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Factor utilisation and productivity estimates for the United Kingdom

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  • Jens Larsen
  • Katharine Neiss
  • Fergal Shortall

Abstract

In this paper series are derived for capital utilisation, labour effort and total factor productivity (TFP) from a general equilibrium model with variable factor utilisation and labour adjustment costs. Impulse responses from the model show that firms initially respond to unanticipated shocks by altering factor utilisation rates. In subsequent periods, firms adjust observable inputs such as physical capital and employment. As a result, utilisation rates are a leading indicator of firms hiring of both capital and labour. The estimate of capital utilisation is found to track survey-based measures quite closely, while movements in total hours worked drive the labour effort series. The estimate of TFP growth is found to be less cyclical than the rate of growth of a traditional Solow residual. Nevertheless, a weighted average of capital utilisation and labour effort - aggregate factor utilisation - is not closely related to the detrended Solow residual. This suggests that measures that conflate capacity utilisation and temporary deviations in TFP from its steady-state growth rate may be misleading indicators of excess demand pressure. Rather, the measure of aggregate factor utilisation is correlated with detrended labour productivity, providing more evidence that differences in average and marginal labour productivity may be linked to factor hoarding. Labour productivity, when calculated as output per unit of effective labour input, is less cyclical than a simple measure of output per hour.

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File URL: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/archive/Documents/historicpubs/workingpapers/2002/wp162.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 162.

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Date of creation: Aug 2002
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Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:162

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References

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  1. Gary Hansen, 2010. "Indivisible Labor and the Business Cycle," Levine's Working Paper Archive 233, David K. Levine.
  2. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper 0107, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  3. Susanto Basu & John Fernald, 2000. "Why is productivity procyclical? Why do we care?," Working Paper Series WP-00-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Richard Rogerson, 2010. "Indivisible Labor, Lotteries and Equilibrium," Levine's Working Paper Archive 250, David K. Levine.
  5. Mark Bils & Jang-Ok Cho, 1993. "Cyclical factor utilization," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 79, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Katharine S Neiss & Evi Pappa, 2002. "A monetary model of factor utilisation," Bank of England working papers 154, Bank of England.
  7. Ravn, Morten O, 1997. "Permanent and Transitory Shocks, and the UK Business Cycle," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 27-48, Jan.-Feb..
  8. Muellbauer, John, 1986. "The Assessment: Productivity and Competitiveness in British Manufacturing," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 2(3), pages i-xxv, Autumn.
  9. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Labor Hoarding and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 245-73, April.
  10. Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Some skeptical observations on real business cycle theory," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 23-27.
  11. Chang, Yongsung & Kwark, Noh-Sun, 2001. "Decomposition of hours based on extensive and intensive margins of labor," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 361-367, September.
  12. Matthew D. Shapiro, 1989. "Assessing the Federal Reserve's Measures of Capacity and Utilization," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1), pages 181-242.
  13. Robert J. Gordon, 1998. "Foundations of the Goldilocks Economy: Supply Shocks and the Time-Varying NAIRU," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 297-346.
  14. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1996. "Factor-Hoarding and the Propagation of Business-Cycle Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1154-74, December.
  15. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  16. Erik Britton & Jens D J Larsen & Ian Small, 2000. "Imperfect competition and the dynamics of mark-ups," Bank of England working papers 110, Bank of England.
  17. Roberts John M., 2005. "How Well Does the New Keynesian Sticky-Price Model Fit the Data?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-39, September.
  18. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. repec:cup:macdyn:v:3:y:1999:i:3:p:368-83 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Cook, David, 1999. "Real Propagation of Monetary Shocks: Dynamic Complementarities and Capital Utilization," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(03), pages 368-383, September.
  21. Francis Green, 2001. "It's Been A Hard Day's Night: The Concentration and Intensification of Work in Late Twentieth-Century Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 39(1), pages 53-80, 03.
  22. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Forecasting inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 293-335, October.
  23. Berndt, Ernst R. & Fuss, Melvyn A., 1986. "Productivity measurement with adjustments for variations in capacity utilization and other forms of temporary equilibrium," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 7-29.
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Cited by:
  1. Katharine S. Neiss & Evi Pappa, 2005. "Persistence without too much price stickiness: the role of variable factor utilization," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(1), pages 231-255, January.
  2. John D Tsoukalas, 2005. "Modelling manufacturing inventories," Bank of England working papers 284, Bank of England.
  3. Ellis, Colin & Simon Price, 2003. "UK Business Investment: Long-Run Elasticities and Short-Run Dynamics," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 73, Royal Economic Society.
  4. Nicholas Oulton & Sylaja Srinivasan, 2003. "Capital stocks, capital services, and depreciation: an integrated framework," Bank of England working papers 192, Bank of England.

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