nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2020‒01‒13
24 papers chosen by

  1. Improvement of Technical Efficiency of Firm Groups By Walter Briec; Stéphane Mussard
  2. Productivity & Innovation Competencies in the Midst of the Digital Transformation Age: A EU-US Comparison By Bart van Ark; Klaas de Vries; Abdul Erumban
  3. Misallocation, Selection and Productivity: A Quantitative Analysis with Panel Data from China By Tasso Adamopoulos; Loren Brandt; Jessica Leight; Diego Restuccia
  4. Frontier and Superstar Firms in Italy. By Francesca Lotti; Enrico Sette
  5. Barriers to Entry and Regional Economic Growth in China By Loren Brandt; Gueorgui Kambourov; Kjetil Storesletten
  6. The empirics of granular origins: some challenges and solutions with an application to the UK By Dacic, Nikola; Melolinna, Marko
  7. L'énergie et les fonctions de production agrégées : perspectives historique et méthodologique By Quentin Couix
  8. Institutions and the Productivity Challenge for European Regions By Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Roberto Ganau
  9. Trade Liberalization and Firm Profitability: Insights from Ghana's Manufacturing Sector. By Hoedoafia, Mabel Akosua
  10. Agricultural credits and agricultural productivity: Cross-country evidence By Seven, Unal; Tumen, Semih
  11. Studying the Heterogeneity of European Higher Education Institutions By Renato Bruni; Giuseppe Catalano; Cinzia Daraio; Martina Gregori; Henk F. Moed
  12. Gender, technical efficiency and adoption of drought-tolerant maize varieties in Zambia By Amondo, Emily Injete
  13. Place-based Policy and Local TFP. By Giuseppe Albanese; Guido de Blasio; Andrea Locatelli
  14. Technical efficiency, soil fertility and farmers’ perception: evidence from smallholder maize production in Kenya By Olwande, John
  15. From New Technology to Productivity By Eric J. Bartelsman
  16. The agricultural mechanization in Africa: micro-level analysis of state, drivers and effects By Kirui, Oliver Kiptoo
  17. On the Aggregation of the Paasche and Laspeyres Malmquist Indexes By Rolf Färe; Valentin Zelenyuk
  18. New metrics for meta-analyses of heterogeneous effects By Mathur, Maya B; VanderWeele, Tyler
  19. Role of Micro finance Institutions In Promoting Financial Inclusion and Economic Growth By Naseer, Imran; Azam, Amir
  20. The Effect of Scale, Technique, Composition and Trade Openness on Energy Demand: Fresh Evidence from Malaysia By Shahbaz, Muhammad; Alam, Md. Mahmudul; Uddin, Gazi Salah; Nanthakumar, Loganathan
  21. On relaxing the distributional assumption of stochastic frontier models By Hohsuk Noh; Ingrid Van Keilegom
  22. Performance Model’s development: A Novel Approach encompassing Ontology-Based Data Access and Visual Analytics By Marco Angelini; Cinzia Daraio; Maurizio Lenzerini; Francesco Leotta; Giuseppe Santucci
  23. Gender differences in profit efficiency among youth producer-marketers in Rice and Maize marketing in Cameroon By Choumbou, Raoul Fani Djomo
  24. The Automatisation Challenge Meets the Demographic Challenge: In Need of Higher Productivity Growth By Sandra Leitner; Robert Stehrer

  1. By: Walter Briec (IAE Perpignan - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises - Perpignan - UPVD - Université de Perpignan Via Domitia); Stéphane Mussard (CHROME - Détection, évaluation, gestion des risques CHROniques et éMErgents (CHROME) / Université de Nîmes - UNIMES - Université de Nîmes)
    Abstract: Cooperation between firms can never improve the technical efficiency of any firm coalition. The directional distance function, by virtue of its additive nature, is a useful tool that outlines this impossibility. In this paper, the additive aggregation scheme of input/output vectors is generalized according to an aggregator. Accordingly, cooperation between firms may increase the technical efficiency of the firm group. This improvement is shown to be compatible with nonjoint semilattice technologies that bring out either output or input (weak) complementarity. Firm games are investigated to show that firms may merge on the basis of their inputs due to constraints imposed on outputs. Conversely, they may merge with respect to the outputs they can produce because of limitations imposed on inputs.
