The US Productivity Slowdown, the Baby Boom, and Management Quality
AbstractThis paper examines whether management changes caused by the entry of the baby boom into the workforce explain the US productivity slowdown in the 1970s and resurgence in the 1990s. Lucas (1978) suggests that the quality of managers plays a significant role in determining output. If there is heterogeneity across workers and management skill improves with experience, an influx of young workers will lower the overall quality of management and lower total factor productivity. Census data shows that the entry of the baby boom resulted in more managers being hired from the smaller, pre baby boom cohorts. These marginal managers were necessarily of lower quality. As the boomers aged and gained experience, this effect was reversed, increasing managerial quality and raising total factor productivity. Using the Lucas model as a framework, a calibrated model of managers, workers, and firms suggests that the management effects of the baby boom may explain roughly 20 percent of the observed productivity slowdown and resurgence.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15474.
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Note: EFG LS PR
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Other versions of this item:
- James Feyrer, 2011. "The US productivity slowdown, the baby boom, and management quality," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 267-284, January.
- E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
- E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
- J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
- O4 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
- O51 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000.
"The resurgence of growth in the late 1990s: is information technology the story?,"
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
- Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000. "The Resurgence of Growth in the Late 1990s: Is Information Technology the Story?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 3-22, Fall.
- Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000. "The resurgence of growth in the late 1990s: is information technology the story?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Tomas Kögel, 2001.
"Youth dependency and total factor productivity,"
MPIDR Working Papers
WP-2001-030, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
- Martin Neil Baily, 1981. "Productivity and the Services of Capital and Labor," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(1), pages 1-66.
- Chari, V V & Hopenhayn, Hugo, 1991. "Vintage Human Capital, Growth, and the Diffusion of New Technology," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1142-65, December.
- Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality In The United States, 1913-1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-39, February.
- Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
- James Feyrer, 2007. "Demographics and Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 100-109, February.
- Weinberg, Bruce A., 2004. "Experience and Technology Adoption," IZA Discussion Papers 1051, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Fischer, Stanley, 1988. "Symposium on the Slowdown in Productivity Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 3-7, Fall.
- John Fernald & David Thipphavong & Bharat Trehan, 2007. "Will fast productivity growth persist?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue apr6.
- David E. Bloom & David Canning & Jaypee Sevilla, 2001. "Economic Growth and the Demographic Transition," NBER Working Papers 8685, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael Sarel, 1995. "Demographic Dynamics and the Empirics of Economic Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 42(2), pages 398-410, June.
- Geoffrey Dunbar & Stephen Easton, 2013. "Working parents and total factor productivity growth," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 1431-1456, October.
- Asphjell, Magne K. & Hensvik, Lena & Nilsson, J. Peter, 2013. "Businesses, Buddies, and Babies: Fertility and Social Interactions at Work," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2013:8, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.