Cambridge University Press has published a number of successful books that focus on topics related to ours: Chambers (1988), Färe et al. (1994b), Chambers and Quiggin (2000), Kumbhakar and Lovell (2000), Ray (2004), Balk (2008), and Grifell-Tatjé and Lovell (2015). These books – and an increasing number of articles related to production analysis, published in top international journals in economics, econometrics, and operations research – suggest a growing interest in the academic and business audience on the subject.
Our book is meant to complement and expand selected topics covered in the above-mentioned books, as well as the volume edited by Fried et al. (2008) and the edited volume by Grifell-Tatjé et al. (2018), and addresses issues germane to productivity analysis that would be of interest to a broad audience. Our book provides something genuinely unique to the literature: a comprehensive textbook on the measurement of productivity and efficiency, with deep coverage of both its theoretical underpinnings as well as its empirical implementation and a coverage of recent developments in the area. A distinctive feature of our book is that it presents a wide array of theoretical and empirical methods utilized by researchers and practitioners who study productivity issues. Our book is intended to be a relatively self-contained textbook that can be used in any graduate course devoted to econometrics and production analysis, of use also to upper-level undergraduate students in economics and in production analysis, and to analysts in government and in private business whose research or business decisions require reasoned analytical foundations and reliable and feasible empirical approaches to assessing the productivity and efficiency of their organizations and enterprises. We provide an integrated and synthesized treatment of the topics we cover. We have covered some topics in greater depth, some at a broader scope, but at all times with the same theme of motivating the material with an applied orientation.
Our book is structured in such a way that it can be used as a textbook for (instructed or self-oriented) academics and business consultants in the area of quantitative analysis of productivity of economic systems (firms, industries, regions, countries, etc.). In addition, some parts of this book can be used for short, intensive courses or supplements to longer courses on productivity and other topics, such as empirical industrial organization.