nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2022‒01‒03
eleven papers chosen by

  1. PCan water productivity improvements save us from global water scarcity?. Report of the workshop organized by the WASAG (Global Framework on Water Scarcity in Agriculture) Working Group on Sustainable Agricultural Water Use, Valenzano, Italy, 25-27 February 2020 By von Gnechten, Rachel; Uhlenbrook, Stefan; van der Bliek, Julie; Yu, Winston
  3. Does greater discretion improve the performance in the execution of public works? Evidence from the reform of discretionary thresholds in Italy By Finocchiaro Castro, Massimo; Guccio, Calogero
  4. The role of telework for productivity during and post-COVID-19: Results from an OECD survey among managers and workers By Chiara Criscuolo; Peter Gal; Timo Leidecker; Francesco Losma; Giuseppe Nicoletti
  5. Firm productivity and immigrant-native earnings disparity By Olof Åslund; Cristina Bratu; Stefano Lombardi; Anna Thoresson
  6. Technology Adoption and Skills A Pilot Study of Kent SMEs By Catherine Robinson; Christian Siegel; Sisi Liao
  7. Information and Communication Technologies and Medium-Run Fluctuations By Brianti, Marco; Gati, Laura
  8. Input-Output Relationship and Economies of Scale in Agriculture: Empirical Evidence from Eastern up By Baliyan, Kavita
  9. Comparing Market Efficiency Frontiers By Mu, Yali
  10. The Estimation of Farm Business Inefficiency in the Presence of Debt Repayment By West, Steele
  11. Baumol's diseases: a subsystem perspective By Adrián Rial Quiroga

