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Productivity Change, Technical Progress, and Relative Efficiency Change in the Public Accounting Industry

Listed author(s):
  • Rajiv D. Banker

    ()

    (Anderson Graduate School of Management, University of California at Riverside, Riverside, California 92521)

  • Hsihui Chang

    ()

    (Anderson Graduate School of Management, University of California at Riverside, Riverside, California 92521)

  • Ram Natarajan

    ()

    (School of Management, The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688)

Registered author(s):

    We present evidence on components of productivity change in the public accounting industry toward the end of the 20th century. Using revenue and human resource data from 64 of the 100 largest public accounting firms in the United States for the 1995--1999 period, we analyze productivity change, technical progress, and relative efficiency change over time. The average public accounting firm experienced a productivity growth of 9.5% between 1995 and 1999. We find support for the hypothesis that technical progress rather than an improvement in relative efficiency was the reason for this productivity growth. Firms that were early movers into management advisory services (MAS) and those that emphasized growth in MAS over growth in the traditional audit and tax services enjoyed significantly higher productivity growth than their peers. These firms also contributed significantly more to the industry's technical progress.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1040.0324
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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 51 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 (February)
    Pages: 291-304

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:51:y:2005:i:2:p:291-304
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    1. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Swanson, Joseph A, 1981. "Productivity Growth, Scale Economies, and Capacity Utilization in U.S. Railroads, 1955-74," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 994-1002, December.
    2. Craswell, Allen T. & Francis, Jere R. & Taylor, Stephen L., 1995. "Auditor brand name reputations and industry specializations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 297-322, December.
    3. R. D. Banker & A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper, 1984. "Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiencies in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1078-1092, September.
    4. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin Hitt, 1996. "Paradox Lost? Firm-Level Evidence on the Returns to Information Systems Spending," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(4), pages 541-558, April.
    5. Wheelock, David C & Wilson, Paul W, 1999. "Technical Progress, Inefficiency, and Productivity Change in U.S. Banking, 1984-1993," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(2), pages 212-234, May.
    6. Carl Shapiro, 1983. "Premiums for High Quality Products as Returns to Reputations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(4), pages 659-679.
    7. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
    8. Charles Steindel & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2001. "Productivity: what is it and why do we care about it?," Staff Reports 122, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    9. Banker, Rajiv D. & Chang, Hsihui & Cunningham, Reba, 2003. "The public accounting industry production function," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 255-281, June.
    10. repec:bla:joares:v:32:y:1994:i:2:p:241-261 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Klein, Benjamin & Leffler, Keith B, 1981. "The Role of Market Forces in Assuring Contractual Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(4), pages 615-641, August.
    12. Romer, Paul M, 1987. "Growth Based on Increasing Returns Due to Specialization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 56-62, May.
    13. Rajiv D. Banker, 1993. "Maximum Likelihood, Consistency and Data Envelopment Analysis: A Statistical Foundation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(10), pages 1265-1273, October.
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