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A Bargaining Model of Farrell Inefficiency


  • Haskel, Jonathan
  • Sanchis, Amparo


An enormous number of empirical papers have estimated technical efficiency, the distance of firms inside a frontier, following the model of Farrell (1957). We propose a theory that explains the distance these empirical papers seek to measure. The theory is based on the idea that workers can bargain low ‘effort’ (high crew sizes etc.) if they and the firm have some monopoly power. We provide simple theoretical expressions for the empirical measures of technical and allocative efficiency and compare them to those in the statistical literature. We consider the relation between competition and efficiency and show how the model extends readily to address public sector inefficiency, increasing returns and manager/firm agency problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Haskel, Jonathan & Sanchis, Amparo, 1998. "A Bargaining Model of Farrell Inefficiency," CEPR Discussion Papers 1902, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1902

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Horn, Henrik & Lang, Harald & Lundgren, Stefan, 1994. "Competition, long run contracts and internal inefficiencies in firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 213-233, February.
    2. Martin Stephen, 1993. "Endogenous Firm Efficiency in a Cournot Principal-Agent Model," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 445-450, April.
    3. Haskel, Jonathan & Sanchis, Amparo, 1995. "Privatisation and X-Inefficiency: A Bargaining Approach," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(3), pages 301-321, September.
    4. Green, Alison & Mayes, David, 1991. "Technical Inefficiency in Manufacturing Industries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(406), pages 523-538, May.
    5. David Scharfstein, 1988. "Product-Market Competition and Managerial Slack," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 147-155, Spring.
    6. Oswald, A. J., 1995. "Efficient contracts are on the labour demand curve: Theory and facts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 102-102, March.
    7. Haskel, Jonathan & Sanchis, Amparo, 2000. "A bargaining model of Farrell inefficiency," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 539-556, May.
    8. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
    9. Richard E. Caves, 1992. "Industrial Efficiency in Six Nations," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031930, January.
    10. Nickell, Stephen & Wadhwani, Sushil & Wall, Martin, 1992. "Productivity growth in U.K. companies, 1975-1986," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1055-1085, June.
    11. Muellbauer, John, 1984. "Aggregate Production Functions and Productivity Measurement: A New Look," CEPR Discussion Papers 34, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
    13. Schmidt, Peter & Knox Lovell, C. A., 1979. "Estimating technical and allocative inefficiency relative to stochastic production and cost frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 343-366, February.
    14. Schmidt, Klaus M., 1996. "Managerial Incentives and Product Market Competition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1382, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1993. "Long-term earnings losses of high-seniority displaced workers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-20.
    16. Andrews, Martyn & Simmons, Robert, 1995. "Are Effort Bargaining Models Consistent with the Facts? An Assessment of the Early 1980s," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(247), pages 313-334, August.
    17. Kim C. Border & Uzi Segal, 1997. "Preferences over Solutions to the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 1-18, January.
    18. Johnson, George E, 1990. "Work Rules, Featherbedding, and Pareto-optimal Union-Management Bargaining," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 237-259, January.
    19. Kim C. Border & Uzi Segal, 1997. "Preferences over Solutions to the Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(1), pages 1-18, January.
    20. Bauer, Paul W., 1990. "Recent developments in the econometric estimation of frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 39-56.
    21. Seiford, Lawrence M. & Thrall, Robert M., 1990. "Recent developments in DEA : The mathematical programming approach to frontier analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 7-38.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mette Asmild & Peter Bogetoft & Jens Leth Hougaard, 2006. "Rationalising Inefficiency: A Study of Canadian Bank Branches," Occasional Papers 19, Industrial Economics Division.
    2. Peter Bogetoft & Jens Hougaard, 2003. "Rational Inefficiencies," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 243-271, November.
    3. Ziga Zarnic, 2010. "European Electricity Market Reforms: Any Signs of Efficiency Improvements?," LICOS Discussion Papers 26210, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    4. Haskel, Jonathan & Sanchis, Amparo, 2000. "A bargaining model of Farrell inefficiency," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 539-556, May.
    5. Ahmet Kara, 2009. "An applied stochastic model of the quality–quantity trade-off in the public health care sector," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 277-289, March.
    6. Sena, Vania, 2006. "The determinants of firms' performance: Can finance constraints improve technical efficiency?," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 172(1), pages 311-325, July.
    7. Maliranta, Mika, 2002. "From R&D to Productivity Through Micro-Level Restructuring," Discussion Papers 795, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.

    More about this item


    Competition; effort; technical efficiency; X-inefficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General


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