Journal Article

Sources of productivity growth using the Färe-Primont decomposition: An empirical application to the Irish beef sector

March 18, 2019

Applied Economics

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Several competing methodologies for TFP estimation have been developed in the past decades. A popular approach in the literature is index number computation. The most widely implemented TFP indices face however several important limitations. For example, Fisher, Tornqvist or Malmquist TFP indices do not satisfy the transitivity test, precluding reliable direct inter-temporal comparisons. The recently developed Färe-Primont TFP index satisfies this property, and therefore it is applied to analyse the evolution of TFP in the Irish beef sector between 2010 and 2016. Moreover, this index is multiplicatively complete, allowing a consistent decomposition of TFP growth in different sources. The sample of Irish beef farms used in the analysis is clustered to account for differences in production technology in the sector. The cluster-specific TFP changes computed were found to present important differences across the seven clusters identified. Significant TFP growth was identified in five of the classes, while TFP declined for the other two. Dispersion and mobility of the TFP levels indicate a lack of structural changes in the sector regardless of the cluster considered.