nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2021‒09‒20
ten papers chosen by

  1. Productivity Dispersion, Entry, and Growth in U.S. Manufacturing Industries By Cindy Cunningham; Lucia Foster; Cheryl Grim; John Haltiwanger; Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia; Jay Stewart; Zoltan Wolf
  2. Inference in the Nonparametric Stochastic Frontier Model By Parmeter, Christopher F.; Simar, Léopold; Van Keilegom, Ingrid; Zelenyuk, Valentin
  3. Industry evidence and the vanishing cyclicality of labor productivity. By Zuzana Molnarova
  4. Does the expansion of the service sector slow down productivity growth? An empirical assessment across eight developed economies By Adrián Rial
  5. Technical change and the postwar slowdown in Soviet economic growth By Kukic, Leonard
  6. Productivity of Working from Home during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Panel Data Analysis By MORIKAWA Masayuki
  7. Efficiency Frontier of World MNOs: Multinational vs Domestic By Bielov, Constantine; Mitomo, Hitoshi; Hämmäinen, Heikki
  8. Environmental convergence and environmental Kuznets curve: A unified empirical framework By Laté Lawson; Roberto Martino; Phu Nguyen-Van
  9. Two-stage sampling in the estimation of growth parameters and percentile norms: sample weights versus auxiliary variable estimation By George Vamvakas
  10. Less information, more comparison, and better performance: evidence from a field experiment By Eyring, Henry; Ferguson, Patrick J.; Koppers, Sebastian

