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Do Input Quality and Structural Productivity Estimates Drive Measured Differences in Firm Productivity?

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  • Fox, Jeremy T.

    ()
    (University of Chicago)

  • Smeets, Valérie

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)

Abstract

Firms in the same industry can differ in measured total factor productivity (TFP) by multiples of 3. Griliches (1957) suggests one explanation: the quality of inputs differs across firms. Labor inputs are traditionally measured only as the number of workers. We investigate whether adjusting for the quality of labor inputs substantially decreases measured TFP dispersion. We add labor market history variables such as experience and firm and industry tenure, as well as general human capital measures such as schooling and sex. We also investigate whether an innovative structural estimator for productivity due to Olley and Pakes (1996) substantially decreases measured residual TFP. Combining labor quality and structural estimates of productivity, the one standard deviation difference in residual TFPs in manufacturing drops from 0.70 to 0.67 multiples. Neither the structural productivity measure nor detailed input quality measures explain the very large measured residual TFP dispersion, despite statistically precise coefficient estimates

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 07-2.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2007_002

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Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Phone: +45 89 486396
Fax: +45 8615 5175
Web page: http://www.asb.dk/departments/nat.aspx
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Keywords: production function estimation; total factor productivity; input quality; structural estimates of productivity;

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References

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  1. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
  2. Nick Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2006. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0716, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2007. "ROBUSTNESS OF PRODUCTIVITY ESTIMATES -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 529-569, 09.
  4. Z, Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1997. "Production Functions : The Search for Identification," Working Papers 97-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  5. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
  6. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 2007. "Production Function and Wage Equation Estimation with Heterogeneous Labor: Evidence from a New Matched Employer-Employee Data Set," NBER Chapters, in: Hard-to-Measure Goods and Services: Essays in Honor of Zvi Griliches, pages 31-71 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2005. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," Working Papers 05-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John C, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-63, August.
  10. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341, 04.
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Cited by:
  1. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Sébastien Roux, 2008. "Estimating Agglomeration Economies with History, Geology and Worker Effects," Working Papers 2008-22, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  2. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2007. "Wages Equal Productivity. Fact or Fiction?," Working Papers tecipa-294, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  3. Salvador Navarro & David Rivers & Amit Gandhi, 2008. "Estimating Production Functions with Heterogeneous Firms," 2008 Meeting Papers 935, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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