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Estimation and testing of stochastic frontier models using variational Bayes

Author

Listed:
  • Gholamreza Hajargasht

    (Swinburne University of Technology)

  • William E. Griffiths

    () (University of Melbourne)

Abstract

We show how a wide range of stochastic frontier models can be estimated relatively easily using variational Bayes. We derive approximate posterior distributions and point estimates for parameters and inefficiency effects for (a) time invariant models with several alternative inefficiency distributions, (b) models with time varying effects, (c) models incorporating environmental effects, and (d) models with more flexible forms for the regression function and error terms. Despite the abundance of stochastic frontier models, there have been few attempts to test the various models against each other, probably due to the difficulty of performing such tests. One advantage of the variational Bayes approximation is that it facilitates the computation of marginal likelihoods that can be used to compare models. We apply this idea to test stochastic frontier models with different inefficiency distributions. Estimation and testing is illustrated using three examples.

Suggested Citation

  • Gholamreza Hajargasht & William E. Griffiths, 2018. "Estimation and testing of stochastic frontier models using variational Bayes," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 1-24, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jproda:v:50:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11123-018-0531-0
    DOI: 10.1007/s11123-018-0531-0
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    Cited by:

    1. Hajargasht, Gholamreza & Rao, D.S. Prasada, 2019. "Multilateral index number systems for international price comparisons: Properties, existence and uniqueness," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 36-47.
    2. Gholamreza Hajargasht, 2015. "Stochastic frontiers with a Rayleigh distribution," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 199-208, October.
    3. Phill Wheat & Alexander D. Stead & William H. Greene, 2019. "Robust stochastic frontier analysis: a Student’s t-half normal model with application to highway maintenance costs in England," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 21-38, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Technical efficiency; Marginal likelihood; Time-varying panel; Environmental effects; Mixture; Semiparametric model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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