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The production-side approach to estimating embodied technological change

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  • Plutarchos Sakellaris
  • Daniel J. Wilson

Abstract

We estimate the rate of embodied technological change directly from plant-level manufacturing data on current output and input choices along with histories on their vintages of equipment investment. Our estimates range between 8 and 17 percent for the typical U.S. manufacturing plant during the years 1972-1996. Any number in this range is substantially larger than is conventionally accepted with some important implications. First, the role of investment-specific technological change as an engine of growth is even larger than previously estimated. Second, existing producer durable price indices do not adequately account for quality change. As a result, measured capital stock growth is biased. Third, if accurate, the Hulten and Wykoff (1981) economic depreciation rates may primarily reflect obsolescence.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2001-20.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2001-20

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Keywords: Technology ; Productivity;

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References

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  1. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-62, June.
  2. Hulten, Charles R, 1992. "Growth Accounting When Technical Change Is Embodied in Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 964-80, September.
  3. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
  4. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
  5. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell, 1996. "Can Technology Improvements Cause Productivity Slowdowns?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 209-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Baily, Martin Neil & Bartelsman, Eric J. & Haltiwanger, John, 1995. "Labor productivity: structural change and cyclical dynamics," Serie Research Memoranda 0050, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  7. Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 2001. "Accounting for Growth," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 179-224 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Timothy Dunne, 1991. "Technology Usage in U.S. Manufacturing Industries: New Evidence from the Survey of Manufacturing Technology," Working Papers 91-7, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Burnside, A Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," CEPR Discussion Papers 1221, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Doms, Mark E, 1996. "Estimating Capital Efficiency Schedules within Production Functions," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(1), pages 78-92, January.
  11. Shea, J., 1991. "Do Supply Curves Slope Up?," Working papers 9116, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  12. Charles R. Hulten, 1992. "Growth Accounting When Technical Change is Embodied in Capital," NBER Working Papers 3971, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Susanto Basu & John Fernald, 2000. "Why is productivity procyclical? Why do we care?," Working Paper Series WP-00-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  14. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Bahk, Byong-Hong & Gort, Michael, 1993. "Decomposing Learning by Doing in New Plants," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 561-83, August.
  18. Plutarchos Sakellaris, 2000. "Patterns of Plant Adjustment," Electronic Working Papers 00-001, University of Maryland, Department of Economics.
  19. Plutarchos Sakellaris, 2001. "Patterns of plant adjustment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-05, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. Bartelsman, Eric J & Caballero, Ricardo J & Lyons, Richard K, 1994. "Customer- and Supplier-Driven Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1075-84, September.
  21. Gort, Michael & Wall, Richard A., 1998. "Obsolescence, input augmentation, and growth accounting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1653-1665, November.
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  23. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1994. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 94-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  24. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 2000. "The role of investment-specific technological change in the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 91-115, January.
  25. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Laura Power, 1995. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," NBER Working Papers 5260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Gordon, Robert J., 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226304557.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2002. "The Effect of Changes in Drug Utilization on Labor Supply and Per Capita Output," NBER Working Papers 9139, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Daniel Wilson, 2003. "Embodying Embodiment in a Structural, Macroeconomic Input-Output Model," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 371-398.
  3. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2002. "Moore's Law and Learning-By-Doing," NBER Working Papers 8762, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Frank R. Lichtenberg & Gautier Duflos, 2008. "Pharmaceutical innovation and the longevity of Australians: a first look," NBER Working Papers 14009, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Frank R. Lichtenberg & Suchin Virabhak, 2007. "Pharmaceutical-embodied technical progress, longevity, and quality of life: drugs as 'Equipment for Your Health'," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4-5), pages 371-392.
  6. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2009. "The Quality of Medical Care, Behavioral Risk Factors, and Longevity Growth," NBER Working Papers 15068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2005. "Pharmaceutical Knowledge-Capital Accumulation and Longevity," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Capital in the New Economy, pages 237-274 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. John Laitner & Dmitriy Stolyarov, 2003. "Technological Change and the Stock Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1240-1267, September.

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