  1. By: von Gnechten, Rachel; Uhlenbrook, Stefan; van der Bliek, Julie; Yu, Winston (International Water Management Institute (IWMI))
    Keywords: Water productivity; Water scarcity; Agricultural water use; Water allocation; Water accounting; Sustainable Development Goals; Water resources; Water management; Groundwater; Irrigation efficiency; Climate change; Water policies; Policy making; Farmers; Case studies
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Jaan Masso; Priit Vahter
    Abstract: This paper investigates the productivity effects for domestic suppliers from joining and exiting the value chains of multinational enterprises (MNEs). The vast majority of prior literature has relied on sector-level input-output tables in estimating the effects of vertical linkages of FDI. Instead, our econometric analysis of the creation and destruction of backward linkages of MNEs is based on information on firm-to-firm transactions recorded in the valued added tax declarations data. Treatment analysis based on propensity score matching and panel data from Estonia suggests that starting to supply multinationals initially boosts the value added per employee of domestic firms, including effects on the scale of production and the capital-labour ratio. These first linkages to MNEs do not affect the total factor productivity (TFP) of domestic firms, suggesting that TFP effects take time to materialise. We further find that there are limits to the wider diffusion of the effects of linkages to MNEs. We find no significant positive effects on the second-tier suppliers: the positive effects are limited to the first-tier suppliers with direct links to MNEs. One novel result is the evidence that the productivity of suppliers does not fall, on average, after decreasing or ending supplier relationships with MNE customers.
    Keywords: FDI, supplier upgrading, global value chains, vertical spillovers, backward linkages
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Finocchiaro Castro, Massimo; Guccio, Calogero
    Abstract: In this work, adopting a semi-parametric approach and a quasi-experiment setting, we empirically assess the effects of a reform of public procurement regulation in Italy, approved in 2011, that increased the discretion of bureaucrats in selecting the procurer. To this end, employing a large dataset of public works managed by Italian municipalities in the period 2009-2013, we first estimate contract execution performance; then, we test the impact of the reform on the efficiency of public works execution in an institutional context characterized by large differences in social capital and trust in institutions. The results provide evidence that the reform exerted a positive, albeit small, effect on public works execution performance. However, the beneficial role exerted by increased discretion is positive and significant only in those areas where social capital and trust in institutions have reached higher levels. These results seem to suggest that more discretion leads to greater efficiency but also to greater corruption risks suggesting that increased discretion must be balanced by strengthened ex-post controls, particularly in high-risk areas.
    Keywords: Bureaucratic discretion,Social capital,Corruption,Public works contracts,Efficiency,Non-parametric frontier,Semi-parametric methods
    JEL: D24 D73 H57 P16
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Chiara Criscuolo; Peter Gal; Timo Leidecker; Francesco Losma; Giuseppe Nicoletti
    Abstract: Motivated by the sudden adoption of telework in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Global Forum on Productivity (GFP) undertook an online survey among managers and workers in 25 countries about their experience and expectations, with a particular focus on productivity and well-being. This paper presents analysis and results from this endeavour. It finds that managers and workers had an overall positive assessment from teleworking both for firm performance and for individual well-being, and wish to increase substantially the share of regular teleworkers from pre-crisis levels. Respondents, on average, find that the ideal amount of telework is around 2-3 days per week, in line with other recent evidence and with the idea that the benefits (e.g., less commuting, fewer distractions) and costs (e.g., impaired communication and knowledge flows) need to be balanced at an intermediate level of telework intensity. To meet the challenges of this “hybrid” working mode, as the survey finds, further changes from management are needed, such as the co-ordination of schedules to encourage a sufficient degree of in-person interaction, and further investment in ICT tools and skills as well as more soft skills to master online communication.
    Keywords: productivity, survey, telework, well-being, working from home
    JEL: D24 M1 O3
    Date: 2021–12–16
  5. By: Olof Åslund (Olof Åslund); Cristina Bratu (Cristina Bratu); Stefano Lombardi (Stefano Lombardi); Anna Thoresson (Anna Thoresson)
    Abstract: We study the role of firm productivity in explaining earnings disparities between immigrants and natives using population-wide matched employer-employee data from Sweden. We find substantial earnings returns to working in firms with higher persistent productivity, with greater gains for immigrants from non-Western countries. Moreover, the pass-through of within-firm productivity variation to earnings is stronger for immigrants in low-productive, immigrant-dense firms. But immi grant workers are underrepresented in high-productive firms and less likely to move up the productivity distribution. Thus, sorting into less productive firms decreases earnings in poor-performing immigrant groups that would gain the most from working in high-productive firms
    Keywords: Firm productivity; Immigrant-native earnings gaps; Wage inequality
    JEL: J15 J31 J62
    Date: 2021–12
  6. By: Catherine Robinson; Christian Siegel; Sisi Liao
    Abstract: Does the successful deployment of digital technologies require complementary investment in skills? We conducted a pilot survey to investigate. The survey elicited information on whether the firm was adopting one of the three digital technologies of interest (AI, robotics, big data), provided in-house training, and whether they experienced any problems recruiting workers. We find evidence that new technologies require complementary skill investments and that firms deem both new technologies and training of their workforce important for productivity. While there is some heterogeneity across the type of technologies (Robotics, AI, Big Data) introduced, firms facing difficulties attracting workers with the right skills are more likely to run own training programmes. This might suggest that there is a skills gap that may be holding back productivity and economic growth. Overall, the findings from our pilot survey demonstrate firms's awareness of the need for skills to complement new technologies to realise the productivity benefits in full.
    Keywords: capital-skill complementarity; business performance; technology adoption
    JEL: J24 M53 O33
    Date: 2021–12
  7. By: Brianti, Marco (University of Alberta, Department of Economics); Gati, Laura (European Central Bank)
    Abstract: This paper explores the possibility that productivity improvements in information and communication technologies (ICT) are a source of medium-run fluctuations in total factor productivity (TFP). We document in a structural VAR setting that innovations in ICT investment are followed by hump-shaped increases in TFP. Following the ICT literature, we use a two-sector model to suggest a mechanism behind the hump-shaped TFP response: that ICT is a general-purpose technology (GPT). Using impulse-response matching, we show that a model with a spillover from ICT capital is able to match the hump-shaped TFP response, hinting at the importance of the diffusion of ICT.
    Keywords: information and communication technologies; general-purpose technologies; two-sector models; total factor productivity
    JEL: E30
    Date: 2021–12–15
  8. By: Baliyan, Kavita
    Keywords: Agribusiness
    Date: 2021–08
  9. By: Mu, Yali
    Keywords: Marketing
    Date: 2021–08
  10. By: West, Steele
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Agricultural Finance
    Date: 2021–08
  11. By: Adrián Rial Quiroga (Instituto Complutense de Estudios Internacionales (ICEI), Universidad Complutense de Madrid.)
    Abstract: In his paper “Baumol’s diseases: a macroeconomic perspective”, Nordhaus (2008) applies a new testing framework in order to estimate the six hypotheses that lie at the core of Baumol’s (1967) model, following an industry perspective. In this work, I extend Nordhaus’ testing framework to estimate Baumol’s diseases in the US economy over the period 1999-2018 according to a subsystem perspective, by making use of the US Bureau of Economic Analysis input-output tables. In order to check whether Baumol’s diseases depend on the perspective that is followed, I apply both the usual industry perspective and the novel subsystem framework and compare the results. For both subsystems and industries, I do not find robust evidence in favour of the persistent demand hypothesis and the hypothesis of declining nominal value added shares in the progressive sector, while my results do support the cost and price disease hypothesis, the hypothesis of declining employment shares in the progressive sector and the hypothesis of uniform wage growth. As a result, Baumol’s growth disease does not substantially lower aggregate labour productivity growth over the period across both subsystems and industries. This happens mainly because progressive services increase their real output at a faster rate than the economy’s average, restraining the reallocation of nominal value added towards stagnant subsystems or industries and thereby providing a strong palliative against Baumol’s growth disease.
    Keywords: Baumol’s diseases; Subsystems; Input-output analysis; Labour productivity growth; US economy
    Date: 2021

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