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A Monte Carlo Study of Efficiency Estimates from Frontier Models



Parametric stochastic frontier models yield firm-level conditional distributions of inefficiency that are truncated normal. Given these distributions, how should one assess and rank firm-level efficiency? This study compares the techniques of estimated (a) the conditional means of inefficiency and (b) probabilities that firms are most or least efficient. Monte Carlo experiments suggest that the efficiency probabilities are more reliable in terms of mean absolute percent error when inefficiency has large variation across firms. Along the way we tackle some interesting problems associated with simulating and assessing estimator performance inthe stochastic frontier environment.

Suggested Citation

  • William C. Horrace & Seth O. Richards, 2007. "A Monte Carlo Study of Efficiency Estimates from Frontier Models," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 97, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  • Handle: RePEc:max:cprwps:97

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fernandez C. & Koop G. & Steel M.F.J., 2002. "Multiple-Output Production With Undesirable Outputs: An Application to Nitrogen Surplus in Agriculture," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 432-442, June.
    2. Koop, Gary & Osiewalski, Jacek & Steel, Mark F. J., 1997. "Bayesian efficiency analysis through individual effects: Hospital cost frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1-2), pages 77-105.
    3. William C. Horrace & Peter Schmidt, 2000. "Multiple comparisons with the best, with economic applications," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 1-26.
    4. Horrace, William C., 2005. "On ranking and selection from independent truncated normal distributions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 335-354, June.
    5. 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.
    6. William C. Horrace & Peter Schmidt, 2002. "Confidence Statements for Efficiency Estimates from Stochastic Frontier Models," Econometrics 0206006, EconWPA.
    7. Kumbhakar, Subal C., 1990. "Production frontiers, panel data, and time-varying technical inefficiency," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 201-211.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Greene, William, 2005. "Reconsidering heterogeneity in panel data estimators of the stochastic frontier model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 269-303, June.
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    More about this item


    Truncated normal; stochastic frontier; efficiency; multivariate probabilities.;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C16 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Econometric and Statistical Methods; Specific Distributions
    • C44 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Operations Research; Statistical Decision Theory
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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