Essays on Productivity Analysis
Sickles, Robin C.
Doctor of Philosophy
In Chapter One, to measure the efficiency changes in the U.S. banking industry after structural changes since the late 1970s, we utilize a set of panel data stochastic frontier models of varying parametric assumptions and function specifications. Our estimates support the opinion of improving efficiency in the banking industry in the period from 1984 to early 1990s. The first chapter raises two research questions. First, the comparison of different estimates shows that the choice of methodologies has significant impacts on the levels and dynamics of estimation results. How should we consider a more general approach to incorporate modeling uncertainty? Second, to fit in a broader picture, how can we extend our tools of estimating industry-level efficiencies to measure efficiency changes of countries and regions? These two questions motivated us to conduct researches which are in the second and third chapters. In Chapter Two, we propose the construction of a consensus estimate to extract information from all involved studies. Insights from different fields of economics supporting aggregating estimators are provided. We discuss three methodologies in detail: model averaging, combining forecast and rule-based methods using Meta-Regression Analysis. Two Monte Carlo experiments are conducted to examine the finite-sample performance of the combined estimators. In Chapter Three, we accommodate the models discussed in Chapter One to measure the Total Factor Productivity (TFP) changes. Discussions of various theories explaining economic growth and productivity measurements are provided. We decompose the change of TFP into technical efficiency change and innovational change. Estimations are also combined according to principles in Chapter Two. Two studies utilizing the World Productivity Database from the UNIDO are conducted. In the first study, we find out that from 1972 to 2000 the Asian region had the highest Total Factor Productivity growth, which was mainly contributed to innovation progress instead of efficiency catch-up. In the second study, we find out that between 1970 and 2000, Asia Four Tigers and new tiger countries (China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand) had substantial TFP advancements, mainly due to innovations. The other four groups of countries including developed and developing countries had downward trends in TFP growth.