    Keywords: Productivity and competitiveness,Aggregation,Cooperative games,Distance functions,Technical efficiency JEL Codes: D21,D24
    Date: 2019–11
  2. By: Bart van Ark; Klaas de Vries; Abdul Erumban
    Abstract: This paper reviews the latest evidence on productivity growth by industry and innovation competencies by occupation to observe whether, beneath the productivity slowdown of the past decade in both the European Union and the United States, signs can be detected of structural performance improvements due to digital transformation. We find that in the United States, the digital-producing sector has continued to contribute strongly to aggregate productivity in recent years. While labour productivity growth in the US was only 0.6 percent from 2013-2017, as much as 0.5 percentage point (or 86 percent) was coming from digital-producing industries representing only 8.2 percent of US GDP. Other industries, which account for the remaining 92 percent of the US economy, including some of the most digital intensive-using industries, have seen a dramatic decline in their contribution to productivity growth. In the European Union, the digital-producing sector has seen a strong decline in its contribution to productivity growth, which by 2013-2017 was only one third of the US contribution at 0.15 percentage points. However, the most digital intensive-using industries contributed 4 times as much to labor productivity as in the United States, driving overall labour productivity growth from 2013-2017 up to 0.9 percentage point – 0.3 percentage points higher than in the US. A positive factor, both in the EU and in the US, is that total factor productivity (TFP) growth in the most intensive digital-producing industries, notably trade and business services has improved. Digital intensiveusing manufacturing industries generally contribute less to productivity than digital intensive-using services, partly because of slower productivity growth and partly because of their smaller size. A novel measure of innovation competencies by occupation shows that, when applied to industries, those industries with the highest competencies, also show positive productivity contributions, and the most intensive digital-using industries are strongly represented in this category. Overall, while the evidence is still thin due to time lags in the data, there are signs of positive contributions to productivity growth related to digital transformation even though those effects are still not widespread observable across the economy.
    JEL: O40 O47 O30
    Date: 2019–10
  3. By: Tasso Adamopoulos; Loren Brandt; Jessica Leight; Diego Restuccia
    Abstract: We use household-level panel data from China and a quantitative framework to document the extent and consequences of factor misallocation in agriculture. We find that there are substantial within-village frictions in both the land and capital markets linked to land institutions in rural China that disproportionately constrain the more productive farmers. These frictions reduce aggregate agricultural productivity in China by affecting two key margins: (1) the allocation of resources across farmers (misallocation) and (2) the allocation of workers across sectors, in particular the type of farmers who operate in agriculture (selection). We show that selection can substantially amplify the static misallocation effect of distortionary policies by affecting occupational choices that worsen the distribution of productive units in agriculture.
    Keywords: agriculture, misallocation, selection, productivity, China.
    JEL: O11 O14 O4 E02 Q1
    Date: 2019–12–31
  4. By: Francesca Lotti (Bank of Italy); Enrico Sette (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: We study the dynamics of firms in the top decile of the TFP distribution in Italy (frontier firms). Using granular microdata from the census of corporations, we show their main characteristics, their weight in terms of revenues and employment, and measure their persistency in the top deciles of the TFP distribution. Frontier firms are more profitable, less likely to go bankrupt and younger; they invest more and use less long-term bank debt to finance their assets; and they are larger in terms of revenues, but not in terms of employees. Finally, we gauge their contribution to aggregate TFP growth, finding that TFP growth of frontier firms has intensified over time, as did the divide between firms at the top and the bottom of the TFP distribution. However, the market share of frontier firms only increased over time in the business services and transportation sectors; there is no increase, and in some cases, there is actually a decrease in other industries, notably in manufacturing. Hence, we do not find strong evidence of superstar firm effects, except in business services.
