While economic theory acknowledges that some features of technology (e.g., indivisibilities, economies of scale and specialization) can fundamentally violate the traditional convexity assumption, almost all empirical studies accept the convexity property on faith. In this contribution, we apply two alternative flexible production technologies to measure total factor productivity growth and test the significance of the convexity axiom using a nonparametric test of closeness between unknown distributions. Based on unique field level data on the petroleum industry, the empirical results reveal significant differences, indicating that this production technology is most likely non-convex. Furthermore, we also show the impact of convexity on answers to traditional convergence questions in the productivity growth literature.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- 経営科学およびオペレーションズ リサーチ