Assuming we could get the panels outside the atmosphere for little or no cost, yes, solar panels would be more efficient. Aside from the lack of clouds outside, we are lucky to have an atmosphere that deflects a lot of the harmful energy from the sun which allows us to live at a (relatively) comfortable temperature, and avoid living like vampires. The energy that is deflected by the atmosphere could be converted to usable energy with solar panels, whereas a panel on ground would have no access to that lost energy.
Unfortunately, it is only valid as a thought experiment, because it would be very difficult and very expensive to put the panels into orbit and to set up a system of transporting the energy back to Earth.
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