nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2024‒01‒22
ten papers chosen by

  1. Productivity Dispersion and Structural Change in Retail Trade By Dominic Smith; G. Jacob Blackwood; Michael D. Giandrea; Cheryl Grim; Jay Stewart; Zoltan Wolf
  2. Binary Endogenous Treatment in Stochastic Frontier Models with an Application to Soil Conservation in El Salvador By Samuele Centorrino; Maria P\'erez-Urdiales; Boris Bravo-Ureta; Alan J. Wall
  3. School productive performance and technology gaps: new evidence from PISA 2018 By Capasso Salvatore; Maria Kaisari; Konstantinos Kounetas; Elias Lainas
  4. Labour Productivity while Working from Home during the COVID-19 Pandemic By Sellamitha Riadinni; Eny Sulistyaningrum
  5. Profitability of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Marshall’s time: sector and spatial heterogeneity in the nineteenth century By Bennett, Robert J; Smith, Harry; Montebruno, Piero; Van Lieshout, Carry
  6. Energy-saving technologies and energy efficiency in the post-pandemic world By Wadim Strielkowski; Larisa Gorina; Elena Korneeva; Olga Kovaleva
  7. A Further Look at the Gender Gap in Italian Academic Careers By Marianna Brunetti; Annalisa Fabretti; Mariangela Zoli
  8. Business Forms and Business Performance in UK Manufacturing 1871-81 By Hannah, Leslie; Foreman-Peck, James S.
  9. Health-related Quality of life, Financial Toxicity, Productivity Loss and Catastrophic Health Expenditures After Lung Cancer Diagnosis in Argentina By Lucas Gonzalez; Andrea Alcaraz; Carolina Gabay; Monica Castro; Silvina Vigo; Eduardo Carinci; Federico Augustovski
  10. When quality management helps agri-food firms to export By Charlotte Emlinger; Karine Latouche

  1. By: Dominic Smith; G. Jacob Blackwood; Michael D. Giandrea; Cheryl Grim; Jay Stewart; Zoltan Wolf
    Abstract: Official Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates of productivity growth in the retail trade sector indicate that productivity has grown at a moderate rate of 2.8 percent per year between 1987 and 2017, and that there is considerable variation in growth rates across 4-digit industries. But the official data, which can be thought of as weighted averages of establishment-level productivity, tell us nothing about what goes on within industries. Given the transformation of retail trade over the past three decades, this information could provide more insight. In this paper, we present productivity dispersion statistics for industries in the retail trade sector. These statistics are similar to the BLS-Census Bureau Dispersion Statistics on Productivity (DiSP) for manufacturing industries and complement the official BLS industry-level productivity statistics. We find that from 1987 through 2017, productivity dispersion increased slightly on average. Surprisingly, the tails of the retail productivity distribution have similar dispersion as we find in the middle. Firm dispersion has increased more than establishment dispersion.
    Keywords: retail, reallocation, business cycles, productivity dispersion
    JEL: D24 E24 L81
    Date: 2023–12
  2. By: Samuele Centorrino; Maria P\'erez-Urdiales; Boris Bravo-Ureta; Alan J. Wall
    Abstract: Improving the productivity of the agricultural sector is part of one of the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. To this end, many international organizations have funded training and technology transfer programs that aim to promote productivity and income growth, fight poverty and enhance food security among smallholder farmers in developing countries. Stochastic production frontier analysis can be a useful tool when evaluating the effectiveness of these programs. However, accounting for treatment endogeneity, often intrinsic to these interventions, only recently has received any attention in the stochastic frontier literature. In this work, we extend the classical maximum likelihood estimation of stochastic production frontier models by allowing both the production frontier and inefficiency to depend on a potentially endogenous binary treatment. We use instrumental variables to define an assignment mechanism for the treatment, and we explicitly model the density of the first and second-stage composite error terms. We provide empirical evidence of the importance of controlling for endogeneity in this setting using farm-level data from a soil conservation program in El Salvador.
    Date: 2023–12
  3. By: Capasso Salvatore (Università di Napoli Parthenope, ISMed-CNR, and CSEF.); Maria Kaisari (University of Patras.); Konstantinos Kounetas (University of Patras and ISMed CNR.); Elias Lainas (University of Patras.)
