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Alternative efficiency measures for multiple-output production

Fernandez, Carmen and Koop, Gary and Steel, Mark (2005) Alternative efficiency measures for multiple-output production. Journal of Econometrics, 126 (2). pp. 411-444. ISSN 0304-4076

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Abstract

This paper has two main purposes. Firstly, we develop various ways of defining efficiency in the case of multiple-output production. Our framework extends a previous model by allowing for nonseparability of inputs and outputs. We also specifically consider the case where some of the outputs are undesirable, such as pollutants. We investigate how these efficiency definitions relate to one another and to other approaches proposed in the literature. Secondly, we examine the behavior of these definitions in two examples of practically relevant size and complexity. One of these involves banking and the other agricultural data. Our main findings can be summarized as follows. For a given efficiency definition, efficiency rankings are found to be informative, despite the considerable uncertainty in the inference on efficiencies. It is, however, important for the researcher to select an efficiency concept appropriate to the particular issue under study, since different efficiency definitions can lead to quite different conclusions.