Journal of Productivity Analysis

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 219–230 | Cite as

One-stage estimation of the effects of operational conditions and practices on productive performance: asymptotically normal and efficient, root-n consistent StoNEZD method

  • Andrew L. Johnson
  • Timo Kuosmanen


Understanding the effects of operational conditions and practices on productive efficiency can provide valuable economic and managerial insights. The conventional approach is to use a two-stage method where the efficiency estimates are regressed on contextual variables representing the operational conditions. The main problem of the two-stage approach is that it ignores the correlations between inputs and contextual variables. To address this shortcoming, we build on the recently developed regression interpretation of data envelopment analysis (DEA) to develop a new one-stage semi-nonparametric estimator that combines the nonparametric DEA-style frontier with a regression model of the contextual variables. The new method is referred to as stochastic semi-nonparametric envelopment of z variables data (StoNEZD). The StoNEZD estimator for the contextual variables is shown to be statistically consistent under less restrictive assumptions than those required by the two-stage DEA estimator. Further, the StoNEZD estimator is shown to be unbiased, asymptotically efficient, asymptotically normally distributed, and converge at the standard parametric rate of order n −1/2. Therefore, the conventional methods of statistical testing and confidence intervals apply for asymptotic inference. Finite sample performance of the proposed estimators is examined through Monte Carlo simulations.


Data envelopment analysis Two-stage method Partial linear model 

JEL Classification

C14 C51 D24 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial and Systems EngineeringTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.School of EconomicsAalto UniversityHelsinkiFinland

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