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Abstract

Nonparametric methods for measuring productivity indexes based on bounds for the underlying production technology are presented. Following Banker and Maindiratta, the lower bound is obtained from a primal approach while the upper bound corresponds to a dual approach to nonparametric production analysis. These nonparametric bounds are then used to estimate input-based and output- based distance functions. These radial measures provide the basis for measuring productivity indexes. Application to times series data on U.S. agriculture indicates a large gap between the primal lower bound and the dual upper bound. This generates striking differences between the primal and dual nonparametric productivity indexes.

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