Implementation of incentive regulation intelecommunications requires the accurate measurementof the change in productivity. An approach isintroduced that not only provides a measure of thechange in productivity but also allows for adecomposition into two mutually exclusive andexhaustive components – changes in technicalefficiency over time and shifts in technology overtime. Using annual data on four output measures andsix input measures for the period 1988 to 1998 fornineteen individual local exchange carriers, theresults indicate that productivity increased by about5.0 percent per year. This growth is due primarily toinnovation rather than improvements in efficiency. Ofthe nineteen LECs in the sample, thirteen wereoperating efficiently throughout the entire 1988–1998period. Of the remaining six, two showed a slightimprovement in efficiency while the efficiency of fourdeclined. In the aggregate, however, there wasvirtually no change in efficiency. Finally, acomparison is made between two methods of estimatingthe change in productivity. The conventional growthaccounting approach yields a lower estimate of therate of change in productivity than does the Malmquistindex approach. The difference between theseestimates is interpreted as the lower bound of thebias associated with the conventional growthaccounting approach to measuring the growth inproductivity.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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