    Keywords: productivity, firm dynamics, reallocation, market power.
    JEL: D24 O47 L16
    Date: 2019–12
  5. By: Loren Brandt; Gueorgui Kambourov; Kjetil Storesletten
    Abstract: Labor productivity in manufacturing differs starkly across regions in China. We document that productivity, wages, and start-up rates of non-state firms have nevertheless experienced rapid regional convergence after 1995. To analyze these patterns, we construct a Hopenhayn (1992) model that incorporates location-specific capital wedges, output wedges, and entry barriers. Using Chinese Industry Census data we estimate these wedges and examine their role in explaining differences in performance and growth across prefectures. Entry barriers explain most of the differences. We investigate the empirical covariates of these entry barriers and find that barriers are causally related to the size of the state sector
    Keywords: Chinese economic growth; SOEs; firm entry; entry barriers; capital wedges; output wedges; SOE reform.
    JEL: O11 O14 O16 O40 O53 P25 R13 D22 D24 E24
    Date: 2020–01–05
  6. By: Dacic, Nikola (Goldman Sachs & Co); Melolinna, Marko (Bank of England)
    Abstract: We study the effects of firm-level microeconomic fluctuations on aggregate productivity in the United Kingdom. We show that a standard measure of residual productivity growth of the largest UK firms (the ‘granular residual’) produces results that are counter-intuitive and not statistically significant. To combat this, we introduce a unique production function approach to estimate firm-specific technology shocks, accounting for firm-level heterogeneity and common shocks. Using this measure, we find that firm-level shocks matter; the ‘granular residual’ explains around 30% of aggregate UK productivity dynamics. We also show that simplifications of our approach, which omit controlling for firm-level heterogeneity or do not account for common shocks, do not perform well, highlighting the importance of identifying firm-specific shocks correctly in order to properly test the ‘granularity hypothesis’.
    Keywords: business cycle; aggregate volatility; granularity hypothesis; firm-level productivity
    JEL: E23 E24 E32
    Date: 2019–12–20
  7. By: Quentin Couix (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne;
    Abstract: From a historical and methodological perspective, this paper focuses on empirical work on energy based on the aggregate production function, from the early 1970s to the late 2000s. It starts with the standard neoclassical approach, and in particular the controversy over the substitutability between capital and energy. Then it tackles the thermodynamic approach, which focuses on the explanation of the long-term growth. It shows continuity in the methodological issues raised by this work. At the theoretical level, the aggregate production function offers little conceptual insight into the physical aspects of the production process. At the empirical level, the results of estimates of energy production functions raise questions. In the neoclassical framework, the estimation is done indirectly through the cost function, so that the result is overdetermined by the marginal productivity pricing assumption. The thermodynamic approach proceeds in the opposite direction to a direct estimate, which encounters statistical problems no less important. If these difficulties relate more generally to the aggregate production function, energy issues reveal them in a very striking way
    Keywords: energy; aggregate production function; growth accounting; thermodynamics
    JEL: B23 B41 O47 Q01 Q43
    Date: 2019–11
  8. By: Andrés Rodríguez-Pose; Roberto Ganau
    Abstract: Europe has witnessed a considerable labour productivity slowdown in recent decades. Many potential explanations have been put forward to try to address this so-called productivity ‘puzzle’. However, how the quality of local institutions influences labour productivity in different parts of Europe has been, so far, overlooked by the literature. This paper addresses this gap in our knowledge by evaluating how the quality of local institutions affects changes in labour productivity at a regional level, across 248 European regions during the period between 2003 and 2015. The results indicate that institutional quality plays a crucial role in determining different regional labour productivity trajectories. This role is both direct – as improvements in institutional quality have a substantial impact on productivity growth – as well as indirect – as the returns of investments in human capital and local innovative capacity rise significantly as the quality of government increases.
