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Estimating Lost Output from Allocative Inefficiency, with an Application to Chile and Firing Costs

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  • Amil Petrin
  • Jagadeesh Sivadasan

Abstract

We propose a new measure of allocative efficiency based on unrealized increases in aggregate productivity growth. We show that the difference in the value of the marginal product of an input and its marginal cost at any plant - the plant-input "gap" - is exactly equal to the change in aggregate output that would occur if that plant changed that input's use by one unit. The mean absolute gap across plants for any input can then be interpreted as an approximation to the gain to society that would occur if every plant had a one-unit change in that input in the efficient direction, holding everything else constant. We show how to estimate this average gap using plant-level data for 1982-1994 from Chilean manufacturing, a sector largely viewed as being one of South America's least distorted. We find the gaps for blue and white collar labor are quite large in absolute value and imply that a one-unit move in the correct direction for blue collar would increase aggregate value added by almost 0.5%. We also find that the gaps for blue and white collar workers are increasing over time while the gaps for materials and electricity are not. The timing of the two separate increases in firing costs and the sharpest increases in the labor gaps is suggestive that the increases in average within-firm labor gaps may be related to the increases in severance pay.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17373.

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Date of creation: Aug 2011
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Publication status: published as Amil Petrin & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2013. "Estimating Lost Output from Allocative Inefficiency, with an Application to Chile and Firing Costs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 286-301, March.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17373

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  1. Bond, Stephen & Van Reenen, John, 2007. "Microeconometric Models of Investment and Employment," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 65 Elsevier.
  2. Sebastian Edwards & Alejandra Cox Edwards, 2000. "Economic reforms and labour markets: policy issues and lessons from Chile," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 181-230, 04.
  3. Reyes Hartley, Gonzalo & van Ours, Jan C. & Vodopivec, Milan, 2010. "Incentive Effects of Unemployment Insurance Savings Accounts: Evidence from Chile," IZA Discussion Papers 4681, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. John M. Abowd & Bryce E. Stephens & Lars Vilhuber & Fredrik Andersson & Kevin L. McKinney & Marc Roemer & Simon Woodcock, 2002. "The LEHD Infrastructure Files and the Creation of the Quarterly Workforce Indicators," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  5. James Heckman & Carmen Pages, 2003. "Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean," NBER Working Papers 10129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Alvarez, Fernando & Veracierto, Marcelo, 2001. "Severance payments in an economy with frictions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 477-498, June.
  7. John Haltiwanger & C J Krizan & Lucia Foster, 1998. "Aggregate Productivity Growth: Lessons From Microeconomic Evidence," Working Papers 98-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  8. Bentolila, Samuel & Bertola, Giuseppe, 1990. "Firing Costs and Labour Demand: How Bad Is Eurosclerosis?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 381-402, July.
  9. Amil Petrin & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2006. "Job Security Does Affect Economic Efficiency: Theory, A New Statistic, and Evidence from Chile," NBER Working Papers 12757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Pozzi, Andrea & Schivardi, Fabiano, 2012. "Demand or productivity: What determines firm growth?," CEPR Discussion Papers 9184, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Garicano, Luis & Lelarge, Claire & Van Reenen, John, 2013. "Firm Size Distortions and the Productivity Distribution: Evidence from France," IZA Discussion Papers 7241, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Ezra Oberfield, 2011. "Productivity and Misallocation During a Crisis," 2011 Meeting Papers 1328, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. González, Xulia & Miles-Touya, Daniel, 2012. "Labor market rigidities and economic efficiency: Evidence from Spain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 833-845.
  5. Mitsukuni Nishida & Amil Petrin & Sašo Polanec, 2011. "Estimating Explaining Reallocation's Apparent Negative Contribution to Growth," Economics Working Paper Archive 584, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  6. Ezra Oberfield, 2013. "Productivity and Misallocation During a Crisis: Evidence from the Chilean Crisis of 1982," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 100-119, January.
  7. Hyytinen, Ari & Maliranta, Mika, 2011. "Firm Lifecycles and External Restructuring," Discussion Papers 1253, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  8. Norman Gemmell & Richard Kneller & Danny McGowan & Ismael Sanz, . "Corporate Taxation and Productivity Catch-Up: Evidence from 11 European Countries," Discussion Papers 12/06, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.

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