This paper explores an intermediate route between the Fisher and the Malmquist productivity indexes so as to minimize data requirements and assumptions about economic behavior of production units and their production technology. Assuming quantity data of inputs and outputs and the behavioral hypothesis of allocative efficiency, we calculate the exact value of the Fisher ideal productivity index using implicit shadow prices revealed by the choice of input?output mix. The approach is operationalized by means of a nonparametric data envelopment analysis (DEA) model. Empirical application to Finnish grass silage farms suggests that the Malmquist and the Fisher productivity indices yield similar results when averaged over firms, but there can be major differences in the results of the two approaches at the level of individual firms.

Fisher ideal index, Malmquist index, data envelopment analysis, index numbers and aggregation, shadow prices, total factor productivity (TFP),
Journal of Productivity Analysis
Erasmus School of Economics

Kuosmanen, T, & Post, G.T. (2004). Shadow price Approach to Productivity Measurement: A Modified Malmquist Index. Journal of Productivity Analysis, 95–121. doi:PROD.0000034693.38576.94