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Measuring and interpreting productivity: theoretical issues and empirical applications
Measuring and interpreting productive efficiency and productivity growth in one of the major issues in applied economics. The issue of productivity slowdown is a big concern in countries like Italy or Spain, as it has been in the United States in the early 1990s or in Britain in the 1980s. However, being a residual, measures of productivity are sensitive to the way they are obtained, and their interpretation is doubtful. In the seminar I will discuss some major problems of measurement and inference on productivity at a firm level, and present some examples of empirical analysis using different techniques and procedures, focusing on their problems and shortcomings. Three applications will parallel the methodological presentation: one on the relationship between vertical integration and productivity in machine tool industry, that makes use of a stochastic parametric approach; a second one on tourism industry productive efficiency, based on robust non parametric Data Evelopment Analysis; and a third on the productivity growth of Italian firms, based on the analysis of non parametric Malmquist index.
Enrico Zaninotto is professor of Business Economics at the University of Trento, where he is Director of the Doctoral School of Social Sciences. His research is devoted to productivity analysis, and to firms and organizational dynamics.
IRVAPP/Fondazione Bruno Kessler - Via Santa Croce 77 - Trento