nep-eff New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2024‒05‒06
fifteen papers chosen by

  1. Misallocation in Indian Agriculture By Marijn Bolhuis; Swapnika Rachapalli; Diego Restuccia
  2. Public Sector Productivity – managing the Baumol cost disease By Bart van Ark; Joel Hoskins; Nina Jörden
  3. Public Sector Productivity Review: Fifteen questions By Nina Jörden; Lucy Hampton; Ayantola Alayande
  4. The Brazilian Economy’s Double Disease By Otaviano Canuto
  5. Part-time work and productivity By Jill Rubery; Isabelle Bi-Swinglehurst; Anthony Rafferty
  6. The Impact of Immigration on Firms and Workers: Insights from the H-1B Lottery By Parag Mahajan; Nicolas Morales; Kevin Shih; Mingyu Chen; Agostina Brinatti
  7. Regional productivity, inequalities, potential causes, and institutional challenges By Michael Kenny; Philip McCann; Raquel Ortega-Argilés
  8. Revisiting Disability Employment and Firm Productivity in Japan By MATSUMOTO Kodai; OKUMURA Yota; NAKAMURA Kenta; MORIMOTO Atsushi; YUGAMI Kazufumi
  9. Charging Towards Productivity.Moving Past the Bump in the Road? By Britt Regal; Damian Grimshaw; Marcela Miozzo; Jonatan Pinkse
  10. Productivity and quality-adjusted life years: QALYs, PALYs and beyond By Kristian S. Hansen; Juan D. Moreno-Ternero; Lars P. {\O}sterdal
  11. Energy efficiency and CO2 emissions: evidence from the UK universities By Eskander, Shaikh; Istiak, Khandokar
  12. World Agricultural Production, Resource Use, and Productivity, 1961–2020 By Fuglie, Keith O.; Morgan, Stephen; Jelliffe, Jeremy
  13. The Use of Performance Appraisals and Employees' Presenteeism Behavior By Grund, Christian; Nießen, Anna
  15. The Adoption of Non-Rival Inputs and Firm Scope By Xiang Jiang; Hannah Rubinton; Xian Jiang

  1. By: Marijn Bolhuis; Swapnika Rachapalli; Diego Restuccia
    Abstract: We exploit substantial variation in land-market institutions across Indian states and detailed household-level panel data to assess the effect of land-market distortions on agricultural productivity. We develop a model of heterogeneous farms and distorted land markets, featuring (a) state-level barriers to land-market participation and (b) idiosyncratic (farm-level) distortions to farm size. We use the framework to separately identify and estimate the two sources of land-market distortions in each state using farm data on productivity, land endowment, land-market participation, and operational farm size. We find substantial differences across states in rental barriers with large negative effects on agricultural productivity. An efficient reallocation of land in India increases agricultural productivity by 65 percent and by more than 100 percent in some states, with more than 50% of these effects attributed to state-level rental barriers. Distortions associated with land-market participation contribute substantially to agricultural productivity differences across Indian states.
    Keywords: Productivity, agriculture, distortions, land rentals, states, India.
    JEL: O4 O5 O11 O14 E01 E13
    Date: 2024–04–16
  2. By: Bart van Ark (The Productivity Institute, The University of Manchester); Joel Hoskins (The Productivity Institute, The University of Manchester); Nina Jörden (Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University Cambridge)
    Keywords: Productivity, Public Sector, Baumol
    Date: 2023–11
  3. By: Nina Jörden (Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge); Lucy Hampton (Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge); Ayantola Alayande (Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge)
    Keywords: public sector, productivity, local government
    Date: 2024–03
  4. By: Otaviano Canuto
    Abstract: The Brazilian economy is stuck in a so-called middle-income trap—growth that stalled long before Brazil caught up with the living standards of the highly industrialized countries. After exhibiting a stellar performance in the decades before the 1980s, the economy has since been unable to sustain growth for long periods. The predicament can be summarized using a medical analogy: Brazil has been suffering from both productivity anemia and public sector bloat. On the one hand, it hasn’t enjoyed the sort of productivity growth expected of economies at this stage of development— the harvesting of easy efficiency gains ranging from improved business organization to rapid diffusion of imported technology. On the other hand, the appetite for expanding public spending has become increasingly incompatible with limited productivity gains, particularly since the spending has not delivered on the accompanying hopes for socioeconomic mobility.