    JEL: E24 J24 O47 R11
    Date: 2019–10
  9. By: Hoedoafia, Mabel Akosua
    Abstract: The private sector is recognized as an engine of growth; hence a well-developed private sector is deemed as the means to accelerate the rapid industrialization needed in developing countries. In this light, The Government of Ghana over the years has put in place policies to make the private sector flourish. A key strategy was the liberalization of trade through the economic recovery and structural adjustment programmes in the 1980s. However, much is not known about the impact of such policies on the profitability of the private sector especially with respect to trade. Indeed, there is a paucity of research addressing the profitability of firms due to trade liberalization especially the private sector in the African context. This paper fills this gap by investigating how tariffs as a measure of trade liberalization affect the profitability of Ghanaian private firms in the manufacturing sector using firm-level data spanning 1991 to 2001. Profitability is measured as the net profit margin of a firm. A two-step approach was employed in the empirical analysis of the tariff-profitability nexus. The net profit margin of firms was estimated in the first step. After which the effect of tariffs on the estimated net profit margin of firms was examined. The findings reveal that tariff reductions result in increased profitability of local firms. In addition, productivity was found to positively impact firm profitability.
    Keywords: profitability, tariffs, private sector, manufacturing, trade liberalization, Ghana
    JEL: F1 F13 F14 O24
    Date: 2019–11–26
  10. By: Seven, Unal; Tumen, Semih
    Abstract: We present cross-country evidence suggesting that agricultural credits have a positive impact on agricultural productivity. In particular, we find that doubling agricultural credits generates around 4-5 percent increase in agricultural productivity. We use two different agricultural production measures: (i) the agricultural component of GDP and (ii) agricultural labor productivity. Employing a combination of panel-data and instrumental- variable methods, we show that agricultural credits operate mostly on the agricultural component of GDP in developing countries and agricultural labor productivity in developed countries. This suggests that the nature of the relationship between agricultural finance and agricultural output changes along the development path. We conjecture that development of the agricultural finance system generates entry into the agricultural labor market, which pushes up the agricultural component of GDP and keeps down agricultural labor productivity in developing countries; while, in developed countries, it leads to labor-augmenting increase in agricultural production. We argue that replacement of the informal credit channel with formal and advanced agricultural credit markets along the development path is the main force driving the labor market response.
    Keywords: Agricultural credits,productivity,labor markets,financial development
    JEL: J43 Q14 Q18 O47
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Renato Bruni (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti (DIAG), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy); Giuseppe Catalano (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti (DIAG), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy); Cinzia Daraio (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti (DIAG), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy); Martina Gregori (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (DIMA), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy); Henk F. Moed (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti (DIAG), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy)
    Abstract: The heterogeneity of the Higher Education (HE) Institutions is one of the main critical issues in the assessment of their performance. A multi-level and multi-dimensional perspective is adopted, combining national (macro) and institution (micro) level data, and measuring both research and teaching activity integrated with performance indicators derived from the European Tertiary Education Register (ETER), CWTS Leiden Ranking, and PATSTAT patent database. Clustering and efficiency analysis are combined to characterize the heterogeneity of national HE systems in European countries, revealing the potential of using micro level data to characterize national level performance. We discover large differences between the European countries, partially due to the fact that they are in different phases of their scientific (and economic) development and of the re-structuring of their HE systems. We find evidence that universities specializing either in teaching or in research tend to have a higher efficiency than those institutions balancing research and teaching. We observe tradeoffs between undergraduate and post-graduate activities, and a “Matthew cumulative effect†seems in place on the European institutions analyzed: high quality research is able to attract external funds that stimulate innovative and patenting activities that in turn are self-reinforcing to the scientific activities. The results reveal once more the limits and dangers of one-dimensional approaches to the performance of HEIs.
