Journal of Productivity Analysis

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 73–83 | Cite as

The cost of strikes in the Spanish mining sector: modelling an undesirable input with a distance function

  • Ana Rodríguez-Álvarez
  • Ignacio del Rosal
  • José Baños-Pino


In some contexts, firms have to deal with certain elements or factors that affect the production outcome but which are non-market in nature and therefore do not have a price. In this paper we propose a new use of a production economics tool, the input distance function, to empirically measure the effects of these factors. Although we suggest a general use of this methodology, it has been developed in the context of measuring the effects of labor disputes in a particular declining industry, that of Spanish coal mining. We have estimated an equation system comprising an input distance function and cost share equations to calculate the cost generated by strikes.


Duality theory Input distance function Shadow prices Rent seeking Coal sector 

JEL Classifications

D72 F13 L71 



The authors would like to thank Shawna Grosskopf and two anonymous referees for their detailed comments and suggestions on earlier versions of the paper. We are also indebted to Alan Wall for assistance in the manuscript preparation. Financial support was provided by the University of Oviedo (Grant IR-01-511-1).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Rodríguez-Álvarez
    • 1
  • Ignacio del Rosal
    • 2
  • José Baños-Pino
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de EconomíaUniversity of OviedoOviedoSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Economía AplicadaUniversity of OviedoOviedoSpain

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