Systematized and Path-independent Measurement of Biased Technical Change
The sample-specificity and path-dependence of the data envelopment analysis (DEA) based technical change index as a component of Malmquist indexes prevent us from obtaining overall and systematic information on technical change. This paper develops a pathindependent method to estimate technical change using a systematized set of controlled input- output vectors and visualization of the DEA frontiers. The application to the panel datasets of agricultural production in the Brazil Amazon in 1975-1995 indicates non-Hicks-neutral technical change, with crossings of frontiers in both the 1975-1985 and the 1985-1995 periods. The alternative measure of overall technical change shows that moderate technological progress may have occurred on the whole in 1975-1995. The results also show heterogeneous trends across products. The mean of the sample-specific technical change scores are found to be quite different from the overall technical change measure.
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