A Primal-Dual Approach to Nonparametric Productivity Analysis: the Case of U.S. Agriculture
Nonparametric methods for measuring productivity indexes based on bounds for the underlying production technology are presented. Following Banker and Maindiratta, the lower bound is obtained from a primal approach while the upper bound corresponds to a dual approach to nonparametric production analysis. These nonparametric bounds are then used to estimate input-based and output- based distance functions. These radial measures provide the basis for measuring productivity indexes. Application to times series data on U.S. agriculture indicates a large gap between the primal lower bound and the dual upper bound. This generates striking differences between the primal and dual nonparametric productivity indexes.
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