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The efficiency of museums: a stochastic frontier production function approach

  • Paul Bishop
  • Steven Brand
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    This article examines the technical efficiency of museums based upon data derived from a questionnaire survey of South West England. A stochastic frontier production function is estimated with output measured in terms of visitor numbers. The Cobb-Douglas function is shown to be the best representation of the production function. Average levels of efficiency are estimated to be fairly low at 45.5% with wide variations across museums. The results indicate that high levels of public funding and voluntary activity have a significantly negative impact on technical efficiency. It is argued that further research is needed to develop more sophisticated measures of the output of cultural industries and understand the economic importance of volunteers.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0003684032000158064
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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 17 ()
    Pages: 1853-1858

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:35:y:2003:i:17:p:1853-1858
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    1. Kalirajan, K P & Shand, R T, 1999. " Frontier Production Functions and Technical Efficiency Measures," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(2), pages 149-72, April.
    2. Pitt, Mark M. & Lee, Lung-Fei, 1981. "The measurement and sources of technical inefficiency in the Indonesian weaving industry," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 43-64, August.
    3. 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.
    4. Battese, G E & Coelli, T J, 1995. "A Model for Technical Inefficiency Effects in a Stochastic Frontier Production Function for Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 325-32.
    5. 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.
    6. Kodde, David A & Palm, Franz C, 1986. "Wald Criteria for Jointly Testing Equality and Inequality Restriction s," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1243-48, September.
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