    Abstract: Improving educational outcomes is a global political imperative due to its favourable influence on a country’s economic prosperity. Although researchers have endeavoured to gauge school performance through diverse data resources and techniques, there remains a lack of clarity regarding the factors that enhance school effectiveness. Using the latest version of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA, 2018), this paper employs a bootstrapped data envelopment analysis (DEA) to investigate the factors underlying the performance of 8825 schools across 34 OECD countries in terms of their national and international technological capabilities. The central idea is that technological heterogeneity and the technology gap significantly influence the benchmarking process. The findings confirm the presence of substantial technology gaps, indicating that the examined schools are unable to fully harness their potential due to limitations in metatechnology. These gaps are influenced by student characteristics, school features and educational practices.
    Keywords: Bootstrap Data Envelopment Analysis, School’s productive performance, Technology gap, PISA.
    JEL: D24 O13 O47 Q40
    Date: 2023–11–28
  4. By: Sellamitha Riadinni (Master of Development Economics Faculty of Economics & Business, Universitas Gadjah Mada); Eny Sulistyaningrum (Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics & Business, Universitas Gadjah Mada)
    Abstract: This study aims to determine how the implementation of WFH (Work From Home) affects individual work productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia. National Labour Force Survey (Survei Angkatan Kerja Nasional/Sakernas) data for February 2021 were used in this study. In February 2021, the Sakernas questionnaire was added with questions related to the impact of COVID-19 on employment. This study used the instrumental variable analysis method, which accommodates the issue of endogeneity in the model and working in a crowded place (work_crowded) used as the instrument variable. The estimation results obtained through IV regression show that WFH significantly has a positive effect on work productivity. The group of respondents who implemented WFH in their work system, on average, has statistically higher productivity when compared to the group of respondents who did not implement WFH.
    Keywords: COVID-19, Pandemic, WFH, Productivity, Instrumental Variable
    JEL: J0 J3 J6 D2 I1
    Date: 2023–12
  5. By: Bennett, Robert J; Smith, Harry; Montebruno, Piero; Van Lieshout, Carry
    Abstract: New data on profit heterogeneity of small- and medium-sized firms for 1861–81 in England and Wales are used to reinterpret Marshall's contemporary insights. Profit level differences are chiefly explained by location, mainly urbanisation effects. But profitability (profit per worker) is mainly explained by sectors, at both 1-digit and 5-digit level. Sector market opportunities reflected barriers to market entry which limited substitutability for the services of the professions, some manufacturing and maker-dealing industries. Localisation mainly reflected urban/rural differences, accessibility to railways and to a lesser extent waterways. Differences in firm-level organisation (measured by portfolio diversification and partnerships) were less significant for explaining profit heterogeneity than sector or localisation. Demographic effects such as an entrepreneur's age had little significance. Marshall's insight of convergence to mean industry-sector profitability, with localisation as a secondary influence, is confirmed, but there remain unexplained elements of heterogeneity indicating important roles of entrepreneurial agency.
    JEL: L11 L22 L25 L29
    Date: 2022–01–19
  6. By: Wadim Strielkowski; Larisa Gorina; Elena Korneeva; Olga Kovaleva
    Abstract: This paper explores the role of energy-saving technologies and energy efficiency in the post-COVID era. The pandemic meant major rethinking of the entrenched patterns in energy saving and efficiency. It also provided opportunities for reevaluating energy consumption for households and industries. In addition, it highlighted the importance of employing digital tools and technologies in energy networks and smart grids (e.g. Internet of Energy (IoE), peer-to-peer (P2P) prosumer networks, or the AI-powered autonomous power systems (APS)). In addition, the pandemic added novel legal aspects to the energy efficiency and energy saving and enhanced inter-national collaborations and partnerships. The paper highlights the importance of energy efficiency measures and examines various technologies that can contribute to a sustainable and resilient energy future. Using the bibliometric network analysis of 12960 publications indexed in Web of Science databases, it demonstrates the potential benefits and challenges associated with implementing energy-saving technologies and autonomic power systems in a post-COVID world. Our findings emphasize the need for robust policies, technological advancements, and public engagement to foster energy efficiency and mitigate the environmental impacts of energy consumption.
