nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2023‒01‒16
eleven papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Università degli Studi di Verona

  1. The impact of CAP subsidies on the productivity of cereal farms in six European countries By Luigi Biagini; Federico Antonioli; Simone Severini
  2. Resource Productivity and Eco-Innovation Convergence in the Service of Sustainability. Evidence from the EU-28 By Nikos Chatzistamoulou; Phoebe Koundouri
  3. Sectoral Productivity Growth, COVID-19 Shocks, and Infrastructure By Ahumada, Hildegart; Cavallo, Eduardo A.; Espina-Mairal, Santos; Navajas, Fernando
  4. How to Build Sustainable Productivity Indexes By Christopher O’Donnell
  5. Firing Costs and Productivity: Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Andrea Caggese; Ozan Guler; Mike Mariathasan; Klaas Mulier
  6. Reallocation and Productivity during Commodity Cycles By Heresi, Rodrigo
  7. Internal Adjustment Costs of Firm-Specific Factors and the Neoclassical Theory of the Firm By Chetty, V. K.; Heckman, James J.
  8. Energy Poverty, Environmental Degradation and Agricultural Productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa By Stephen K. Dimnwobi; Kingsley I. Okere; Favour C. Onuoha; Chukwunonso Ekesiobi
  9. The effects of a private-sector-driven smallholder support programme on productivity, market participation and food and nutrition security: Evidence of a nucleus-outgrower scheme from Zambia By Sakketa, Tekalign Gutu; Herrmann, Raoul; Nkonde, Chewe; Lukonde, Mwelwa; Brüntrup, Michael
  10. Nonconvexity in Production and Cost Functions: An Exploratory and Selective Review* By Walter Briec; Ignace van de Woestyne; Kristiaan Kerstens
  11. Is There Any Impact of Public Spending on Bank Performance? Empirical Evidence From the Mena Region By Ahmed Kchikeche; Assil El Mahmah

  1. By: Luigi Biagini; Federico Antonioli; Simone Severini
    Abstract: Total factor productivity (TFP) is a key determinant of farm development, a sector that receives substantial public support. The issue has taken on great importance today, where the conflict in Ukraine has led to repercussions on the cereal markets. This paper investigates the effects of different subsidies on the productivity of cereal farms, accounting that farms differ according to the level of TFP. We relied on a three-step estimation strategy: i) estimation of production functions, ii) evaluation of TFP, and iii) assessment of the relationship between CAP subsidies and TFP. To overcome multiple endogeneity problems, the System-GMM estimator is adopted. The investigation embraces farms in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom using the FADN samples from 2008 to 2018. Adding to previous analyses, we compare results from different countries and investigate three subsets of farms with varying levels of TFP. The outcomes confirm how CAP negatively impacts farm TFP, but the extent differs according to the type of subsidies, the six countries and, within these, among farms with different productivity groups. Therefore there is room for policy improvements in order to foster the productivity of cereal farms.
    Date: 2022–12
  2. By: Nikos Chatzistamoulou (AUEB); Phoebe Koundouri
    Abstract: The European Green Deal prioritizes green growth through resource efficiency and eco-innovation to achieve the transition in a sustainable and inclusive growth orbit. To monitor progress in such endeavor the EU Resource Efficiency Scoreboard was launched. Focusing on the resource productivity, which is the main sustainability development indicator and policy evaluation tool for Europe and the eco-innovation performance of the EU-28 over a twenty-year period, from 2000 though 2019, we explore convergence patterns and club formation. Descriptive analysis via growth rates of the resource productivity and eco-innovation indicates productivity differentials among the countries giving rise to heterogeneity groups. Econometric results using convergence algorithms advocate in favor of convergence for both variables. However, convergence clubs surface highlighting that there is heterogeneity to consider when designing policies to promote sustainability transition to ensure that no one is left behind serving the priority of inclusive and sustainable growth.
