Stochastic non-smooth envelopment of data : semi-parametric frontier estimation subject to shape constraints
Kuosmanen, Timo; Kortelainen, Mika (2012)
Journal of Productivity Analysis
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The field of productive efficiency analysis is currently divided between two main paradigms: the deterministic, nonparametric Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) and the parametric Stochastic Frontier Analysis (SFA). This paper examines an encompassing semiparametric frontier model that combines the DEA-type nonparametric frontier, which satisfies monotonicity and concavity, with the SFA-style stochastic homoskedastic composite error term. To estimate this model, a new two-stage method is proposed, referred to as Stochastic Non-smooth Envelopment of Data (StoNED). The first stage of the StoNED method applies convex nonparametric least squares (CNLS) to estimate the shape of the frontier without any assumptions about its functional form or smoothness. In the second stage, the conditional expectations of inefficiency are estimated based on the CNLS residuals, using the method of moments or pseudolikelihood techniques. Although in a cross-sectional setting distinguishing inefficiency from noise in general requires distributional assumptions, we also show how these can be relaxed in our approach if panel data are available. Performance of the StoNED method is examined using Monte Carlo simulations.
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