The doctoral thesis is mainly concerned with the crucial role of technological heterogeneity and more specifically with the aspects of the latter captured by the technology gap and investigates the veins through which it is responsible for distorting the benchmarking processin the efficiency and productivity analysis. The significance of path and state dependencies is also a cornerstone of the empirical applications studied therein.
A wide diversity of empirical applications are considered such as the importance of the technological hierarchy in the probability of being identified as technologically heterogeneous due to productivity differentials of the elements of the environment under which a Decision Making Units operates. In this line, an iterative algorithm accompanied by a stopping rule has been developed to identify and exclude from the sample the heterogeneous DMUs based on a statistical criterion- so as to shape a more homogeneous in technological terms- frontier. A complex econometric technique is employed to control for endogenous issues governing the econometric specifications such as the presence of an endogenous regressor.
Moreover, a transportation economics application is considered and particularly the tech-nological isolation assumption is relaxed to allow for technological spillover effects under a meta-frontier framework among the industries of the Transportation Sector formulating at a second stage analysis a productive performance and a technology gap function which are estimated by the System Generalized Method of Moments to deal with any endogeneity concerns.
Furthermore, the mediating role of a country’s competitiveness to its energy efficiency is also considered using a set of 78 countries around the globe for a ten years period (2002-2011) and by employing cluster analysis we construct two group frontiers so as to focus on the endogenous role of competitiveness. The Generalized Method of Moments is adopted to control for the endogeneity between the energy efficiency and competitiveness and to shedlight on any non-linear relationships.
Finally, a Meta-meta-frontier analysis is conducted followed by a second stage hierarchical modelling approach so as to highlight and reveal the source of the heterogeneous patterns observed in the productive performance of 17 EU countries emanating from the industry’s technology, the geographical location and the technology gap as well.