    Date: 2023–12
  7. By: Marianna Brunetti (CEIS & DEF, University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Annalisa Fabretti (DEF, University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Mariangela Zoli (CEIS & DEF, University of Rome "Tor Vergata")
    Abstract: In developed countries women have now achieved educational parity with men. Yet disparities persist in reaching top positions in the job market, with academia making no exception. This paper assesses the gender gap in career advancements in Italian universities over the 2013-2021 period, and explores the potential role of a third factor, i.e. mobility, besides competitiveness and scientific productivity typically investigated in the literature. The results, strongly robust, show a gender gap in advancements to associate professorship of about 4 percentage points, which is only partially explained by competitiveness, while scientific productivity and mobility do not seem to play a role. The estimated gender gap almost doubles for transitions to full professorship, and it remains unaffected when both competitiveness and scientific productivity are considered. Interestingly, mobility in this case matters: the gap is still there but (as much as 5 times) smaller when career advancements occur along with a move to a different University.
    Keywords: gender gap, competitiveness, productivity, mobility, higher education, academia
    JEL: J16 J71
    Date: 2023–12–21
  8. By: Hannah, Leslie; Foreman-Peck, James S.
    Abstract: We analyse a new dataset of 483 manufacturing firms in 1881 either that employed at least 1000 or had done so a decade earlier. Among these firms the majority were partnerships, but public corporations attained higher capital/ labour ratios and stronger employment growth than other business forms. The divorce of ownership from control was most effective where it was most thoroughly practised, as by public, in contrast to private, corporations. Engineers were frequently encountered in all business forms and associated with expanding employment. But the large public manufacturing corporations employed almost twice the proportion of engineers and professionals in top management as other enterprises. We find that family firms, proxied by heirs, were present in management of three quarters of partnerships but in only one third of public corporations, and did indeed reduce the employment growth of the firm, whereas engineers boosted it by more. Lords, mayors and landed wealth in management were also associated with faster employment growth of enterprises. These results suggest some stereotypes in the literature need to be more precisely defined or seriously questioned.
    Keywords: Business performance, corporations, partnerships, manufacturing, engineers, Victorian economy
    JEL: N0 N8 O1
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Lucas Gonzalez; Andrea Alcaraz; Carolina Gabay; Monica Castro; Silvina Vigo; Eduardo Carinci; Federico Augustovski
    Abstract: Objective: About 12, 000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer (LC) each year in Argentina, and the diagnosis has a significant personal and family. The objective of this study was to characterize the Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) and the economic impact in patients with LC and in their households. Methods: Observational cross-sectional study, through validated structured questionnaires to patients with a diagnosis of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) in two referral public health care centers in Argentina. Questionnaries used: Health-Related Quality of life (EuroQol EQ-5D-3L questionnaire); financial toxicity (COST questionnaire); productivity loss (WPAI-GH, Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire: General Health), and out-of-pocket expenses. Results: We included 101 consecutive patients (mean age 67.5 years; 55.4% men; 57.4% with advanced disease -stage III/IV-). The mean EQ-VAS was 68.8 (SD:18.3), with 82.2% describing fair or poor health. The most affected dimensions were anxiety/depression, pain, and activities of daily living. Patients reported an average 59% decrease in their ability to perform regular daily activities as measured by WPAI-GH. 54.5% reported a reduction in income due to the disease, and 19.8% lost their jobs. The annual economic productivity loss was estimated at USD 2, 465 per person. 70.3%) of patients reported financial toxicity. The average out-of-pocket expenditure was USD 100.38 per person per month, which represented 18.5% of household income. Catastrophic expenditures were present in 37.1% of households. When performing subgroup analysis by disease severity, all outcomes were worse in the subpopulation with advanced disease. Conclusions Patients with NSCLC treated in public hospitals in Argentina have significant health-related quality of life and economic impact, worsening in patients with advanced disease.
    Date: 2023–12
  10. By: Charlotte Emlinger (CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique); Karine Latouche (SMART - Structures et Marché Agricoles, Ressources et Territoires - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Institut Agro Rennes Angers - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement)
    Abstract: This article deals with the effects of firms' quality policies on export performance. We rely on the presence of quality management personnel to assess the level of commitment of firms on issues related to reliability and safety of products, using French administrative employee-firm-level data. We merge these data with French customs data providing the value and quantity of exports, for each firm, by product and destination. We show that firms with quality management employees have a better markets penetration and export higher volumes, especially on markets with high standards requirement (higher number of sanitary and phytosanitary or technical measures). Overall, our paper highlights the role of "quality investment" of agri-food firms in export performance, underlining that product quality is not limited to product differentiation perceived by final consumers. Product traceability and reliability is an essential factor in firms' competitiveness, especially in the perspective of the global value chains.
    Keywords: Non-tariff-Measures, Quality management, Export competitiveness
    Date: 2023–12–14

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