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The Dynamics of Plant-Level Productivity in U.S. Manufacturing

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  • Arpad Abraham
  • Kirk White

Abstract

Using a unique database that covers the entire U.S. manufacturing sector from 1976 until 1999, we estimate plant-level total factor productivity for a large number of plants. We characterize time series properties of plant-level idiosyncratic shocks to productivity, taking into account aggregate manufacturing-sector shocks and industry-level shocks. Plant-level heterogeneity and shocks are a key determinant of the cross-sectional variations in output. We compare the persistence and volatility of the idiosyncratic plant-level shocks to those of aggregate productivity shocks estimated from aggregate data. We find that the persistence of plant level shocks is surprisingly low-we estimate an average autocorrelation of the plantspecific productivity shock of only 0.37 to 0.41 on an annual basis. Finally, we find that estimates of the persistence of productivity shocks from aggregate data have a large upward bias. Estimates of the persistence of productivity shocks in the same data aggregated to the industry level produce autocorrelation estimates ranging from 0.80 to 0.91 on an annual basis. The results are robust to the inclusion of various measures of lumpiness in investment and job flows, different weighting methods, and different measures of the plants’ capital stocks.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2006/CES-WP-06-20.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 06-20.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:06-20

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Keywords: productivity; manufacturing; microdata;

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References

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  1. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, 2007. "Asset Pricing with Idiosyncratic Risk and Overlapping Generations," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(4), pages 519-548, October.
  2. Eric J. Bartelsman & Mark Doms, 2000. "Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. George S Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics Of Productivity In The Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Working Papers 92-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1996. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building from Microeconomic Evidence," Documentos de Trabajo 6, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
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  6. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  7. Laura Power, 1998. "The Missing Link: Technology, Investment, And Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 300-313, May.
  8. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1994. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 94-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  10. Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2002. "The Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 02-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  11. Levinsohn, J. & Petrin, A., 1999. "When Industries Become More Productive, Do Firms?: Investigating Productivity Dynamics," Working Papers 445, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  12. Sakellaris, Plutarchos, 2004. "Patterns of plant adjustment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 425-450, March.
  13. Douglas W Dwyer, 1996. "ARE FIXED EFFECTS FIXED? Persistence in Plant Level Productivity," Working Papers 96-3, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  14. Plutarchos Sakellaris, 2001. "Patterns of plant adjustment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-05, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Monetary Non-Neutrality in a Multi-Sector Menu Cost Model," NBER Working Papers 14001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Emin Dinlersoz & Henry Hyatt & Sang Nguyen, 2011. "Wage Dynamics along the Life-Cycle of Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 11-24r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Mar 2013.
  3. Allan Collard-Wexler, 2011. "Productivity Dispersion and Plant Selection in the Ready-Mix Concrete Industry," Working Papers 11-25, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  4. Toshihiko Mukoyama & Yoonsoo Lee, 2008. "Entry, Exit, and Plant-level Dynamics over the Business Cycle," 2008 Meeting Papers 454, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Šustek, Roman, 2011. "Plant-level nonconvex output adjustment and aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(4), pages 400-414.
  6. Rui Castro & Gian Luca Clementi & Yoonsoo Lee, 2011. "Cross-Sectoral Variation in The Volatility of Plant-Level Idiosyncratic Shocks," NBER Working Papers 17659, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lakshmi Balasubramanyan & Ramesh Mohan, 2010. "How well is productivity being priced?," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer, vol. 34(4), pages 415-429, October.
  8. James Costain & Marcel Jansen, 2010. "Employment Fluctuations with Downward Wage Rigidity: The Role of Moral Hazard," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(4), pages 782-811, December.
  9. Biewen, Martin & Weiser, Constantin, 2011. "A New Approach to Testing Marginal Productivity Theory," IZA Discussion Papers 6113, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Katherine A. Smith, 2011. "Can Financing Constraints Explain The Asset Pricing Puzzles In Production Economies?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(3), pages 739-765, 08.
  11. Chad Syverson, 2010. "What Determines Productivity?," NBER Working Papers 15712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Valentina Bosetti & Marco Maffezzoli, 2013. "Taxing Carbon under Market Incompleteness," Working Papers 2013.72, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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