Solow Residuals without Capital Stocks
AbstractFor more than fifty years, the Solow decomposition (Solow 1957) has served as the standard measurement of total factor productivity (TFP) growth in economics and management, yet little is known about its precision, especially when the capital stock is poorly measured. Using synthetic data generated from a prototypical stochastic growth model, we explore the quantitative extent of capital measurement error when the initial condition is unknown to the analyst and when capacity utilization and depreciation are endogenous. We propose two alternative measurements which eliminate capital stocks from the decomposition and significantly outperform the conventional Solow residual, reducing the root mean squared error in simulated data by as much as two-thirds. This improvement is inversely related to the sample size as well as proximity to the steady state. As an application, we compute and compare TFP growth estimates using data from the new and old German federal states.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in its series SFB 649 Discussion Papers with number SFB649DP2008-040.
Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Total factor productivity; Solow residual; generalized differences; measurement error; Malmquist index;
Other versions of this item:
- D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
- E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
- E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Capital; Investment; Capacity
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-08-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-ECM-2008-08-14 (Econometrics)
- NEP-EFF-2008-08-14 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-MAC-2008-08-14 (Macroeconomics)
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