Threshold effects in panel data stochastic frontier models of dairy production in Canada
One of the most enduring problems in econometrics is how to properly account for heterogeneity among firms. Threshold regression models are intuitively appealing methods to deal with this issue. We consider a fixed-effect panel data stochastic frontier model (Schmidt and Sickles, 1984; Martin-Marcos and Suarez-Galvez, 2000) and, relying on Hansen (1999, 2000a), we propose an estimator that accommodates multiple thresholds. Our model assumes absence of any unmeasured time invariant heterogeneity across firms as in Greene (2005, p. 277). Slope and threshold parameters can be estimated using a within estimator combined with a grid search over the threshold parameters. Testing for threshold effects is problematic because threshold parameters are not identified under the null hypothesis, a case of the so-called Davies' problem. We apply the bootstrap procedure proposed by Hansen (1999, 2000a) to test for the presence of thresholds. An asymptotic confidence set for the threshold parameter can be obtained by inverting an LR test, using the distribution result presented in Hansen (1999, 2000a). Our empirical application features a panel of Quebec dairy farms. We use farm size as the threshold variable. The presence of a trend in the specification matters for the determination of the number of thresholds. Technical efficiency scores and rankings of farms estimated from competing model specifications are highly correlated and do not vary significantly across groups of farm sizes defined by the threshold parameter values.
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