    Keywords: Resource Productivity, Eco-Innovation, Sustainability, Convergence, Technological Heterogeneity, European Green Deal
    Date: 2022–12–15
  3. By: Ahumada, Hildegart; Cavallo, Eduardo A.; Espina-Mairal, Santos; Navajas, Fernando
    Abstract: This paper examines sectoral productivity shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, their aggregate impact, and the possible compensatory effects of improving productivity in infrastructure-related sectors. We employ the KLEMS annual dataset for a group of OECD and Latin America and the Caribbean countries, complemented with high-frequency data for 2020. First, we estimate a panel vector autoregression of growth rates in sector level labor productivity to specify the nature and size of sectoral shocks using the historical data. We then run impulse-response simulations of one standard deviation shocks in the sectors that were most affected by COVID 19. We estimate that the pandemic cut economy-wide labor productivity by 4.9 percent in Latin America, and by 3.5 percent for the entire sample. Finally, by modeling the long-run relationship between productivity shocks in the sectors most affected by COVID 19, we find that large productivity improvements in infrastructure--equivalent to at least three times the historical rates of productivity gains--may be needed to fully compensate for the negative productivity losses traceable to COVID 19.
    Keywords: Infrastructure;Productivity;COVID-19;COVID-19;COVID-19;COVID-19;COVID-19;Sector shocks
    JEL: O47 C51
    Date: 2021–07
  4. By: Christopher O’Donnell (School of Economics and Centre for Efficiency and Productivity Analysis (CEPA) at The University of Queensland, Australia)
    Abstract: Sustainable production requires that firms produce good outputs in ways that minimise the production of bad outputs (e.g., produce electricity in ways that minimise greenhouse gas emissions). Many decision-makers would like statisticians to measure changes in productivity in a way that will reflect well on firms that adopt sustainable production practices. In this paper I describe an approach to building so-called sustainable productivity indexes. This necessarily involves assigning weights to different inputs and outputs. I assign these weights in such a way that the indexes satisfy a set of basic axioms from index theory. I illustrate the properties of different indexes using a toy data set. I discuss ways in which statisticians can assess the sensitivity of index numbers to the choice of weights. Finally, I compute sustainable productivity index numbers for sixteen sectors of the Australian economy.
    Date: 2022–12
  5. By: Andrea Caggese; Ozan Guler; Mike Mariathasan; Klaas Mulier
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of firing costs on total factor productivity (TFP) and resource allocation. Exploiting heterogeneous changes in firing costs across employee types in Belgium, we find that increasing firing costs reduce firm-level TFP. Firms facing a net increase in firing costs reduce hiring and firing, increase hours worked per employee, adjust the composition of their workforce away from employee types whose firing costs have increased, and rely more on outsourced employees. Instead, we find no evidence of capital-intensive technology adoption. The decline in TFP is smaller for firms with better access to credit.
    Keywords: firing costs, employment protection, productivity, misallocation
    JEL: E22 E23 E24
    Date: 2022–11
  6. By: Heresi, Rodrigo
    Abstract: I study the firm-level dynamic response of a commodity-exporting economy to global cycles in commodity prices. To do so, I develop a heterogeneous-firms model that endogenizes declines in aggregate productivity through reallocation towards less productive firms. Within a given sector, commodity booms reallocate market share away from exporters because of currency appreciation and away from capital-intensive firms because of the increase in capital cost. I provide empirical evidence for these channels using microdata for Chile, the worlds largest copper producer. When fed with the commodity super-cycle of 2003-2012, the calibrated model generates about 50% of the observed productivity decline.
    Keywords: Productivity;Resource booms;Open economy macroeconomics
    JEL: F41 D24 Q33
    Date: 2021–04
  7. By: Chetty, V. K. (Boston University); Heckman, James J. (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: This paper considers the consequences of a two-sector vertically-integrated model of firms producing output using firm-specific capital with a second sector producing firm-specific capital by adapting raw capital purchased in the market. Analysts rarely observe each sector separately. Aggregating over both sectors produces short-run and long-run factor demand functions that appear to be perverse, but when disaggregated obey standard neoclassical properties. Adjustment costs create the appearance of static inefficiency in the presence of dynamic efficiency.