  1. By: Cindy Cunningham; Lucia Foster; Cheryl Grim; John Haltiwanger; Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia; Jay Stewart; Zoltan Wolf
    Abstract: Within-industry productivity dispersion is pervasive and exhibits substantial variation across countries, industries, and time. We build on prior research that explores the hypothesis that periods of innovation are initially associated with a surge in business start-ups, followed by increased experimentation that leads to rising dispersion potentially with declining aggregate productivity growth, and then a shakeout process that results in higher productivity growth and declining productivity dispersion. Using novel detailed industry-level data on total factor productivity and labor productivity dispersion from the Dispersion Statistics on Productivity along with novel measures of entry rates from the Business Dynamics Statistics and productivity growth data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for U.S. manufacturing industries, we find support for this hypothesis, especially for the high-tech industries.
    Keywords: dispersion; entry; innovation; productivity; manufacturing; high-tech industries
    JEL: O3 O4
    Date: 2021–08
  2. By: Parmeter, Christopher F. (University of Miami); Simar, Léopold (Université catholique de Louvain, LIDAM/ISBA, Belgium); Van Keilegom, Ingrid (Université catholique de Louvain, LIDAM/ISBA, Belgium); Zelenyuk, Valentin (University of Queensland)
    Abstract: This paper is the first in the literature to discuss in detail how to conduct various types of inference in the stochastic frontier model when it is estimated using non-parametric methods. We discuss a general and versatile inferential technique that allows for a range of practical hypotheses of interest to be tested. We also discuss several challenges that currently exist in this framework in an effort to alert researchers to potential pitfalls. Namely, it appears that when one wishes to estimate a stochastic frontier in a fully non-parametric framework, separability between inputs and determinants of inefficiency is an essential ingredient for the correct empirical size of a test. We showcase the performance of the test with a variety of Monte Carlo simulations.
    Keywords: Stochastic Frontier Analysis, Efficiency, Productivity Analysis, Local-Polynomial Least- Squares
    JEL: C1 C14 C13
    Date: 2021–09–09
  3. By: Zuzana Molnarova
    Abstract: : Aggregate labor productivity used to be strongly procyclical in the United States, but the procyclicality has largely disappeared since the mid-1980s. This paper explores the industry-level evidence in order to discriminate between existing explanations of the vanishing procyclicality of the labor productivity. I document the change in the cyclical properties of productivity in the U.S. using industry-level data and focus on a particularly puzzling feature, namely that the correlations of the industry productivity with industry output and labor input remained on average much more stable before and after the mid-1980s compared to the aggregate correlations. In other words, there is little evidence for the vanishing cyclicality of labor productivity at the industry level. I construct a simple industry-level RBC model that nests two leading explanations of the vanishing cyclicality of productivity that have been proposed in the literature. I show that the two explanations have qualitatively di?erent predictions for the cyclical properties of industry-level variables. The mechanism based on a structural change in the composition of aggregate shocks is able to replicate the stability of industry-level moments across time. In contrast, the mechanism based on increased labor market ?exibility is less successful in matching the industry-level evidence.
    JEL: E32 E24 E37
    Date: 2020–01
  4. By: Adrián Rial (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of the expansion of the service sector on labour productivity growth in eight developed economies, reaching back to the late 1970s. To that end, I develop a shift-share decomposition formula that satisfactorily integrates both Kaldorian and Baumolian effects. Firstly, my decomposition does not assume that productivity growth at the industry level is exogenous but rather incorporates the Verdoorn coefficients that I previously estimated using system GMM. Secondly, consistent with the Baumolian framework, my decomposition includes the impact that arises from the cumulative changes that take place in terms of the nominal value added and employment shares. My results show that, on average, tertiarisation only slows down productivity growth in three economies, where labour shifts away from industries with increasing returns. However, the cumulative reallocation of employment and nominal output leads to a gradual decrease in the productivity growth rate in seven of the eight economies.
    Keywords: Structural change; Kaldor–Verdoorn Law; Baumol’s disease; Labour productivity growth; Shift-share analysis
    JEL: E24 L16 O47
    Date: 2021–05
  5. By: Kukic, Leonard
    Abstract: The existing studies usually find that technical change was very important in constraining the economic growth of the Soviet Union. While these studies have been successful in quantifying the extent of technical change, they have been less successful in quantifying its nature. This paper probes the essence of technical change by analysing its direction and bias. I find that the Soviet Union achieved strong increases in labour efficiency until the 1960s. Although the labour efficiency growth subsequently slowed down, it is capital efficiency that drove the postwar slowdown in economic growth. I argue that labour shortages, combined with an inadequate investment policy, retarded the Soviet capital efficiency.
    Keywords: Soviet Union; Economic Growth; Technical Change; Economic History
    JEL: O47 O33 N14 P27
    Date: 2021–09–10
  6. By: MORIKAWA Masayuki
    Abstract: Using panel data from original surveys conducted in June 2020 and July 2021, this study analyzes the changes in adoption and productivity of working from home (WFH) during the COVID-19 pandemic. First, the results indicate that the mean WFH productivity has improved by more than ten percentage points in the past year, although it is still approximately 20% lower compared to when working in the office. 1) "Selection effect" arising from the exit of workers with relatively low WFH productivity from the WFH practice and 2) the improvement in WFH productivity through the "learning effect" contributed almost equally to the productivity growth of WFH. Second, additional working hours extracted from reduced commuting are approximately 3.0% and 0.7% of the total labor input of WFH workers and all workers, respectively. Even after adjusting for additional working hours from reduced commuting, the conclusion of relatively low productivity at home remains essentially unchanged. Third, the percentage of employees who want to continue frequent WFH after the end of the pandemic has increased substantially, suggesting that WFH may become a popular workstyle.
    Date: 2021–09
  7. By: Bielov, Constantine; Mitomo, Hitoshi; Hämmäinen, Heikki
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Laté Lawson (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Roberto Martino (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Phu Nguyen-Van (BETA - Bureau d'Économie Théorique et Appliquée - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg - UL - Université de Lorraine - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Existing studies disjointly addressed the environmental convergence and environmental Kuznets curve hypotheses, though these research lines are theoretically interconnected. This paper proposes a unified empirical methodology to simultaneously investigate both hypotheses, relying on a semiparametric dynamic panel data model that accounts for regressor endogeneity. The approach, when applied to CO2 emissions in 106 countries, suggests that there is no global level evidence supporting the environmental Kuznets hypothesis, while a convergence process is taking place. Our results imply that current international agreements have not been sufficiently binding to globally curb CO2 emissions, especially in high-income countries, as aimed by Sustainable Development Goals.
    Keywords: CO2 emissions
    Date: 2020–12
  9. By: George Vamvakas (Department of Biostatistics & Health Informatics, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London)
    Abstract: The use of auxiliary variables with maximum likelihood parameter estimation for surveys that miss data by design is not a widespread approach. Although efficiency gains from the incorporation of Normal auxiliary variables in a model have been recorded in the literature, little is known about the effects of non-Normal auxiliary variables in the parameter estimation. We simulate growth data to mimic SCALES, a two-stage longitudinal survey of language development. We allow a fully observed Poisson stratification criterion to be correlated with the partially observed model responses and develop five models that host the auxiliary information from this criterion. We compare these models with each other and with a weighted model in terms of bias, efficiency, and coverage. We apply our best performing model to SCALES data and show how to obtain growth parameters and population norms. Parameter estimation from a model that incorporates a non-Normal auxiliary variable is unbiased and more efficient than its weighted counterpart. The auxiliary variable method can produce efficient population percentile norms and velocities. When a fully observed variable, which dominates the selection of the sample and which is strongly correlated with the incomplete variable of interest exists, its utilisation appears beneficial.
    Date: 2021–09–12
  10. By: Eyring, Henry; Ferguson, Patrick J.; Koppers, Sebastian
    Abstract: We use a field experiment in professional sports to compare effects of providing absolute, relative, or both absolute and relative measures in performance reports for employees. Although studies have documented that the provision of these types of measures can benefit performance, theory from economic and accounting literature suggests that it may be optimal for firms to direct employees’ attention to some types of measures by omitting others. In line with this theory, we find that relative performance information alone yields the best performance effects in our setting—that is, that a subset of information (relative performance information) dominates the full information set (absolute and relative performance information together) in boosting performance. In cross-sectional and survey-data analyses, we do not find that restricting the number of measures shown per se benefits performance. Rather, we find that restricting the type of measures shown to convey only relative information increases involvement in peer-performance comparison, benefitting performance. Our findings extend research on weighting of and responses to measures in performance reports.
    Keywords: Wiley deal
    JEL: M40
    Date: 2021–05–01

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