Comparing Firm Performance Using Transitive Productivity Index Numbers in a Meta-frontier Framework
The meta-frontier framework has been used extensively for evaluating the technical efficiency of heterogeneous production units that can be classified into different groups. This paper shows how the framework can also be used to make total factor productivity (TFP) comparisons within and across groups. The paper develops a new measure of the distance between a group frontier and the meta-frontier (the so-called â€˜technology gapâ€™). It then shows how a spatially- and temporally-transitive TFP index can be decomposed into measures of global technical change (measuring movements in the metafrontier), local technical change (measuring movements in the group frontiers) and efficiency change (measuring movements towards or around the group frontiers). To illustrate the methodology, the paper examines the productive performance of road authorities responsible for maintaining interstate highways in the US state of Virginia.
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