nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2022‒10‒31
eleven papers chosen by

  1. Fuller measures of output, input and productivity in the non-profit sector: a proof of concept By Josh Martin; Jon Franklin
  2. Opening the Black Box: Task and Skill Mix and Productivity Dispersion By Blackwood, G.Jacob; Cunningham, Cindy; Dey, Matt; Foster, Lucia; Grim, Cheryl; Haltiwanger, John C.; Nesbit, Rachel; Pabilonia, Sabrina Wulff; Stewart, Jay; Tuttle, Cody; Wolf, Zoltan
  3. Raising EU productivity through innovation By Reinhilde Veugelers; Frederic Warzynski
  4. Of chickens and eggs: Exporting, innovation novelty and productivity By Halima Jibril; Stephen Roper
  5. Foreign direct investment, prices and efficiency: Evidence from India By Nesma Ali; Joel Stiebale
  6. Computer Saturation and the Productivity Slowdown By Pablo Azar
  7. The Conditional Mode in Parametric Frontier Models By William C. Horrace; Hyunseok Jung; Yi Yang
  8. Public-Sector Productivity (Part 1) By Ravi Somani
  9. Rising Markups or Changing Technology? By Lucia Foster; John Haltiwanger; Cody Tuttle
  10. Alternative Output, Input and Income Concepts for the Production Accounts By W. Erwin Diewert; Kevin J. Fox
  11. Agricultural Productivity in Burkina Faso: The Role of Gender and Risk Attitudes By Sepahvand, Mohammad H.

