krisztina; Fogarasi, József
    Abstract: Agricultural ecosystems deliver food, fibre, pharmaceuticals, bioenergy and are fundamental to human wellbeing. In Hungary main measures targeting the sustainable use of agricultural land in New Hungary Rural Development Programme (NHRDP) are: Agri-Environment Payments and payments to Less Favoured Areas. Based on theoretical assumptions, the delivery of different ecosystem services (e.g. soil fertility, pest control) may be typical of one product–product connection, but farms can deliver multiple services which by themselves are produced in non-separable packages. In this study we employ a transformation function with multiple outputs and inputs, representing the maximum output producing possibility from a given input and with given conditions using generalised linear regression. Given the limited options to implement the overall policy coherence of ecosystem conservation, the presented work contributes to knowledge of decisionmakers, whose need to take into account the heterogeneity of farms and corresponding ecosystem services on farm territory.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy
    Date: 2019–05–29
  11. By: Federico Belotti (CEIS & DEF University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Giancarlo Ferrara (SOSE and University of Palermo)
    Abstract: This article illustrates a straightforward and useful method for incorporating exogenous inefficiency effects in the estimation of semiparametric stochastic frontier models. An iterative estimation algorithm based on two-step nonlinear least squares is developed allowing for any flexible and monotonic specification of the production technology. We investigate the behavior of the proposed procedure through a set of Monte Carlo experiments comparing its finite sample properties with those of available alternatives. The new algorithm provides very good performance, outperforming the competitors in small samples and in presence of small signal-to-noise ratios. Two applications to agricultural data illustrate the usefulness of the proposed algorithm, even when it is used as a tool for sensitivity analysis.
    Keywords: Stochastic frontier, Heteroskedasticity, Inefficiency effects, Generalized additive model, Nonlinear least-squares, P-Splines.
    JEL: C14 C51 D24
    Date: 2019–07–03
  12. By: Elías Albagli; Mario Canales; Antonio Martner; Matías Tapia; Juan M. Wlasiuk
    Abstract: In recent years a vast literature has been devoted to estimate the degree of misallocation in different countries, sectors and time periods using Hsieh & Klenow (2009) -henceforth HK- framework. Even if we take the HK model at face value, such estimations still depend (heavily) on the assumed production technologies and elasticity of substitution. How much of the estimated TFP gain from eliminating distortions is due to actual TFPR dispersion among firms and how much is related to the specific parameterization of the model? We propose a decomposition of the inferred distortions that allows us to isolate the effect of “average” distortions (which depend on the parameterization and are defined at the industry level) from that of “dispersion” distortions (which are unaffected by the parameters and operate at the firm level). Using a newly available administrative dataset with the universe of Chilean firms between 1999 and 2015, we show that TFP gains from eliminating misallocations using the standard HK parameterization are 58% in the manufacturing sector (68% for the entire economy), but are reduced to 28% (44%) once the “mean” components of the distortions are removed. We find that the fraction of TFP gains explained by ”average” distortions increased significantly in Chile between 2000 and 2013, which is mainly explained by a sustained increase in average markups. We verify the robustness of our results using different datasets from Chile and Colombia.
    Date: 2019–06

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