nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2020‒11‒23
thirteen papers chosen by

  1. How to not miss a productivity revival once again? By Bart van Ark; Klaas de Vries; Abdul Erumban
  2. Nonparametric Identification of Production Function, Total Factor Productivity, and Markup from Revenue Data By Hiroyuki Kasahara; Yoichi Sugita
  3. Exporters and global value chain participation: Firm-level evidence from South Africa By Caio Torres Mazzi; Gideon Ndubuisi; Elvis Avenyo
  4. Government financial support and firm productivity in Vietnam By Vu, Quang; Tran, Tuyen
  5. Measuring and Identifying the Causes of the Productivity Performance of the Canadian Class I Railroads 1956 - 1981 By Freeman, Kenneth D.; Oum, Tae Hoon; Tretheway, Michael W.; Waters II, W.G.
  6. Import Competition and Firm Productivity: Evidence from German Manufacturing By Slavtchev, Viktor; Bräuer, Richard; Mertens, Matthias
  7. How Does Working-Time Flexibility Affect Workers' Productivity in a Routine Job? Evidence from a Field Experiment By Boltz, Marie; Cockx, Bart; Diaz, Ana Maria; Salas, Luz
  8. The effects of body-worn cameras on police efficiency: A study of local police agencies in the US. By Alda, Erik
  9. Seasonality and Economic Efficiency in the Canadian Airline Industry: Performance in Air Fares Since Deregulation By Snider, Bradley
  10. Improving Productivity of Freight Transportation in Saskatchewan By Churko, B.; Hurst, P.
  11. The Complementary Effect of Organizational Practices and Workers’ Level of Education By Filippo Pusterla
  12. Diversification, efficiency and risk of banks: New consolidating evidence from emerging economies By Jeon, Bang Nam; Wu, Ji; Chen, Limei; Chen, Minghua
  13. The Impact of U.S. Regulatory Practices on the Productivity of Ocean Liner Services By Sletmo, Gunnar K.

