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Construction labor productivity convergence: A conditional frontier approach

journal contribution
posted on 2016-01-01, 00:00 authored by Le MaLe Ma, Chunlu LiuChunlu Liu, Anthony MillsAnthony Mills
Purpose-Understanding and simulating construction activities is a vital issue from a macro-perspective, since construction is an important contributor in economic development. Although the construction labor productivity frontier has attracted much research effort, the temporal and regional characteristics have not yet been explored. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the long-run equilibrium and dynamics within construction development under a conditional frontier context. Design/methodology/approach-Analogous to the simplified production function, this research adopts the conditional frontier theory to investigate the convergence of construction labor productivity across regions and over time. Error correction models are implemented to identify the long-run equilibrium and dynamics of construction labor productivity against three types of convergence hypotheses, while a panel regression method is used to capture the regional heterogeneity. The developed models are applied to investigate and simulate the construction labor productivity in the Australian states and territories. Findings-The results suggest that construction labor productivity in Australia should converge to stable frontiers in a long-run perspective. The dynamics of the productivity are mainly caused by the technology utilization efficiency levels of the local construction industry, while the influences of changes in technology level and capital depending appear limited. Five regional clusters of the Australian construction labor productivity are suggested by the simulation results, including New South Wales; Australian Capital Territory; Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia; South Australia; and Tasmania and Victoria. Originality/value-Three types of frontier of construction labor productivity is proposed. An econometric approach is developed to identify the convergence frontier of construction labor productivity across regions over time. The specified model can provides accurate predictions of the construction labor productivity.



Engineering, construction and architectural management






283 - 301




Bingley, Eng.







Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Emerald