Frontier Analysis

  • Pieter Woltjer
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)


A great deal of research in economics and business is devoted to the study of the efficiency of individuals, organisations or entire economies. This chapter introduces a family of innovative techniques that help in the analysis of efficiencies by comparing inputs and outputs to estimate an efficiency frontier. A series of examples from both macroeconomic history and microeconomic history illustrate common areas of application.

JEL Classification

C10 C14 D20 C61 N01 

Reading List

  1. Allen, Robert. 2012. Technology and the Great Divergence: Global Economic Development since 1820. Explorations in Economic History 49 (1): 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bakker, Gerben, Nicholas Crafts, and Pieter Woltjer. 2018. The Sources of Growth in a Technologically Progressive Economy: The United States, 1899–1941. The Economic Journal (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  3. Bernard, Andrew B., and Charles I. Jones. 1996. Technology and Convergence. The Economic Journal 106: 1037–1044.Google Scholar
  4. Coelli, Timothy J., Prasada Rao Dodla Sai, Christopher J. O’Donnell, and George Edward Battese. 2005. An Introduction to Efficiency and Productivity Analysis. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Emrouznejad, Ali, and Guo-liang Yang. 2017. A Survey and Analysis of the First 40 Years of Scholarly Literature in DEA: 1978–2016. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences 61: 4–8.Google Scholar
  6. Färe, Rolf, Shawna Grosskopf, and C.A. Knox Lovel. 1994. Production Frontiers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Feenstra, Robert, Robert Inklaar, and Marcel Timmer. 2015. The Next Generation of the Penn World Table. American Economic Review 105 (10): 3150–3182.Google Scholar
  8. Koopmans, Tjalling C. 1951. Efficient Allocation of Resources. Econometrica 19: 455–465.Google Scholar
  9. Kumar, S., and R. Russell. 2002. Technological Change, Technological Catch-up, and Capital Deepening: Relative Contributions to Growth and Convergence. American Economic Review 92: 527–548.Google Scholar
  10. Kumbhakar, Subal C., and C.A. Knox Lovell. 2000. Stochastic Frontier Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Lampe, Markus, and Paul Sharp. 2015. Just Add Milk: A Productivity Analysis of the Revolutionary Changes in Nineteenth-Century Danish Dairying. Economic History Review 68 (4): 1132–1153.Google Scholar
  12. McDonald, John. 2010. Efficiency in the Domesday Economy, 1086: Evidence from Wiltshire Estates. Applied Economics 42 (25): 3231–3240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Salter, W. 1966. Productivity and Technical Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Solow, Robert. 1957. Technical Change and the Aggregate Production Function. Review of Economics and Statistics 39 (3): 312–320.Google Scholar
  15. Timmer, Marcel, and Bart Los. 2005. Localized Innovation and Productivity Growth in Asia: An Intertemporal DEA Approach. Journal of Productivity Analysis 23: 47–64.Google Scholar
  16. Timmer, Marcel, Joost Veenstra, and Pieter Woltjer. 2016. The Yankees of Europe? A New View on Technology and Productivity in German Manufacturing in the Early Twentieth Century. The Journal of Economic History 76 (3): 874–908.Google Scholar
  17. Zhu, Joe, ed. 2016. Data Envelopment Analysis: A Handbook of Empirical Studies and Applications. New York: Springer.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pieter Woltjer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations