Horta, I.M., Camanho, A.S., Johnes, Jill and Johnes, Geraint (2013) Performance trends in the construction industry worldwide: an overview of the turn of the century. Journal of Productivity Analysis, 39 (1). pp. 89-99. ISSN 0895-562X

This paper presents an exploratory study to assess the efficiency level of construction companies worldwide, exploring in particular the effect of location and activity in the efficiency levels. This paper also provides insights concerning the convergence in efficiency across regions. The companies are divided in three regions (Europe, Asia and North America), and in the three main construction activities (Buildings, Heavy Civil and Specialty Trade). We analyze a sample of 118 companies worldwide between 1995 and 2003. Data envelopment analysis is used to estimate efficiency, and the Malmquist index is applied for the evaluation of productivity change. Both methods were complemented by bootstrapping to refine the estimates obtained. A panel data truncated regression with categorical regressors is used to explore the impact of location and activity in the efficiency levels. The results reveal that the efficiency of North American companies is higher than the European and Asian counterparts. Other important conclusion points to a convergence in efficiency levels across regions as in North America productivity remains stable, whereas in Asia and Europe productivity improves.

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