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A comparison of stochastic frontier approaches for estimating technical inefficiency and total factor productivity


  • James Carroll
  • Carol Newman
  • Fiona Thorne


This article compares standard stochastic frontier models for panel data with a number of recently developed models which attempt to control for unobserved heterogeneity in the inefficiency component. Results are used to construct a generalized Malmquist Total Factor Productivity (TFP) index for the Irish tillage sector. While our application yields similar general TFP trends across models, it is evident that this new class of model leads to fewer theoretical inconsistencies in the production frontier. Furthermore, inefficiency estimates across models are critically compared and the potential benefits of controlling for unobserved heterogeneity are highlighted.

Suggested Citation

  • James Carroll & Carol Newman & Fiona Thorne, 2011. "A comparison of stochastic frontier approaches for estimating technical inefficiency and total factor productivity," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(27), pages 4007-4019.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:27:p:4007-4019
    DOI: 10.1080/00036841003761918

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cathal O'Donoghue & Thia Hennessy, 2014. "Chapter 03: The Agri-Food Sector," Chapters from Rural Economic Development in Ireland,in: Rural Economic Development in Ireland, edition 1, chapter 3 Rural Economy and Development Programme,Teagasc.
    2. A. Tonini, 2012. "A Bayesian stochastic frontier: an application to agricultural productivity growth in European countries," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 45(4), pages 247-269, November.
    3. Cathal O'Donoghue & Thia Hennessy, 2015. "Policy and Economic Change in the Agri-Food Sector in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 46(2), pages 315-337.
    4. A. Wondemu Kifle, 2016. "Working Paper 237 - Decomposing Sources of Productivity Change in Small-Scale Farming in Ethiopia," Working Paper Series 2332, African Development Bank.
    5. Asif Reza Anik & Sanzidur Rahman & Jaba Rani Sarker, 2017. "Agricultural Productivity Growth and the Role of Capital in South Asia (1980–2013)," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-24, March.

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