There are two main dimensions in which the performance of a production unit can be assessed. The first is the dimension of time. The basic question here is: how is this or that production unit doing over time? Assessing a unit's performance over time is called monitoring. The second dimension is characterized by the question: how is this or that production unit doing relative to other, similar units? To answer this question one needs to specify the reference set of units and one needs sufficient information on each of the members of this set. This activity is usually called benchmarking. A combination of the two dimensions in the setting of a panel is also possible.
Balk, B.M. (2007), "Chapter 2 Measuring and Decomposing Productivity Change: The Basics", Blank, J.L.T. and Valdmanis, V.G. (Ed.) Evaluating Hospital Policy and Performance: Contributions from Hospital Policy and Productivity Research (Advances in Health Economics and Health Services Research, Vol. 18), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 13-32. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0731-2199(07)00002-7
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