Using a stochastic frontier methodology that incorporates Bayesian statistics, this paper analyzes the cost efficiency of real estate investment trusts (REITs) by observing the deviations of the measured costs of individual REITs from a defined efficient cost frontier. Using 1995–1997 data, we extend the previous research in this area and measure REIT efficiency more precisely by isolating random measurement error from the overall deviations from the efficient cost frontier. We calculate the magnitude of each REIT's managerial inefficiency, the industry inefficiency, and returns to scale. In addition, we assess specific characteristics of REITs for their contribution to inefficiency by calculating the odds ratio that a REIT with a specific characteristic is more efficient than a REIT with an alternative characteristic. The results show that, for the years studied, REITs are relatively cost efficient with most REITs facing increasing returns to scale. Additionally, the REIT's use of debt and the REIT's management style significantly affect the cost performance of REITs during the aforementioned time period. Finally, diversification across property types, as measured, does not seem to influence REIT cost efficiency.
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 4, 2004
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