This paper extends the existing research on real estate investment trust (REIT) operating efficiencies. We estimate stochastic-frontier, panel-data models specifying a translog cost function. The specified model updates the cost frontier with new information as it becomes available over time. The model can identify frontier cost improvements, returns to scale, and cost inefficiencies over time. The results disagree with most previous research in that we find no evidence of scale economies and some evidence of scale diseconomies. Moreover, we also generally find smaller inefficiencies than those shown by other REIT studies. Contrary to previous research, higher leverage associates with more efficiency.
Miller, Stephen M. and Springer, Thomas M., "Cost Improvements, Returns to Scale, and Cost Inefficiencies for Real Estate Investment Trusts" (2007). Economics Working Papers. Paper 200705.