    Date: 2023–10
  5. By: Jill Rubery (Work and Equalities Institute, The University of Manchester); Isabelle Bi-Swinglehurst (Work and Equalities Institute, The University of Manchester); Anthony Rafferty (Work and Equalities Institute, The University of Manchester)
    Keywords: part-time work, productivity, jobs, gender, equality
    Date: 2024–03
  6. By: Parag Mahajan; Nicolas Morales; Kevin Shih; Mingyu Chen; Agostina Brinatti
    Abstract: We study how random variation in the availability of highly educated, foreign-born workers impacts firm performance and recruitment behavior. We combine two rich data sources: 1) administrative employer-employee matched data from the US Census Bureau; and 2) firm level information on the first large-scale H-1B visa lottery in 2007. Using an event-study approach, we find that lottery wins lead to increases in firm hiring of college-educated, immigrant labor along with increases in scale and survival. These effects are stronger for small, skill-intensive, and high-productivity firms that participate in the lottery. We do not find evidence for displacement of native-born, college-educated workers at the firm level, on net. However, this result masks dynamics among more specific subgroups of incumbents that we further elucidate.
    Keywords: Immigration, firm dynamics, productivity, H-1B visa, high-skilled migration
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2024–04
  7. By: Michael Kenny (Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University Cambridge); Philip McCann (The Productivity Institute, The University of Manchester); Raquel Ortega-Argilés (The Productivity Institute, The University of Manchester)
    Keywords: Productivity, UK regional inequality, UK institutions
    Date: 2023–11
  8. By: MATSUMOTO Kodai; OKUMURA Yota; NAKAMURA Kenta; MORIMOTO Atsushi; YUGAMI Kazufumi
    Abstract: We use high-quality panel data that matched administrative data on the employment of persons with disabilities with financial information on Japanese firms to examine the causal effects of the employment of persons with disabilities on firms' financial indicators and productivity, that is, not only the average effect across firms, but also the heterogeneity across various firm types. First, in most cases, we find that the employment of persons with disabilities does not have a statistically significant effect on firm performance. This result is consistent with the manufacturing literature and we show that these trends also hold true for non-manufacturing firms. Second, we do not find an extensive or intensive margin of employment for persons with disabilities, as the increased employment of persons with disabilities has no impact on firm performance, regardless of whether a firm employed persons with disabilities at the beginning of the period of analysis. Third, we observe the benefit of employing persons with disabilities among medium-sized firms with subsidiaries that specialize in this type of employment. Specifically, sales, operating income, and net income per regular employee increase as the employment of persons with disabilities increases.
    Date: 2024–04
  9. By: Britt Regal (King's College London, The Productivity Institute); Damian Grimshaw (King's College London, The Productivity Institute); Marcela Miozzo (King's College London, The Productivity Institute); Jonatan Pinkse (King's College London, The Productivity Institute)
    Keywords: EV charging, infrastructure, productivity, net zero
    Date: 2024–03
  10. By: Kristian S. Hansen; Juan D. Moreno-Ternero; Lars P. {\O}sterdal
    Abstract: We develop a unified framework for the measurement and valuation of health and productivity. Within this framework, we characterize evaluation functions allowing for compromises between the classical quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and its polar productivity-adjusted life years (PALYs). Our framework and characterization results provide a new normative basis for the economic evaluation of health care interventions, as well as occupational health and safety policies, aimed to impact both health and productivity of individuals.
    Date: 2024–04
  11. By: Eskander, Shaikh; Istiak, Khandokar
    Abstract: Understanding how energy efficiency improvement can mitigate CO2 emissions is critical for global climate change policies to ensure environmental sustainability and a low carbon future. Being the catalyst for training future generations, universities can play a leading role in this vision by adopting energy-saving and emissions reduction strategies. Using HESA data, a centralized system of reporting energy use and corresponding emissions, we adopt a two-step system GMM estimation procedure to estimate the effect of energy efficiency on CO2 emissions for 119 UK universities over the period between 2008-09 and 2018-19. Results confirm that higher energy efficiency is conducive to lower emissions. However, the less-than-elastic relationship between energy efficiency and emissions implies that energy efficiency improvement alone cannot enable the UK universities to comply with their net-zero objectives unless they increasingly adopt renewable energy sources. Despite this, universities were able to avoid 2.21 gtCO2e emissions over the sample period due to energy efficiency improvements. Our results are robust to alternative specifications.