    Keywords: adjustment costs, factor demand, frontier production theory, firm-specific capital
    JEL: D21 L11 E13
    Date: 2022–11
  8. By: Stephen K. Dimnwobi (NnamdiAzikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria); Kingsley I. Okere (Gregory University, Uturu, Nigeria); Favour C. Onuoha (Evangel University Akaeze, Nigeria); Chukwunonso Ekesiobi (Igbariam, Nigeria)
    Abstract: Agricultural productivity remains pivotal to the sustenance of the economies and livelihoods of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries. Given the emerging threat of energy and environmental uncertainties globally, this study makes a foray into understanding the link among energy poverty, environmental degradation and agricultural productivity in 35 SSA nations in particular, and the nature of their impacts across the sub-region constituents namely; the Central, Eastern, Western and Southern sub-regional blocs in general. To begin, our identified variables comprised of the following: Energy Poverty Index, derived using the principal component analysis, agricultural value added as a share of GDP served as a measure of agricultural productivity and ecological footprint to represent environmental degradation. Subsequently, the instrumental variable generalized method of moment (IV†GMM) technique was implemented for the aggregate SSA model, while the IV-two stage least square technique was adopted for the sub-regional estimations for the Central, East, West and South African blocs respectively. Major findings from the SSA model revealed that whereas the index of energy poverty has a significant positive influence, ecological footprint exhibited an inverse and significant impact on agricultural productivity, while the Central, East, West and South African models yielded mixed results given regional disparities in economic development, regional variations in agricultural productivity and an imbalance of available resources. Policy recommendations were suggested to, among other things, transform the energy, environmental and agricultural fortunes of the region.
    Keywords: Agricultural Productivity, SSA; Energy Poverty, Environmental Degradation, Africa’s sub-region
    Date: 2022–01
  9. By: Sakketa, Tekalign Gutu; Herrmann, Raoul; Nkonde, Chewe; Lukonde, Mwelwa; Brüntrup, Michael
    Abstract: Nucleus-outgrower schemes (NOSs) are supposed to be a particularly effective private-sector mechanism to support smallholder farmers and contribute towards mitigating the problematic aspects of pure large-scale agricultural investments. This discussion paper uses panel household survey data collected in two rounds in Zambia to analyse some agro-ecological and socio-economic impacts of the outgrower programme of one of the largest agricultural investments in Zambia: Amatheon Agri Zambia (AAZ) Limited. The descriptive results show that the type of participation in the programme varies across participants and components, with most participating in trainings. Econometric results suggest the following key findings. First, although the overall impact of the AAZ outgrower programme on the uptake of conservation agriculture practices is robust and promising, impacts on the adoption of other agricultural technologies is less obvious and the effect depends on the type of support provided. Second, the programme has had a significant impact on maize productivity promoted in the initial phase but not on the other crops - mainly oilseeds - promoted later. Third, the initially less productive farmers seem to benefit slightly more than already better performing ones. Fourth, although the impact on overall household security was insignificant, there is some suggestive evidence (although the effect is weak) that the programme has a positive effect on improving women's uptake of micronutrients. Finally, our findings show that the three components of the programme (trainings, seed loans and output purchases) have different effects on the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices and productivity, and to some extent on food security. Overall, the results suggest that NOSs, with all their risks, can play a role in the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices, improving farm-level agricultural technologies, providing input credit, and thereby improving productivity and smallholder livelihoods. However, this is not automatically the case, as it crucially depends on the design and management of the project; the availability of good policies and institutions governing the rules of operation; the types of crops promoted; the duration of the project; and the political commitment of host countries, among others.
    Keywords: Agriculture, conservation agriculture, Nucleus-Outgrower-Schemes, large-scale agricultural investments, rural development, food security, agricultural productivity, Zambia
    Date: 2022
  10. By: Walter Briec; Ignace van de Woestyne; Kristiaan Kerstens (LEM - Lille économie management - UMR 9221 - UA - Université d'Artois - UCL - Université catholique de Lille - Université de Lille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Date: 2022–06–03
  11. By: Ahmed Kchikeche (Mohammed V University); Assil El Mahmah
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of the level and composition of government spending as a determinant of three different aspects of bank performance in 179 banks from the MENA region between 2001 and 2019. To control for the impact of the oil sector on the banking system of some countries in the region, we divide our sample into two groups of banks, depending on whether they are from net oil importers or net oil exporters. The results reflect the inherent heterogeneity of MENA region economies. We find that the determinants of banking performance differ according to the type of spending and the nature of the economy’s reliance on oil. Overall, the results show that government spending affects bank performance and that, in most cases, this impact is significantly negative. We find that current spending has either an insignificant or a negative impact on the investment and leverage efficiency of banks in the MENA region. On the other hand, while capital spending negatively affects lending growth, it has a positive effect on the performance of banks in oil-importing countries. Our findings shed light on the role of the level and composition of government spending on bank performance. Fiscal policy in the MENA region is greatly affected by oil prices and can have unintended effects on the banking sector..
    Date: 2022–08–20

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