nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2021‒02‒01
twelve papers chosen by

  1. Bank Performance Analysis By Natalya Zelenyuk; Valentin Zelenyuk
  2. The Role of Nonemployers in Business Dynamism and Aggregate Productivity By Pedro Bento; Diego Restuccia
  3. Growth, Productivity and Technological Change in the Agricultural Sector. Some Evidence for the Argentine Economy, 1985-2018 By Luis Lanteri
  4. Performance Analysis of Hospitals in Australia and its Peers: A Systematic Review By Zhichao Wang; Valentin Zelenyuk
  5. Growing like China: firm performance and global production line position By Chor, Davin; Manova, Kalina; Yu, Zhihong
  6. Estimating Production Functions in Differentiated-Product Industries with Quantity Information and External Instruments By Nicolás de Roux; Marcela Eslava; Santiago Franco; Eric Verhoogen
  7. PAggregation of Outputs and Inputs for DEA Analysis of Hospital Efficiency: Economics, Operations Research and Data Science Perspectives By Bao Hoang Nguyen; Valentin Zelenyuk
  8. The research productivity of Chinese academic returnees from the Global West: An evaluation of Young 1000 Talents recipients’ productivity By Giulio Marini; Lili Yang
  9. Breaking the Bank? A Probabilistic Assessment of Euro Area Bank Profitability By Selim Elekdag; Sheheryar Malik; Srobona Mitra
  10. Variability in agricultural productivity and rural household consumption inequality: Evidence from Nigeria and Uganda By Amare, Mulubrhan; Shiferaw, Bekele; Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Mavrotas, George
  11. Personnel Management and School Productivity: Evidence from India By Renata Lemos; Karthik Muralidharan; Daniela Scur
  12. Informality and Aggregate Productivity: The Case of Mexico By Jorge Alvarez; Cian Ruane

  1. By: Natalya Zelenyuk (School of Business, The University of Queensland, Australia); Valentin Zelenyuk (School of Economics and Centre for Efficiency and Productivity Analysis (CEPA) at The University of Queensland, Australia)
    Abstract: The goal of this chapter is to overview the current state of the art analysis of banking performance. For this, we navigate through the literature that has been prospering during the recent decades. In particular, we start with a brief discussion of the ratio analysis for measuring bank performance, which is still very popular in practice. Then we consider such popular productivity and efficiency analysis methods as data envelopment analysis (DEA) and stochastic frontier analysis (SFA). Then, we provide a brief review of other econometric methods that became leading in the recent finance literature that involve techniques of casual inference, including difference-in-differences (DD) and regression discontinuity design (RDD).
    Keywords: Banking, Performance Analysis, Productivity, Eciency, Data Envelopment Analysis, Stochastic Frontier Analysis, Econometrics, Panel Data, Causal Inference.
    JEL: C14 C61 D24 I11
    Date: 2021–01
  2. By: Pedro Bento; Diego Restuccia
    Abstract: The well-documented decline in business dynamism, measured in the literature by the net entry rate of employer firms, has been proposed as an explanation for the productivity growth slowdown in the United States. We assess the role of nonemployers, firms without paid employees, in business dynamism and aggregate productivity. Including nonemployers, the total number of firms has instead increased since the early 1980s, which in the context of a standard model of firm dynamics implies an average annual growth of aggregate productivity of 0.26%, one-quarter of the productivity growth in the data. Accounting for changes in the share of nonemployers and the firm size distribution over time, the increase in the total number of businesses implies an even higher productivity growth of 0.52% annually. The productivity growth slowdown is not due to changes in business dynamism.
    Keywords: nonemployers, employer firms, business dynamism, productivity, TFP.
    JEL: O4 O51 E1
    Date: 2021–01–19
  3. By: Luis Lanteri (Central Bank of Argentina)
    Abstract: In this paper, we calculated the growth rates of total factor productivity (TFP), corresponding to the argentine agricultural sector, according to the neoclassical theory of growth (period 1985-2018). In turn, we estimated a translogarithmic cost function, with four factors of production (land, capital, labor and fertilizer consumption), in order to compute the Allen-Uzawa partial elasticities of substitution between the factors and the bias of technological change followed in the sector, during the same period. This system of simultaneous equations is estimated through the SUR method developed by Zellner. The results found do not allow us to be so conclusive regarding the validity of the theory of induced innovation, for argentine agriculture.