    Keywords: university ; heterogeneity ; clustering ; efficiency analysis ; Europe
    Date: 2019
  12. By: Amondo, Emily Injete
    Keywords: Labor and Human Capital, Productivity Analysis
    Date: 2019–09
  13. By: Giuseppe Albanese (Bank of Italy); Guido de Blasio (Bank of Italy); Andrea Locatelli (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: Total Factor Productivity (TFP) explains most of the differences in income levels between territories. A major policy issue is whether place-based policies are capable of promoting TFP growth in backward areas. We provide some evidence of the effect of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) on local TFP growth in Southern Italy. Although TFP growth is on average rather unresponsive to EU programs, we provide some evidence of a positive effect for ERDF infrastructure investments and for areas with higher institutional quality and population density.
    Keywords: ERDF programs, TFP, manufacturing firms
    JEL: R58 O47 D24
    Date: 2019–12
  14. By: Olwande, John
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy, Crop Production/Industries
    Date: 2019–09
  15. By: Eric J. Bartelsman
    Abstract: This paper reviews briefly the scientific literature on new technologies and future trends and on how and why the technologies may affect production, labour relations, and living conditions. Recent evidence points towards a slowing of productivity growth and a growing sense of unease in EU households concerning the impact of future economic developments. The paper argues that new digital technologies not only have the potential to change economic interactions, but also change the framework needed by economists to analyse the supply side of the economy. With appropriate policies, the technological advances can continue apace and will translate into productivity growth, so that households can contribute to and benefit from the new goods and services that the future economy will produce.
    JEL: D40 E31 L51
    Date: 2019–10
  16. By: Kirui, Oliver Kiptoo
    Keywords: International Development, Productivity Analysis
    Date: 2019–09
  17. By: Rolf Färe (Department of Economics, Oregon State University and Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maryland, USA); Valentin Zelenyuk (School of Economics and Centre for Efficiency and Productivity Analysis (CEPA) at The University of Queensland, Australia)
    Abstract: We introduce a new class of Data Envelopment Analysis modeling, which we call ‘sequential DEA’. This new approach allows for analyzing efficiency of the decision making units that consist of a sequence of sub-DMUs (e.g., branches of banks, hospital olding company running a number of hospitals at different locations, hotel chains, etc.). The approach is embedded in the Hilbert sequence space (ℓ²) and therefore it allows for potentially different numbers of the sub-DMUs as well as different numbers of inputsand outputs used by different decision making units. This approach opens up a new stream of literature in the sense that many existing variations from the already rich literature on Data Envelopment Analysis can be adapted to this approach.
    Keywords: Data Envelopment Analysis, Efficiency.
    Date: 2019–12
  18. By: Mathur, Maya B; VanderWeele, Tyler
    Abstract: We provide two simple metrics that could be reported routinely in random-effects meta-analyses to convey evidence strength for scientifically meaningful effects under effect heterogeneity (i.e., a nonzero estimated variance of the true effect distribution). First, given a chosen threshold of meaningful effect size, meta-analyses could report the estimated proportion of true effect sizes above this threshold. Second, meta-analyses could estimate the proportion of effect sizes below a second, possibly symmetric, threshold in the opposite direction from the estimated mean. These metrics could help identify if: (1) there are few effects of scientifically meaningful size despite a "statistically significant" pooled point estimate; (2) there are some large effects despite an apparently null point estimate; or (3) strong effects in the direction opposite the pooled estimate regularly also occur (and thus, potential effect modifiers should be examined). These metrics should be presented with confidence intervals, which can be obtained analytically or, under weaker assumptions, using bias-corrected and accelerated (BCa) bootstrapping. Additionally, these metrics inform relative comparison of evidence strength across related meta-analyses. We illustrate with applied examples and provide an R package to compute the metrics and confidence intervals.
    Date: 2018–11–14
  19. By: Naseer, Imran; Azam, Amir
    Abstract: Many of the developing and advanced economies are focusing on the improvement of Microfinance Institute Performance because most of the studies and empirical results support the existence of significant positive relationship between Microfinance Institute Performance and Index of Financial Inclusion and both have significant positive impact on Economic Growth and its one of the basic goal and objective of the economies to attain sustainable economic growth. Through the current study it is being tried to find the relationship between microfinance institute performance, financial inclusion and economic growth in South Asian economies using Panel data from 2009-2017 using Common Random Effect, Random and Fixed effect Model. The findings show that there is strong positive relationship between Micro finance Institute Performance, Financial Inclusion and Economic Growth. Therefore the developing economies specially Pakistan whose most of economic indicators are showing declining position can sustain their economic growth through proper utilization of Micro finance Institution Performance.
