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Robust frontier estimation from noisy data: a Tikhonov regularization approach

Listed author(s):
  • Daouia, Abdelaati
  • Florens, Jean-Pierre
  • Simar, Léopold

The aim of this paper is to construct a robust nonparametric estimator for the production frontier. The main tool is a concept of robust regression boundary defined as a special probability-weighted moment (PWM). We first study this problem under a regression model with one-sided errors where the regression function defines the achievable maximum output, for a given level of inputs-usage, and the regression error defines the inefficiency term. Then we consider a stochastic frontier model where the regression errors are assumed to be composite. It is more realistic to assume that the actually observed outputs are contaminated by a stochastic noise. The additive regression errors in the frontier model are then composed from this noise term and the one-sided ineficiency term. In contrast to the one-sided error model, where the direct use of empirical PWMs is fruitful, the composite error problem requires a substantial different treatment based on deconvolution techniques. To ensure the identifiability of the model we can only assume an independent Gaussian noise. In doing so, the estimation of the robust PWM frontiers, including the true regression boundary, necessitates the computation of a survival function estimator from an ill-posed equation. A Tikhonov regularized solution is constructed and nonparametric frontier estimation is performed. We unravel the asymptotic behavior of the resulting frontier estimators in both one-sided and composite error models. The procedure is very easy and fast to implement. Practical guidelines to effect the necessary computations are described via a simulated example. The usefulness of the approach is discussed through two concrete data sets from the sector of Delivery Services.

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File URL: https://www.tse-fr.eu/sites/default/files/TSE/documents/doc/wp/2016/wp_tse_665.pdf
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Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 16-665.

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Date of creation: Jun 2016
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:30543
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Web page: http://www.tse-fr.eu/

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  1. Daouia, Abdelaati & Simar, Léopold, 2005. "Robust nonparametric estimators of monotone boundaries," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 311-331, October.
  2. William Horrace & Christopher Parmeter, 2011. "Semiparametric deconvolution with unknown error variance," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 129-141, April.
  3. Daouia, Abdelaati & Florens, Jean-Pierre & Simar, Léopold, 2012. "Regularization of nonparametric frontier estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 168(2), pages 285-299.
  4. Hwang, J. H. & Park, B. U. & Ryu, W., 2002. "Limit theorems for boundary function estimators," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(4), pages 353-360, October.
  5. 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.
  6. Kneip, Alois & Simar, Léopold & Van Keilegom, Ingrid, 2015. "Frontier estimation in the presence of measurement error with unknown variance," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 184(2), pages 379-393.
  7. Daouia, Abdelaati & Girard, Stéphane & Guillou, Armelle, 2014. "A Γ-moment approach to monotonic boundary estimation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 178(2), pages 727-740.
  8. Carrasco, Marine & Florens, Jean-Pierre, 2011. "A Spectral Method For Deconvolving A Density," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(03), pages 546-581, June.
  9. Léopold Simar & Valentin Zelenyuk, 2011. "Stochastic FDH/DEA estimators for frontier analysis," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 1-20, August.
  10. Hall, Peter & Park, Byeong U. & Stern, Steven E., 1998. "On Polynomial Estimators of Frontiers and Boundaries," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 71-98, July.
  11. Aragon, Y. & Daouia, A. & Thomas-Agnan, C., 2005. "Nonparametric Frontier Estimation: A Conditional Quantile-Based Approach," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(02), pages 358-389, April.
  12. Hardle, W. & Park, B. U. & Tsybakov, A. B., 1995. "Estimation of Non-sharp Support Boundaries," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 205-218, November.
  13. Kneip, Alois & Simar, Léopold & Wilson, Paul W., 2008. "Asymptotics And Consistent Bootstraps For Dea Estimators In Nonparametric Frontier Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(06), pages 1663-1697, December.
  14. Fan, Yanqin & Li, Qi & Weersink, Alfons, 1996. "Semiparametric Estimation of Stochastic Production Frontier Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(4), pages 460-468, October.
  15. Abdelaati Daouia & Byeong U. Park, 2013. "On Projection-type Estimators of Multivariate Isotonic Functions," Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, Danish Society for Theoretical Statistics;Finnish Statistical Society;Norwegian Statistical Association;Swedish Statistical Association, vol. 40(2), pages 363-386, June.
  16. Florens, Jean-Pierre & Simar, Leopold, 2005. "Parametric approximations of nonparametric frontiers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 124(1), pages 91-116, January.
  17. Kumbhakar, Subal C. & Park, Byeong U. & Simar, Leopold & Tsionas, Efthymios G., 2007. "Nonparametric stochastic frontiers: A local maximum likelihood approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 1-27, March.
  18. Daouia, Abdelaati & Simar, Leopold, 2007. "Nonparametric efficiency analysis: A multivariate conditional quantile approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 375-400, October.
  19. Cazals, Catherine & Florens, Jean-Pierre & Simar, Leopold, 2002. "Nonparametric frontier estimation: a robust approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 1-25, January.
  20. Dunker, Fabian & Florens, Jean-Pierre & Hohage, Thorsten & Johannes, Jan & Mammen, Enno, 2014. "Iterative estimation of solutions to noisy nonlinear operator equations in nonparametric instrumental regression," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 178(P3), pages 444-455.
  21. 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.
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