    Keywords: agricultural sector, productivity, translogarithmic cost function, technological bias, theory of induced innovation, Argentina
    JEL: C51 O47 Q10
    Date: 2019–10
  4. By: Zhichao Wang (School of Economics and Centre for Efficiency and Productivity Analysis (CEPA) at The University of Queensland, Australia); Valentin Zelenyuk (School of Economics and Centre for Efficiency and Productivity Analysis (CEPA) at The University of Queensland, Australia)
    Abstract: Research about the productivity and efficiency of hospitals in providing healthcare services has developed substantially in the last few decades. How does this topic proceed in Australia, its peer countries and regions who share a similar healthcare system? In this article, we conduct a systematic review and a series of bibliometric analyses of the research about the efficiency of hospitals, which are the core organizations in the the healthcare system, in order to obtain a broad perspective of this topic in Australia and its peers. Among others, a random forests model was trained to evaluate the impact of features of an article on the scientific influence of the research. We used bibliometric data in Scopus from 1970 to 2020 and extracted the review pool by a peer-review process. Besides identifying the productive authors and most cited publication sources, the bibliometric analysis also indicated a shifting of topics over time. Through the training process of the random forests classification model, the most influential features of an article were also identified.
    Keywords: Performance analysis, efficiency, Australia, hospital, systematic review, bibliometric analysis, random forests, machine learning
    JEL: C14 C61 D24 I11
    Date: 2021–01
  5. By: Chor, Davin; Manova, Kalina; Yu, Zhihong
    Abstract: Global value chains have fundamentally transformed international trade and development in recent decades. We use matched firm-level customs and manufacturing survey data, together with InputOutput tables for China, to examine how Chinese firms position themselves in global production lines and how this evolves with productivity and performance over the firm lifecycle. We document a sharp rise in the upstreamness of imports, stable positioning of exports, and rapid expansion in production stages conducted in China over the 1992-2014 period, both in the aggregate and within firms over time. Firms span more stages as they grow more productive, bigger and more experienced. This is accompanied by a rise in input purchases, value added in production, and fixed cost levels and shares. It is also associated with higher profits though not with changing profit margins. We rationalize these patterns with a stylized model of the firm lifecycle with complementarity between the scale of production and the scope of stages performed.
    Keywords: global value chains; production line position; upstreamness; firm heterogeneity; firm lifecycle; China
    JEL: F10 F23 L23 L24 L25
    Date: 2020–09
  6. By: Nicolás de Roux; Marcela Eslava; Santiago Franco; Eric Verhoogen
    Abstract: This paper develops a new method for estimating production-function parameters that can be applied in differentiated-product industries with endogenous quality and variety choice. We take advantage of data on physical quantities of outputs and inputs from the Colombian manufacturing survey, focusing on producers of rubber and plastic products. Assuming constant elasticities of substitution of outputs and inputs within firms, we aggregate from the firm-product to the firm level and show how quality and variety choices may bias standard estimators. Using real exchange rates and variation in the "bite" of the national minimum wage, we construct external instruments for materials and labor choices. We implement a simple two-step instrumental-variables method, first estimating a difference equation to recover the materials and labor coefficients and then estimating a levels equation to recover the capital coefficient. Under the assumption that the instruments are uncorrelated with firms' quality and variety choices, this method yields consistent estimates, free of the quality and variety biases we have identified. Our point estimates differ from those of existing methods and changes in our preferred productivity estimator perform relatively well in predicting future export growth.
    JEL: D24 L1 L65 O14
    Date: 2021–01
  7. By: Bao Hoang Nguyen (School of Economics and Centre for Efficiency and Productivity Analysis (CEPA) at The University of Queensland, Australia); Valentin Zelenyuk (School of Economics and Centre for Efficiency and Productivity Analysis (CEPA) at The University of Queensland, Australia)
    Abstract: Data envelopment analysis (DEA) has been widely recognised as a powerful tool for performance analysis over the last four decades. The application of DEA in empirical works, however, has become more challenging, especially in the modern era of big data, due to the so-called `curse of dimensionality'. Dimension reduction has been recently considered as a useful technique to deal with the `curse of dimensionality' in the context of DEA with large dimensions for inputs and outputs. In this study, we investigate the two most popular dimension reduction approaches: PCA-based aggregation and price-based aggregation for hospital efficiency analysis. Using data on public hospitals in Queensland, Australia, we find that the choice of price systems (with small variation in prices) does not significantly affect the DEA estimates under the price-based aggregation approach. Moreover, the estimated efficiency scores from DEA models are also robust with respect to the two different aggregation approaches.
