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One-Step and Two-Step Estimation of the Effects of Exogenous Variables on Technical Efficiency Levels

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  • Hung-jen Wang
  • Peter Schmidt

Abstract

Consider a stochastic frontier model with one-sided inefficiency u, and suppose that the scale of u depends on some variables (firm characteristics) z. A “one-step” model specifies both the stochastic frontier and the way in which u depends on z, and can be estimated in a single step, for example by maximum likelihood. This is in contrast to a “two-step” procedure, where the first step is to estimate a standard stochastic frontier model, and the second step is to estimate the relationship between (estimated) u and z. In this paper we propose a class of one-step models based on the “scaling property” that u equals a function of z times a one-sided error u * whose distribution does not depend on z. We explain theoretically why two-step procedures are biased, and we present Monte Carlo evidence showing that the bias can be very severe. This evidence argues strongly for one-step models whenever one is interested in the effects of firm characteristics on efficiency levels. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Suggested Citation

  • Hung-jen Wang & Peter Schmidt, 2002. "One-Step and Two-Step Estimation of the Effects of Exogenous Variables on Technical Efficiency Levels," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 129-144, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jproda:v:18:y:2002:i:2:p:129-144
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1016565719882
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    1. Caudill, Steven B. & Ford, Jon M., 1993. "Biases in frontier estimation due to heteroscedasticity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 17-20.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    technical efficiency; stochastic frontiers;

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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