Productivity, welfare and reallocation : theory and firm-level evidence
AbstractA considerable literature has focused on the determinants of total factor productivity (TFP), prompted by the empirical finding that TFP accounts for the bulk of long-term growth. This paper offers a deeper reason for such focus: the welfare of a representative consumer is summarized by current and anticipated future Solow productivity residuals. The equivalence holds for any specification of technology and market structure, as long as the representative household maximizes utility while taking prices parametrically. This result justifies total factor productivity as the right summary measure of welfare, even in situations where it does not properly measure technology, and makes it possible to calculate the contributions of disaggregated units (industries or firms) to aggregate welfare using readily available data. Based on this finding, the authors compute firm and industry contributions to welfare for a set of European countries (Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, Spain) using industry-level and firm-level data. With additional assumptions about technology and market structure (specifically, that firms minimize costs and face common factor prices), the authors show that welfare change can be further decomposed into three components that reflect, respectively, technical change, aggregate distortions, and allocative efficiency. Then, using the appropriate firm-level data, they assess the importance of each of these components as sources of welfare improvement in the same set of European countries.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5226.
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Economic Theory&Research; E-Business; Economic Growth; Labor Policies; Technology Industry;
Other versions of this item:
- Susanto Basu & Luigi Pascali & Fabio Schiantarelli & Luis Serven, 2009. "Productivity, Welfare and Reallocation: Theory and Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 15579, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Basu, Susanto & Pascali, Luigi & Schiantarelli, Fabio & Serven, Luis, 2009. "Productivity, Welfare and Reallocation: Theory and Firm-Level Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 4612, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Susanto Basu & Luigi Pascali & Fabio Schiantarelli & Luis Serven, 2009. "Productivity, Welfare and Reallocation: Theory and Firm Level Evidence," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 728, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 12 Jul 2010.
- Susanto Basu & Luigi Pascali & Fabio Schiantarelli & Luis Serven, 2009. "Productivity, welfare, and reallocation: theory and firm-level evidence," Working Papers 09-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
- D90 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice - - - General
- E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
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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.:
- M. L. Weitzman, 1974.
"On the Welfare Significance of National Product in Dynamic Economy,"
125, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Weitzman, Martin L, 1976. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product in a Dynamic Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 156-62, February.
- Amil Petrin & T. Kirk White & Jerome P. Reiter, 2011.
"The Impact of Plant-level Resource Reallocations and Technical Progress on U.S. Macroeconomic Growth,"
NBER Working Papers
16700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Amil Petrin & Jerome Reiter & Kirk White, 2011. "The Impact of Plant-level Resource Reallocations and Technical Progress on U.S. Macroeconomic Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(1), pages 3-26, January.
- Amil Petrin & T. Kirk White & Jerome P. Reiter, 2009. "The Impact of Plant-Level Resource Reallocations and Technical Progress on U.S. Macroeconomic Growth," Working Papers 09-43, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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