    Keywords: emissions; energy; Fisher index; university
    JEL: Q41 Q42
    Date: 2022–10–08
  12. By: Fuglie, Keith O.; Morgan, Stephen; Jelliffe, Jeremy
    Abstract: Over the past six decades, the role of agriculture has undergone a vast transformation in the world economy. Agricultural output increased nearly fourfold, while the global population grew by 2.6 times, leading to a 53-percent increase in agricultural output per capita between 1961 and 2020. Real food prices declined relative to the general price level, supplying more affordable and diverse diets. Most of the growth in agricultural production was achieved by raising productivity rather than expanding resource use. There was a pronounced and sustained shift in the location of production to the Global South (developing countries), which between 1961 and 2020 increased their share of global agricultural output from 44 to 73 percent. The composition of world agricultural production, however, remained generally stable, changing slightly to include a larger share of oil crops, nonruminant livestock products, and aquaculture. Global agricultural land area increased by 8 percent to 4.76 billion hectares, or 32 percent of the world’s land area. The total number of people working on farms peaked in 2003 at just over 1 billion and then declined to 841 million by 2020, working on approximately 600 million farms. Major technological developments included the spread of Green Revolution crop genetic improvements, increased fertilizer use in the Global South, and the development of biotechnology and genetically modified crops offering pest and disease resistance. Further, aquaculture was developed as an important food source. However, by the decade of the 2010s, the pace of output and productivity growth in world agriculture slowed, food prices rose in real terms, the number of food-insecure people increased, and pressure to expand the use of natural resources to produce food intensified.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Crop Production/Industries, Demand and Price Analysis, Environmental Economics and Policy, Food Security and Poverty, Labor and Human Capital, Land Economics/Use, Livestock Production/Industries, Productivity Analysis, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession
    Date: 2024–02
  13. By: Grund, Christian (RWTH Aachen University); Nießen, Anna (RWTH Aachen University)
    Abstract: Presenteeism behavior, i.e. working despite illness, is a common phenomenon wordwide and can have severe consequences for employees and firms alike. In this study, we investigate the relation between the use of company performance appraisals and employees' presenteeism behavior. We use linked-employer-employee data (the German Linked Personnel Panel) and apply pooled Poisson as well as linear fixed effects estimations. We show that the use of performance appraisals is associated with significant lower annual presenteeism days in the amount of one-half to one full day. In addition, the presence of a works council strengthens the negative relationship between performance appraisals and presenteeism. The results are driven by performance appraisals that are linked to performance-related pay, in particular. Our study contributes to the understanding of context specific behavioral consequences of HRM practices such as performance appraisals.
    Keywords: presenteeism, sickness, performance appraisals, performance pay, works councils, German Linked Personnel Panel
    JEL: M5 I12 J22 J53
    Date: 2024–03
  14. By: MASSINI Silvia; PISCITELLO Lucia; SHEVTSOVA Yevgeniya (European Commission - JRC)
    Abstract: Recent empirical studies show that firms that simultaneously engage in export/import and internal R&D activities experience stronger productivity benefits with respect to their domestically oriented counterparts. This analysis extends the scope of these studies to explore complementary effects on productivity of engaging in all three activities (i.e. import, export and internal R&D) simultaneously in the context of emerging market firms. The results indicate that emerging markets firms benefit from complementarities stemming from the assimilation and integration of knowledge from external sources (import and export) with internal knowledge (own R&D investment). The effect is more pronounced for private enterprises, especially when they trade with partners from advanced markets.
    Date: 2024–02
  15. By: Xiang Jiang; Hannah Rubinton; Xian Jiang
    Abstract: Custom software is distinct from other types of capital in that it is non-rival—once a firm makes an investment in custom software, it can be used simultaneously across its many establishments. Using confidential US Census data, we document that while firms with more establishments are more likely to invest in custom software, they spend less on it as a share of total capital expenditure. We explain these empirical patterns by developing a model that incorporates the non-rivalry of custom software. In the model, firms choose whether to adopt custom software, the intensity of their investment, and their scope, balancing the cost of managing multiple establishments with the increasing returns to scope from the non-rivalrous custom software investment. Using the calibrated model, we assess the extent to which the decline in the rental rate of custom software over the past 40 years can account for a number of macroeconomic trends, including increases in firm scope and concentration.
    Keywords: intangible capital, ICT, technology adoption, firm size distribution, non-rivalry
    JEL: E22 E25 D24 O14
    Date: 2024

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