Journal of Productivity Analysis

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 53–69 | Cite as

Semiparametric stochastic metafrontier efficiency of European manufacturing firms

  • Marijn Verschelde
  • Michel Dumont
  • Glenn Rayp
  • Bruno Merlevede


In this paper a semiparametric stochastic metafrontier approach is used to obtain insight into the performance of manufacturing firms in Europe. We differ from standard TFP studies at the firm level as we simultaneously allow for inefficiency , noise and do not impose a functional form on the input–output relation. Using AMADEUS firm-level data covering ten manufacturing sectors from seven EU15 countries, (1) we document substantial and persistent differences in performance (with Belgium and Germany as benchmark countries and Spain lagging behind) and a wide technology gap, (2) we confirm the absence of convergence in TFP between the seven selected countries, (3) we highlight a more pronounced technology gap for smaller firms.


Productive efficiency Metafrontier estimation Semiparametric frontier Kernel estimation Stochastic frontier Manufacturing 

JEL classification

C14 D24 L25 



We sincerely thank the National Bank of Belgium for supporting this project, the members of the research department of the National Bank of Belgium for their comments, the participants of the EWEPA 2013 conference in Helsinki and participants of the CompNet-ECB 2014 Workshop in Rome for their useful suggestions. In particular, we are grateful to Catherine Fuss for her support. Further, we would like to thank Sietse Bracke, Klaas Mulier, Antonio Peyrache, Valentin Zelenyuk and two anonymous referees for useful comments. Marijn Verschelde acknowledges financial support from the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders (FWO Vlaanderen). The computational resources (STEVIN Supercomputer Infrastructure) and services used in this work were kindly provided by Ghent University, the Flemish Supercomputer Center (VSC), the Hercules Foundation and the Flemish Government - department EWI


The authors received for this study financial support from the National Bank of Belgium.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (R 29 KB)
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Supplementary material 2 (R 11 KB)
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Supplementary material 3 (R 12 KB)
11123_2015_458_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (317 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (pdf 317 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marijn Verschelde
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michel Dumont
    • 3
    • 6
  • Glenn Rayp
    • 4
  • Bruno Merlevede
    • 5
  1. 1.IÉSEG School of Management, LEM (UMR-CNRS 9221)Paris La Défense cedexFrance
  2. 2.Center for Economic StudiesKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Federal Planning BureauBrusselsBelgium
  4. 4.SHERPPA, Department of General EconomicsGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  5. 5.CERISE, Department of General EconomicsGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  6. 6.Department of General EconomicsGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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