  1. By: Bart van Ark; Klaas de Vries; Abdul Erumban
    Abstract: Over the past 15 years productivity growth in advanced economies has significantly slowed, giving rise to the productivity paradox of the New Digital Economy – that is, the notion of increased business spending on ICT assets and digital services without a noticeable increase in productivity. We argue that time lags are the most important reason for the slow emergence of the productivity effects from digital transformation. This paper provides evidence that underneath the slowing productivity growth rates at the macro level, signs of structural improvements can be detected. In the US most of the positive contribution to productivity growth is coming from the digital producing sector. The Euro Area and the UK show larger productivity contributions from the most intensive digital-using sectors, although the UK also had a fairly large number of less intensive digital-using industries which showed productivity declines. We also find that increases in innovation competencies of the workforce are concentrated in industries showing faster growth in labour productivity, even though more research is needed to identify causality. Finally, we speculate that as the recovery from the COVID-19 recession gets underway the potential for significant productivity gains in the medium term is larger than during the past fifteen years.
    Keywords: Production, Cost, Capital, Multifactor and Total Factor Productivity, Capacity, Measurement of Economic Growth, Aggregate Productivity
    JEL: D24 O47
    Date: 2020–11
  2. By: Hiroyuki Kasahara; Yoichi Sugita
    Abstract: Commonly used methods of production function estimation assume that a firm’s output quantity can be observed as data, but typical datasets contain only revenue, not output quantity. We examine the nonparametric identification of production function from revenue data when a firm faces a general nonparametric demand function under imperfect competition. Under standard assumptions, we provide the constructive nonparametric identification of various firm-level objects: gross production function, total factor productivity, price markups over marginal costs, output prices, output quantities, a demand system, and a representative consumer’s utility function.
    Keywords: nonparametric identification, production function, markup, total factor productivity, revenue
    JEL: C14 L11 L25
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Caio Torres Mazzi; Gideon Ndubuisi; Elvis Avenyo
    Abstract: Using the South African Revenue Service and National Treasury firm-level panel data for 2009-17, this paper investigates how global value chain-related trade affects the export performance of manufacturing firms in South Africa. In particular, the paper uses extant classifications of internationally traded products to identify different categories of global value chain-related products and compares the productivity premium of international traders for these different categories.
    Keywords: Global value chains, Learning by exporting, Productivity, South Africa
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Vu, Quang; Tran, Tuyen
    Abstract: Using the Färe-Primont index and instrumental variable fixed effect estimation for the data of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), this study considers if receiving government financial support enables SMEs in Vietnam to become more productive. The paper discovers no evidence of linkage between financial support and firm productivity. However, access to financial support improves technological progress and growth in firm scale but has a negative effect on improvement in technical efficiency. The estimation results reveal that the use of productivity as an aggregated index in previous studies may hide the real effect of government support on firm productivity.
    Keywords: Financial support; productivity; small and medium-sized enterprises; Vietnam
    JEL: O3 O31 O33
    Date: 2020–01–15
  5. By: Freeman, Kenneth D.; Oum, Tae Hoon; Tretheway, Michael W.; Waters II, W.G.
    Keywords: Public Economics
    Date: 2020–10–22
  6. By: Slavtchev, Viktor; Bräuer, Richard; Mertens, Matthias
    Abstract: This study analyzes empirically the effects of import competition on firm productivity (TFPQ) using administrative firm-level panel data from German manufacturing. We find that only import competition from high-income countries is associated with positive incentives for firms to invest in productivity improvement, whereas import competition from middle- and low-income countries is not. To rationalize these findings, we further look at the characteristics of imports from the two types of countries and the effects on R&D, employment and sales. We provide evidence that imports from high-income countries are relatively capital-intensive and technologically more sophisticated goods, at which German firms tend to be relatively good. Costly investment in productivity appears feasible reaction to such type of competition and we find no evidence for downscaling. Imports from middle- and low-wage countries are relatively labor-intensive and technologically less sophisticated goods, at which German firms tend to generally be at disadvantage. In this case, there are no incentives to invest in innovation and productivity and firms tend to decline in sales and employment.
    Keywords: productivity,multi-product firms,import competition
    JEL: F14 L25 D22 D24 F61
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Boltz, Marie (Université de Strasbourg); Cockx, Bart (Ghent University); Diaz, Ana Maria (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana); Salas, Luz (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana)
    Abstract: We conducted an experiment in which we hired workers under different types of contracts to evaluate how flexible working time affects on-the-job productivity in a routine job. Our approach breaks down the global impact on productivity into sorting and behavioral effects. We find that all forms of working-time flexibility reduce the length of workers' breaks. For part-time work, these positive effects are globally counterbalanced. Yet arrangements that allow workers to decide when to start and stop working increase global productivity by as much as 50 percent, 40 percent of which is induced by sorting.
    Keywords: flexible work arrangements, part-time work, productivity, labor market flexibility, work–life balance
    JEL: J21 J22 J23 J24 J33
    Date: 2020–10
  8. By: Alda, Erik
    Abstract: Do Body-Worn Cameras improve police efficiency? This study answers this question in the context of a sample of local police agencies in the US, where the adoption of BWCs by police agencies has increased significantly in recent years. To estimate the effects of BWCs on police efficiency, I exploited the differences in the adoption of BWCs between agencies that acquired them ("acquirers") and agencies that deployed them ("deployers"). Using a multiple stage approach, in the first stage I estimated the efficiency of local police agencies using a robust order-m model In the second stage, I estimated the effects of BWCs using a range of matching estimators and an instrumental variable model. The first stage results show that police agencies could improve their efficiency by 35 percent from 0.76 to 1. The second stage matching and IV estimates suggest that BWCs can help improve police efficiency between eight and 21 percent. The effects are larger for those agencies that fully deployed BWCs with their officers. Overall, this study’s results support the argument that BWCs can help improve police efficiency.
    Keywords: Police, Performance, Efficiency, Data Envelopment Analysis, Matching Estimators, Instrumental Variables
    JEL: C26 D24 H11 H44 L23
    Date: 2020–10–31
  9. By: Snider, Bradley
    Keywords: Public Economics
    Date: 2020–10–22
  10. By: Churko, B.; Hurst, P.
    Keywords: Public Economics
    Date: 2020–10–22
  11. By: Filippo Pusterla (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how rms' productivity is a ected by the relationship between organiza- tional practices and workers' level of education. Using rm-level panel data covering the period 2002 to 2008, I estimate complementarities among workers' level of education and a large set of organizational practices aggregated into three domains: decentralization, incentive pay, and work design where work design comprises job rotation and teamwork. I consider workers with four lev- els of education: no post-compulsory education, upper-secondary vocational education and train- ing, tertiary vocational education, and tertiary academic education. The results indicate that the complementarity between education and the extent of rms' decentralization is higher for tertiary- educated workers. In contrast, the estimations reveal no complementarity between incentive pay and higher levels of workers' education. Furthermore, complementarity exists between work design and tertiary-educated workers, especially workers with a tertiary vocational education. Finally, the estimations using an aggregate measure of organization suggest complementarities across organiza- tional practices.
    Keywords: complementarity, education, organization, productivity
    JEL: J24 L23
    Date: 2020–05
  12. By: Jeon, Bang Nam (School of Economics LeBow College of Business Drexel University); Wu, Ji (Southwestern University of Finance and Economics); Chen, Limei (Fudan University); Chen, Minghua (Southwestern University of Finance and Economics)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of business diversification of banks on their risk, with efficiency taken into consideration as a conduit. Using bank-level data from more than 1400 commercial banks in 39 emerging economies during 2000-2016, we find that increased business diversification exerts two competing effects on bank risk, and overall reduces bank risk. The direct effect of increased diversification bolsters the stability of banks, but it is offset partially by the indirect effect whereby lowered efficiency, which is resulted from higher diversification, increases the riskiness of banks. This provides a consolidating evidence on the competing arguments on the diversification-efficiency nexus in the banking literature-the "diversification-premium" argument vs. the "diversification-discount" argument-with its extended implications on bank risk. In addition, we also present evidence that the diversification-bank risk nexus is heterogeneous on the bank size, market power and the ownership of banks, which provides useful policy implications for diversification strategies by bank managers as well as for the effective surveillance by bank regulators.
    Keywords: Diversification; Bank Efficiency; Bank Risk-Taking; Emerging Economies
    JEL: G15 G21 L25
    Date: 2020–08–01
  13. By: Sletmo, Gunnar K.
    Keywords: Public Economics
    Date: 2020–10–22

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