Developing a decomposable measure of profit efficiency using DEA

M.C.A.S. Portela, Emmanuel Thanassoulis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In for-profit organizations efficiency measurement with reference to the potential for profit augmentation is particularly important as is its decomposition into technical, and allocative components. Different profit efficiency approaches can be found in the literature to measure and decompose overall profit efficiency. In this paper, we highlight some problems within existing approaches and propose a new measure of profit efficiency based on a geometric mean of input/output adjustments needed for maximizing profits. Overall profit efficiency is calculated through this efficiency measure and is decomposed into its technical and allocative components. Technical efficiency is calculated based on a non-oriented geometric distance function (GDF) that is able to incorporate all the sources of inefficiency, while allocative efficiency is retrieved residually. We also define a measure of profitability efficiency which complements profit efficiency in that it makes it possible to retrieve the scale efficiency of a unit as a component of its profitability efficiency. In addition, the measure of profitability efficiency allows for a dual profitability interpretation of the GDF measure of technical efficiency. The concepts introduced in the paper are illustrated using a numerical example.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-490
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • data envelopment analysis
  • decomposition
  • profit efficiency


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