    Keywords: Micro finance Institute, Index of Financial Inclusion, Economic Growth, South Asian Region
    JEL: G23 G28
    Date: 2019–08–28
  20. By: Shahbaz, Muhammad; Alam, Md. Mahmudul (Universiti Utara Malaysia); Uddin, Gazi Salah; Nanthakumar, Loganathan
    Abstract: The aim of this paper utilizes an energy demand model to investigate the impact of trade openness on energy consumption by incorporating scale and technique, composition and urbanization effects in the case of Malaysia. The study covers the sample period of 1970-2011 using quarter frequency data. We applied the bounds testing approach in the presence of structural breaks to examine the long run relationship between the variables. The VECM Granger causality is used to detect the direction of causality between the variables. Our findings indicate that growth effect (scale and technique effect) has a positive (negative) impact on energy consumption whereas composition effect stimulates energy demand in Malaysia.. Energy consumption is positively influenced by both from openness and urbanization. This study opens new policy insights for policy making authorities to articulate a comprehensive energy and trade policy to sustain economic growth and improve the environmental quality of Malaysia.
    Date: 2019–06–14
  21. By: Hohsuk Noh; Ingrid Van Keilegom
    Date: 2019–01
  22. By: Marco Angelini (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti (DIAG), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy); Cinzia Daraio (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti (DIAG), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy); Maurizio Lenzerini (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti (DIAG), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy); Francesco Leotta (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti (DIAG), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy); Giuseppe Santucci (Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering Antonio Ruberti (DIAG), University of Rome La Sapienza, Rome, Italy)
    Abstract: The quantitative evaluation of research is currently carried out by means of indicators calculated on data extracted and integrated by analysts who elaborate them by creating illustrative tables and plots of results. In this paper we propose a new approach which is able to move forward, from indicators’ development to performance model’s development. It combines the advantages of the Ontology-based data Access (OBDA) integration with the flexibility and robustness of a Visual Analytics (VA) environment. A detailed description of such an approach is presented in the paper. The approach is evaluated trough a comprehensive user's study that proves the added capabilities and the benefits that an analyst of performance models can have by using this approach.
    Keywords: Education and research ; performance assessment ; performance modelling ; ontology-based data access : visual analytics
    Date: 2019
  23. By: Choumbou, Raoul Fani Djomo
    Keywords: Labor and Human Capital, Crop Production/Industries
    Date: 2019–09
  24. By: Sandra Leitner; Robert Stehrer
    Abstract: The future of employment and labour demand growth in the dawning era of intelligent robots and other new technologies is heavily debated. This paper argues that this discussion needs to be complemented by a second trend which has been unfolding in Europe for some time, namely the demographic decline. Various demographic scenarios for many EU countries point towards a significant decline in the working-age population in the near future which puts the functioning of labour markets at risk as labour shortages become increasingly more likely and subsequently threaten economic growth. In this context, this paper gives an overview of recent trends in the growth of real value added, labour productivity and employment as well as of demographic scenarios. Based on these trends, the hypothetical increase of labour productivity growth which would be required to keep real GDP growth at its current level, despite the projected reduction in the workforce, is calculated. Results show that the hypothetical labour productivity growth rate required is about one percentage point higher than the actual growth rate, suggesting that the current labour productivity growth rate in the EU needs to more than double. A complementary econometric analysis shows that even though robots exhibit a positive impact on labour productivity growth, this is not (yet) strong enough to close the gap between the recent and the hypothetical labour productivity trend growth rate which would be required.
    JEL: J11 O33 O47
    Date: 2019–10

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