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Technical Efficiency in an R&D Intensive Industry: Finnish ICT Manufacturing

  • Elina Berghäll

Technical efficiency levels in Finnish ICT manufacturing are established by applying a stochastic frontier model and retrieving Method of Moments and Battese-Coelli efficiency measures to identify both permanent and time-varying efficiency levels, as well as determinants of inefficiency such as R&D investments. The sample is representative of almost half of corporate R&D in Finland in 1990-2003. Results show wide and surprisingly persistent disparities in technical efficiency, with the average firm enjoying only about half of the frontier firm?s technical efficiency level. The rhetoric of Finland featuring on the global technology frontier is based on few firms. Most Finnish firms are constrained to catch-up with the frontier rather than advance it by means of innovation, implying inappropriateness of an innovation focus in policy. The persistence of efficiencies suggests that high risks involved in innovative activity account for only a share of productivity differences. There appear to be considerable permanent gaps between firms related e.g. to managerial and organisational efficiency.

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Paper provided by Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT) in its series Discussion Papers with number 389.

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Date of creation: 04 May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fer:dpaper:389
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  1. Francesco Daveri & Olmo Silva, 2004. "Not only Nokia: what Finland tells us about new economy growth," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 19(38), pages 117-163, 04.
  2. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
  3. Frantz, Roger, 1992. "X-Efficiency and Allocative Efficiency: What Have We Learned?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 434-38, May.
  4. RITTER, Christian & SIMAR, Leopold, 1994. "Pitfalls of Normal-Gamma Stochastic Frontier Models," CORE Discussion Papers 1994041, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  5. Maliranta, Mika, 2001. "Productivity Growth and Micro-level Restructuring. Finnish experiences during the turbulent decades," Discussion Papers 757, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  6. 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.
  7. Bronwyn Hall, 2004. "The financing of research and development," Chapters, in: Financial Systems, Corporate Investment in Innovation, and Venture Capital, chapter 2 Edward Elgar.
  8. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2004. "Diffusion as a Process of Creative Adoption," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200403, University of Turin.
  9. Richard E. Caves, 1992. "Industrial Efficiency in Six Nations," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262031930, June.
  10. Bernstein, Jeffrey I. & Mamuneas, Theofanis P., 2006. "R&D depreciation, stocks, user costs and productivity growth for US R&D intensive industries," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 70-98, January.
  11. Battese, George E. & Coelli, Tim J., 1988. "Prediction of firm-level technical efficiencies with a generalized frontier production function and panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 387-399, July.
  12. Paul Stoneman & Otto Toivanen, 2001. "The Impact of Revised Recommended Accounting Practices on R&D Reporting by UK Firms," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 123-136.
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