    Keywords: Hospital efficiency, big wide data, DEA, PCA-based aggregation, price-based aggregation
    JEL: C24 C61 I11 I18
    Date: 2020–12
  8. By: Giulio Marini (Quantitative Social Science, Social Research Institute, UCL, London, UK); Lili Yang (University of Oxford, Department of Education, Centre for Global Higher Education, 15 Norham Gardens, OX2 6PY, Oxford, UK)
    Abstract: This paper compares the research productivity between two groups of Chinese early- and mid-career researchers, who both got their PhDs in research leading institutions outside Mainland China. One group was recruited back to mainland China under a specific scheme, called “Young Thousand Talents” (“Y1000T”) – a clear attempt by the Chinese Government to tackle brain drain and to nurture Chinese universities. These researchers got their PhD predominantly, though not exclusively, from US institutions. Many other Chinese researchers of similar age, disciplines and prestige of PhD awarding institutions continue to work outside China at research-intensive universities. We collected a sample of this latter category of Chinese diasporas, searching from US research intensive universities. We use this distinction to set up a quasi-experimental research design in order to answer whether or not scheme recipients returnees (“Y1000T”) have been more productive in research, in comparison to those who remained outside China. The comparison primarily considers the number of publications. Results show that after coming back to China, Y1000T returnees have significantly increased their productivity in terms of the number of outputs, arguably because of their favourable research conditions.
    Keywords: Policy effect; Talent mobility; China; the US; Early and mid-career researchers; Research performance
    JEL: C93 I23 M52 O32 O38
    Date: 2021–01–01
  9. By: Selim Elekdag; Sheheryar Malik; Srobona Mitra
    Abstract: This paper explores the determinants of profitability across large euro area banks using a novel approach based on conditional profitability distributions. Real GDP growth and the NPL ratio are shown to be the most reliable determinants of bank profitability. However, the estimated conditional distributions reveal that, while higher growth would raise profits on average, a large swath of banks would most likely continue to struggle even amid a strong economic recovery. Therefore, for some banks, a determined reduction in NPLs combined with cost efficiency improvements and customized changes to their business models appears to be the most promising strategy for durably raising profitability.
    Keywords: Banking;Bank soundness;Nonperforming loans;Personal income;Yield curve;WP,profitability distribution,bank profitability,NPL ratio,standard deviation
    Date: 2019–11–22
  10. By: Amare, Mulubrhan; Shiferaw, Bekele; Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Mavrotas, George
    Abstract: This paper uses multiple rounds of household survey panel data to assess the distributional implications of variability in agricultural productivity in Nigeria and Uganda. It uses both a conventional decomposition and a regression-based inequality decomposition to estimate the impact of climate-induced variability in agricultural productivity. To mitigate the endogeneity associated with unobserved time-invariant and time-variant household fixed effects, we use rainfall shocks as a proxy for estimating the exogenous variability in agricultural productivity that affects consumption. Results suggest that a 10 percent increase in the variability of agricultural productivity tends to decrease household consumption by 38 and 52 percent on average for Nigeria and Uganda, respectively. Controlling for other factors, variability in agricultural productivity contributed to between 25 and 43 percent of consumption inequality between 2010 and 2015 for Nigeria; and 16 and 31 percent of consumption inequality between 2009 and 2011 for Uganda. We also show that variability in agricultural productivity increases changes in consumption inequality over time.
    Keywords: NIGERIA; WEST AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; UGANDA; EAST AFRICA; agricultural productivity; household consumption; rural areas; climate; shock; consumption; equality; inequality
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Renata Lemos; Karthik Muralidharan; Daniela Scur
    Abstract: This paper uses new data to study school management and productivity in India. We report four main results. First, management quality in public schools is low, and ~2σ below high-income countries with comparable data. Second, private schools have higher management quality, driven by much stronger people management. Third, people management quality is correlated with both independent measures of teaching practice, as well as school productivity measured by student value added. Fourth, private school teacher pay is positively correlated with teacher effectiveness, and better-managed private schools are more likely to retain more effective teachers. Neither pattern is seen in public schools.
    JEL: I25 M5 O1
    Date: 2021–01
  12. By: Jorge Alvarez; Cian Ruane
    Abstract: We assess the aggregate productivity impact of distortions arising from labor regulations in Mexico and how they interact with informality. Using employment surveys and a firm-level economic census, we document a number of novel features about informal firms in Mexico. We then construct and estimate a model of heterogeneous firms and endogenous informality to study the micro and macro impacts from various policy reforms. Some reforms may have large impacts on informal employment but small impacts on aggregate productivity.
    Keywords: Informal employment;Productivity;Labor;Wages;Public expenditure review;WP,informal firm,size distribution,profit function,firm's idiosyncratic productivity,incumbent firm
    Date: 2019–11–27

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.