Journal of Productivity Analysis

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 79–94 | Cite as

Cost Malmquist productivity index: an output-specific approach for group comparison



The cost Malmquist productivity index (CMPI) has been proposed to capture the performance change of cost minimizing Decision Making Units (DMUs). Recently, two alternative uses of the CMPI have been suggested: (1) using the CMPI to compare groups of DMUs, and (2) using the CMPI to compare DMUs for each output separately. In this paper, we propose a new CMPI that combines both procedures. The resulting methodology provides group-specific indexes for each output separately, and therefore offers the option to identify the sources of cost performance change. We also define our index when input prices are not observed and establish, in that case, a duality with a new technical productivity index, which takes the form of a Malmquist productivity index. We illustrate our new methodology with a numerical example and an application to the US electricity plant districts.


Cost Malmquist productivity index Malmquist productivity index Groups Cost efficiency Electricity 

JEL classification

C43 C61 D24 L94 



We thank the Editor Victor Podinovski, the Associate Editor, and the two anonymous referees for their valuable comments that substantially improved the paper. We also thank participants of the 2017 CEPA International Workshop on Performance Analysis in Brisbane for useful discussion.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no competing interests.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Business School SuzhouXi’An Jiaotong-Liverpool UniversitySuzhouChina

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