  1. By: Josh Martin (The Bank of England); Jon Franklin (Pro Bono Economics)
    Keywords: non-profit institutions, national accounts, productivity, economic measurement
    JEL: E24 L31
    Date: 2022–11
  2. By: Blackwood, G.Jacob (Amherst College); Cunningham, Cindy (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics); Dey, Matt (US Bureau of Labor Statistics); Foster, Lucia (U.S. Census Bureau); Grim, Cheryl (U.S. Census Bureau); Haltiwanger, John C. (University of Maryland); Nesbit, Rachel (University of Maryland); Pabilonia, Sabrina Wulff (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics); Stewart, Jay (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics); Tuttle, Cody (University of Texas at Austin); Wolf, Zoltan (U.S. Census Bureau)
    Abstract: An important gap in most empirical studies of establishment-level productivity is the limited information about workers' characteristics and their tasks. Skill-adjusted labor input measures have been shown to be important for aggregate productivity measurement. Moreover, the theoretical literature on differences in production technologies across businesses increasingly emphasizes the task content of production. Our ultimate objective is to open this black box of tasks and skills at the establishment-level by combining establishment-level data on occupations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) with a restricted-access establishment-level productivity dataset created by the BLS-Census Bureau Collaborative Micro-productivity Project. We take a first step toward this objective by exploring the conceptual, specification, and measurement issues to be confronted. We provide suggestive empirical analysis of the relationship between within-industry dispersion in productivity and tasks and skills. We find that within-industry productivity dispersion is strongly positively related to within-industry task/skill dispersion.
    Keywords: productivity, skills, tasks, manufacturing
    JEL: D24 J24 J31 L60
    Date: 2022–09
  3. By: Reinhilde Veugelers; Frederic Warzynski
    Abstract: A better overview of which firms are most likely to adopt digital technologies and to innovate, and to turn these investments into productivity growth
    Date: 2022–06
  4. By: Halima Jibril (University of Warwick, Warwick Business School, Enterprise Research Centre); Stephen Roper (University of Warwick, Warwick Business School, Enterprise Research Centre)
    Keywords: productivity, exporting, innovation, persistence, novelty
    Date: 2022–09
  5. By: Nesma Ali; Joel Stiebale
    Abstract: This paper uses a rich panel data set of Indian manufacturers to analyze the effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) on domestic firms. Detailed product-level information on prices and quantities allows us to estimate physical productivity and marginal costs. In line with the previous literature, we find little evidence for horizontal spillovers based on commonly used measures of revenue productivity. In contrast, we measure sizable efficiency gains using measures that are not affected by pricing heterogeneity. Our results indicate that domestic firms can benefit from the ability of multinational subsidiaries to produce high-quality products at relatively low costs.
    Keywords: Foreign Direct Investment, Spillovers, Productivity, Marginal Costs, Prices, Markups, Multi-Product Firms
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Pablo Azar
    Abstract: One of the current puzzles in economics is the recent worldwide slowdown in productivity, compared to the late 1990s and early 2000s. This productivity loss is economically large: if productivity growth had stayed at the same level as in 1995-2004, American GDP would have increased by trillions of dollars. In this post, I discuss a new paper that links this productivity slowdown to saturation in electronics adoption across most industries. I show that most of the productivity growth from electronic miniaturization is concentrated between 1985 and 2005.
    Keywords: economic growth; Moore's Law
    JEL: E2
    Date: 2022–10–06
  7. By: William C. Horrace (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, 426 Eggers Hall, Syracuse, NY 13244); Hyunseok Jung (Department of Economics, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701); Yi Yang (Amazon)
    Abstract: We survey formulations of the conditional mode estimator for technical inefficiency in parametric stochastic frontier models with normal errors and introduce new formulations for models with Laplace errors. We prove the conditional mode estimator converges pointwise to the true inefficiency value as the noise variance goes to zero. We also prove that the conditional mode estimator in the normal-exponential model achieves near-minimax optimality. Our minimax theorem implies that the worst-case risk occurs when many firms are nearly efficient, and the conditional mode estimator minimizes estimation risk in this case by estimating these small inefficiency firms as efficient. Unlike the conditional expectation estimator, the conditional mode estimator produces multiple firms with inefficiency estimates exactly equal to zero, suggesting a rule for selecting a subset of maximally efficient firms. Our simulation results show that this “zero-mode subset” has reasonably high probability of containing the most efficient firm, particularly when inefficiency is exponentially distributed. The rule is easy to apply and interpret for practitioners. We include an empirical example demonstrating the merits of the conditional mode estimator.
    Keywords: Stochastic Frontier Model, Efficiency Estimation, Laplace Distribution, Minimax Optimality, Ranking and Selection
    JEL: C14 C23 D24
    Date: 2022–08
  8. By: Ravi Somani
    Keywords: Public Sector Development - Public Financial Management Public Sector Development - Public Sector Economics Public Sector Development - Public Sector Management and Reform
    Date: 2021–02
  9. By: Lucia Foster; John Haltiwanger; Cody Tuttle
    Abstract: Recent evidence suggests the U.S. business environment is changing, with rising market concentration and markups. The most prominent and extensive evidence backs out firm-level markups from the first-order conditions for variable factors. The markup is identified as the ratio of the variable factor’s output elasticity to its cost share of revenue. Our analysis starts from this indirect approach, but we exploit a long panel of manufacturing establishments to permit output elasticities to vary to a much greater extent - relative to the existing literature - across establishments within the same industry over time. With our more detailed estimates of output elasticities, the measured increase in markups is substantially dampened, if not eliminated, for U.S. manufacturing. As supporting evidence, we relate differences in the markups’ patterns to observable changes in technology (e.g., computer investment per worker, capital intensity, diversification to non-manufacturing), and we find patterns in support of changing technology as the driver of those differences.
    Date: 2022–09
  10. By: W. Erwin Diewert (Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia, and School of Economics, UNSW Business School, UNSW Sydney); Kevin J. Fox (School of Economics and CAER, UNSW Business School, UNSW Sydney)
    Abstract: Definitions of output and input are key to studies of productivity analysis, as they are to the national accounts of countries. This paper systematically reviews alternative definitions at production unit and aggregate levels, illustrating the different perspectives that they provide on production and income, and making the case for their use in understanding different aspects of firm and country economic performance. Classification JEL: D24, E01, E23
    Keywords: Production, Income, System of National Accounts, Productivity, Capital
    Date: 2022–10
  11. By: Sepahvand, Mohammad H. (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: This study analyzes how risk attitudes influence the agricultural productivity of men and women in a sub-Saharan African country, Burkina Faso. By using a large representative panel survey of farmers, the results show that as female farmers increase risk taking, the productivity of female-owned plots goes down. The study controls for various socio-economic factors and explores how the diversity of the regions of the country affects gender differences. Findings show that agricultural policy interventions in Burkina Faso need to be gender sensitized when addressing issues related to credit constraints, improved inputs, and policies that support increase in productivity.
    Keywords: Risk attitudes; Gender differences; Agriculture; Productivity; Sub-Saharan Africa; Burkina Faso
    JEL: D13 D81 J16 O13 Q12 Q18
    Date: 2022–10–19

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