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The efficiency of museums: a stochastic frontier production function approach

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  • Paul Bishop
  • Steven Brand

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Bishop & Steven Brand, 2003. "The efficiency of museums: a stochastic frontier production function approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(17), pages 1853-1858.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:35:y:2003:i:17:p:1853-1858
    DOI: 10.1080/0003684032000158064
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Calogero Guccio & Marco Martorana & Isidoro Mazza & Ilde Rizzo, 2016. "Back to the Future. The effect of digital technology on the performance of public historical archives," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-10-2016, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Sep 2016.
    2. Herrera, Santiago & Pang, Gaobo, 2005. "Efficiency of public spending in developing countries : an efficiency frontier approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3645, The World Bank.
    3. Tatiana V. Abankina & Pavel V. Derkachev & Liudmila M. Filatova & Irina V. Scherbakova, 2015. "Aspects of Increasing Accessibility of Russian Museums and Evaluation of Attendance," HSE Working papers WP BRP 43/MAN/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    4. Luis César Herrero-Prieto, 2013. "Is Museum Performance Affected By Location And Institution Type? Measuring Cultural Institution Efficiency Through Non-Parametric Techniques," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp425, IIIS.
    5. Giacomo Pignataro, 2011. "Performance Indicators," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Cultural Economics, Second Edition, chapter 46 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Santiago Herrera & Gaobo Pang, 2008. "Eficiency of Infrastructure: The Case of Container Ports," Economia, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics], vol. 9(1), pages 165-194.
    7. repec:eee:touman:v:36:y:2013:i:c:p:650-657 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Marta Zieba, 2011. "An Analysis of Technical Efficiency and Efficiency Factors for Austrian and Swiss Non-Profit Theatres," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 147(II), pages 233-274, June.
    9. Kevin Duncan & Peter Philips & Mark Prus, 2006. "Prevailing wage legislation and public school construction efficiency: a stochastic frontier approach," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(6), pages 625-634.
    10. Lim, Seong-Rin & Schoenung, Julie M., 2011. "Measurement and analysis of product energy efficiency to assist energy star criteria development: An example for desktop computers," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 8003-8010.
    11. Victor Fernández-Blanco & Juan Prieto-Rodríguez, 2011. "Museums," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Cultural Economics, Second Edition, chapter 40 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Santiago Herrera & Gaobo Pang, 2006. "How Efficient is Public Spending in Education?," ENSAYOS SOBRE POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA - ESPE, vol. 24(51), pages 136-201, June.
    13. Martin Falk, 2009. "Are multi-resort ski conglomerates more efficient?," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(8), pages 529-538.
    14. Geys, Benny & Konrad, Kai A., . "Federalism and optimal allocation across levels of governance," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    15. Calogero Guccio & Anna Mignosa & Ilde Rizzo, 2017. "Disentangle inefficiency in the production activities of Italian national libraries: A network DEA approach," ACEI Working Paper Series AWP-04-2017, Association for Cultural Economics International, revised Mar 2017.
    16. Gosse Alserda & Jaap Bikker & Fieke van der Lecq, 2017. "X-efficiency and economies of scale in pension fund administration and investment," DNB Working Papers 547, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    17. Anne-Kathrin Last & Heike Wetzel, 2010. "The efficiency of German public theaters: a stochastic frontier analysis approach," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 34(2), pages 89-110, May.
    18. Kuo-Liang Matt Chang & Todd A. Lone, 2009. "The Efficiency of Labor Input in the Tree Nut Growers Industry: A Stochastic Frontier Production Approach Study in Butte County, California," SDSU Working Papers in Progress 42009, South Dakota State University, Department of Economics.
    19. David Throsby, 2006. "An Artistic Production Function: Theory and an Application to Australian Visual Artists," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 30(1), pages 1-14, March.
    20. Seongho Song & David Yi, 2011. "The fundraising efficiency in U.S. non-profit art organizations: an application of a Bayesian estimation approach using the stochastic frontier production model," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 171-180, April.
    21. repec:lrk:eeaart:35_3_15 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. repec:bdr:ensayo:v::y:2006:i:51:p:136-201 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Marc Bourreau & Michel Gensollen & François Moreau & Patrick Waelbroeck, 2013. "“Selling less of more?” The impact of digitization on record companies," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 37(3), pages 327-346, August.
    24. David T. Yi, 2010. "Determinants of fundraising efficiency of nonprofit organizations: evidence from US public charitable organizations," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(7), pages 465-475.
    25. Víctor Fernández-Blanco & Luis César Herrero & Juan Prieto-Rodríguez, 2013. "Performance of cultural heritage institutions," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Economics of Cultural Heritage, chapter 24, pages i-i Edward Elgar Publishing.

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