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The Effect of Unobserved Heterogeneity in Stochastic Frontier Estimation: Comparison of Cross Section and Panel with Simulated Data for The Postal Sector

Listed author(s):
  • Cazals, Catherine
  • Dudley, Paul
  • Florens, Jean-Pierre
  • Jones, Michael

In this paper, we examine the application of SFA method with time-invariant inefficiency and assess its estimation of inefficiency when applied to cross section and panel data. By using simulation methods, we look at the effect of unobserved heterogeneity on the estimates of inefficiency in both cross section and panel. In the presence of unobserved heterogeneity and significant variance in the inefficiency term, stochastic frontier estimation of inefficiency can be significantly different in panel and in cross section. This finding accords with analysis of actual data from the postal sector. We then suggest an estimation method for cost frontier when inefficiency is time-invariant and with unobserved heterogeneity.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 619.

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Date of creation: 2010
Publication status: Published in The Review of Network Economics, vol. 10, n°3, 2011.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:22802
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  1. 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.
  2. William Greene, 2004. "Distinguishing between heterogeneity and inefficiency: stochastic frontier analysis of the World Health Organization's panel data on national health care systems," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(10), pages 959-980.
  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 435-444, June.
  4. 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.
  5. Mehdi Farsi & Massimo Filippini & Michael Kuenzle, 2005. "Unobserved heterogeneity in stochastic cost frontier models: an application to Swiss nursing homes," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(18), pages 2127-2141.
  6. 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.
  7. Jondrow, James & Knox Lovell, C. A. & Materov, Ivan S. & Schmidt, Peter, 1982. "On the estimation of technical inefficiency in the stochastic frontier production function model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2-3), pages 233-238, August.
  8. Fried, Harold O. & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Shelton S. (ed.), 2008. "The Measurement of Productive Efficiency and Productivity Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195183528.
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