Farrell Revisited: Visualising properties of DEA Production Frontiers

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Førsund, Finn R., Sverre A. C. Kittelsen, Vladimir E. Krivonozhko




Journal of the Operational Reseach Society

60, 1535-1545

Sammendrag (engelsk)

The contributions of the paper are threefold: i) compare with mathematical rigour the DEA model of Charnes, Cooper, and Rhodes and the Farrell model exhibiting constant returns to scale, ii) reinterpret the contribution of Farrell and Fieldhouse that extended the analysis to variables returns to scale and establish the connection with the approach in Banker, Charnes and Cooper, iii) provide graphical visualisation of properties of the frontier function. Both papers by Farrell emphasised the importance of graphical visualisation of non-parametric frontier functions, but, to our knowledge, this is seldom followed up in the literature. We use a graphical package (EffiVision) with a numerical representation of the frontier functions, representing the contemporary development of visualisation. By making suitable cuts through the DEA frontier in multidimensional space, various graphical representations of features of economic interest can be done. Development of ray average cost function and scale elasticity plots are novel illustrations.


Farrell efficiency measure, DEA, variable returns to scale, visualisation, grouping method


C61, D24

Prosjekt info:

Oppdragsgiver: Norges forskningsråd
Oppdragsgivers prosjektnr.:
Frisch prosjekt: 2102 - Billigere og bedre? Kvalitet og effektivitetsanalyser i offentlig sektor




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