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The Importance Of Skill Measurement For Growth Accounting

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  • ØIVIND A. NILSEN
  • ARVID RAKNERUD
  • MARINA RYBALKA
  • TERJE SKJERPEN

Abstract

In a growth accounting context one usually constructs a quality adjusted index of labor services by aggregating over predefined groups of workers, using the groups' relative wage bills as weights. In this article we suggest a method based on decomposing individual predicted wages into a skill-related part and a part unrelated to skill, where the former consists of both observed and unobserved components. The predicted wages, associated with individual skill attributes, are sorted and classified into deciles. The median predicted skill-related wage in each decile is used to construct an alternative skill-adjusted index of labor services. We find that Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth decreases significantly when using the latter method. This means that when using the alternative method one explains more of the growth in labor productivity than what a more traditional labor quality adjustment procedure does.

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Article provided by International Association for Research in Income and Wealth in its journal Review of Income and Wealth.

Volume (Year): 57 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (06)
Pages: 293-305

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Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:57:y:2011:i:2:p:293-305

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  1. Lucia Foster & John C. Haltiwanger & C. J. Krizan, 2001. "Aggregate Productivity Growth. Lessons from Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 303-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Schwerdt, Guido & Turunen, Jarkko, 2006. "Growth in euro area labour quality," Working Paper Series 0575, European Central Bank.
  3. Nadim Ahmad & François Lequiller & Pascal Marianna & Dirk Pilat & Paul Schreyer & Anita Wölfl, 2003. "Comparing Labour Productivity Growth in the OECD Area: The Role of Measurement," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2003/14, OECD Publishing.
  4. Charles R. Hulten, 2001. "Total Factor Productivity. A Short Biography," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Øivind A. Nilsen & Arvid Raknerud & Marina Rybalka & Terje Skjerpen, 2009. "Lumpy investments, factor adjustments, and labour productivity," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(1), pages 104-127, January.
  6. Arvid Raknerud & Dag Rønningen & Terje Skjerpen, 2007. "A Method For Improved Capital Measurement By Combining Accounts And Firm Investment Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(3), pages 397-421, 09.
  7. Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N., 1995. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," Cahiers de recherche 9503, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  8. Thomas Bolli & Mathias Zurlinden, 2009. "Measurement of labor quality growth caused by unobservable characteristics," Working Papers 2009-01, Swiss National Bank.
  9. Haegeland, T. & Klette, T.J. & Salvanes, K.G., 1999. "Declining Returns to Education in NOrway? Comparing Estimates Across Cohorts, Sectors and Over Time," Papers 14/99, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  10. Hervé Boulhol & Laure Turner, 2009. "Employment-Productivity Trade-off and Labour Composition," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 698, OECD Publishing.
  11. Fosgerau, Mogens & Jensen, Svend E Hougaard & Sorensen, Anders, 2002. "Measuring Educational Heterogeneity and Labor Quality: A Note," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(2), pages 261-69, June.
  12. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
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