Essays on total factor productivity (TFP)

Sammanfattning: This thesis consists of two self-contained empirical essays. Essay I investigates the impact of labor subsidies on TFP, and profit per employee is included as a second outcome. Coarsened exact matching (CEM) is performed on the key variables. After matching, a difference-in-difference (DID) model is applied. The study shows that firms employing workers with wage subsidies experience negative and significant effects on both TFP and profit per employee. Heterogeneity is, however, observed; the only sector to show a deficit in both TFP and profit per employee is wholesale. During the second year with a subsidy, a negative impact can be observed on the profit per employee but not on TFP. The policy conclusion from the analysis is that subsidizing individuals from particular groups is necessary to induce firms to hire workers from these groups. However, the time period for which a single firm is subsidized should be considered.Essay II (with Jonas Månsson from Linnaeus University and the Swedish National Audit Office (SNAO), Christian Andersson from SNAO and Fredrik Bonander from SNAO) measures TFP of the Swedish district courts by applying data envelopment analysis (DEA) to calculate the Malmquist productivity index for 48 Swedish district courts from 2012 to 2015. This study uses a fully decomposed Malmquist index. A bootstrapping approach is further applied to compute confidence intervals for each decomposed factor of TFP as well as for TFP. The study shows an average annual of TFP by 0.7%. However, a substantial variation between years is observed both with regards to the number of statistically significant courts below and above unity. The negative impact is mainly driven by pure technical regress. Large variations are also observed over time where the small courts have the largest volatility. The TFP change is positively correlated with the rate of change in the caseload. Two recommendations are: 1) that district courts with negative TFP growth could learn from those with positive TFP growth and 2) that a back-up force could be developed to enhance flexibility.