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X-Inefficiencies in the Residential Real Estate Market: A Stochastic Frontier Approach

This article examines the productive efficiency levels present in the market for residential real estate brokerage services by employing the stochastic frontier approach. The only prior study (Anderson, Zumpano, Elder and Fok, 1998) that examined productive efficiency in this sector employed data envelopment analysis. This current article addresses potential statistical limitations of Data Envelopment Analysis and uses an alternative statistical tool, the stochastic frontier approach, to estimate X-efficiencies. This technique overcomes many of the statistical limitations of DEA and provides additional productive efficiency estimates. The results suggest that residential real estate brokerage firms are relatively efficient, in contrast to the earlier study that found significant inefficiencies present in this market. Firms could only reduce their average total costs by 12% given firm outputs and input prices. Additionally, the firms were divided into three size categories to examine the impact of firm size on efficiency. The results indicate that small firms are the most efficient group. Hence, there seems to be a tradeoff between scale efficiency and productive efficiency.

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Article provided by American Real Estate Society in its journal Journal of Real Estate Research.

Volume (Year): 20 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 93-103

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Handle: RePEc:jre:issued:v:20:n:1:2000:p:93-103
Contact details of provider: Postal: American Real Estate Society Clemson University School of Business & Behavioral Science Department of Finance 401 Sirrine Hall Clemson, SC 29634-1323
Web page: http://www.aresnet.org/
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Order Information: Postal: Diane Quarles American Real Estate Society Manager of Member Services Clemson University Box 341323 Clemson, SC 29634-1323
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  1. Olson, Jerome A. & Schmidt, Peter & Waldman, Donald M., 1980. "A Monte Carlo study of estimators of stochastic frontier production functions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 67-82, May.
  2. Randy I. Anderson & Robert Fok & Leonard V. Zumpano & Harold W. Elder, 1998. "Measuring the Efficiency of Residential Real Estate Brokerage Firms," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 16(2), pages 139-158.
  3. Berger, Allen N. & Humphrey, David B., 1991. "The dominance of inefficiencies over scale and product mix economies in banking," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 117-148, August.
  4. Ferrier, Gary D. & Lovell, C. A. Knox, 1990. "Measuring cost efficiency in banking : Econometric and linear programming evidence," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 229-245.
  5. Bauer, Paul W., 1990. "Recent developments in the econometric estimation of frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 39-56.
  6. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
  7. Zumpano, Leonard V & Elder, Harold W & Crellin, Glenn E, 1993. "The Market for Residential Real Estate Brokerage Services: Costs of Production and Economies of Scale," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 237-50, May.
  8. Jondrow, James & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Materov, Ivan S. & Schmidt, Peter, 1982. "On the estimation of technical inefficiency in the stochastic frontier production function model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 233-238, August.
  9. Meeusen, Wim & van den Broeck, Julien, 1977. "Efficiency Estimation from Cobb-Douglas Production Functions with Composed Error," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 435-44, June.
  10. Leonard V. Zumpano & Harold W. Elder, 1994. "Economies of Scope and Density in the Market for Real Estate Brokerage Services," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 22(3), pages 497-513.
  11. Terrell, Dek, 1996. "Incorporating Monotonicity and Concavity Conditions in Flexible Functional Forms," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(2), pages 179-94, March-Apr.
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