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Interpreting and Testing the Scaling Property in Models where Inefficiency Depends on Firm Characteristics

  • Antonio Alvarez


  • Christine Amsler


  • Luis Orea


  • Peter Schmidt


Let u ≥ 0 be technical inefficiency, let z be a set of variables that affect u, and let δ be the parameters of this relationship. The model satisfies the scaling property if u(z, δ) can be written as a scaling function h(z, δ) times a random variable u* that does not depend on z. This property implies that changes in z affect the scale but not the shape of u(z,δ). This paper reviews the existing literature and identifies models that do and do not have the scaling property. It also discusses practical advantages of the scaling property. The paper shows how to test the hypothesis of scaling, and other interesting hypotheses, in the context of the model of Wang, Journal of Productivity Analysis, 2002. Finally, two empirical examples are given. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Productivity Analysis.

Volume (Year): 25 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (06)
Pages: 201-212

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Handle: RePEc:kap:jproda:v:25:y:2006:i:3:p:201-212
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  1. Cuesta, Rafael A. & Orea, Luis, 2002. "Mergers and technical efficiency in Spanish savings banks: A stochastic distance function approach," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(12), pages 2231-2247.
  2. 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.
  3. Stevenson, Rodney E., 1980. "Likelihood functions for generalized stochastic frontier estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 57-66, May.
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  5. Wang, Hung-Jen, 2002. "Heteroscedasticity and non-monotonic efficiency effects of a stochastic frontier model," MPRA Paper 31076, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  7. Kumbhakar, Subal C & Ghosh, Soumendra & McGuckin, J Thomas, 1991. "A Generalized Production Frontier Approach for Estimating Determinants of Inefficiency in U.S. Dairy Farms," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 9(3), pages 279-86, July.
  8. Wang, Hung-Jen, 2003. "A Stochastic Frontier Analysis of Financing Constraints on Investment: The Case of Financial Liberalization in Taiwan," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(3), pages 406-19, July.
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  10. Caudill, Steven B & Ford, Jon M & Gropper, Daniel M, 1995. "Frontier Estimation and Firm-Specific Inefficiency Measures in the Presence of Heteroscedasticity," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(1), pages 105-11, January.
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  12. Han, Chirok & Orea, Luis & Schmidt, Peter, 2005. "Estimation of a panel data model with parametric temporal variation in individual effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 241-267, June.
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