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Another look at the inflation-productivity trade-off

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  • Georgios Bitros

    (Athens University of Economics & Business)

  • Epaminondas Panas

    (Athens University of Economics & Business)

Abstract

Our aim in this paper is to test the robustness of the relation between total factor productivity growth and inflation to the specification of the model adopted for its identification. In doing so we estimate a generalized Box-Box cost function using data from the two-digit Standard Industrial Classification of manufacturing industries in Greece during the period 1964-1980. The results confirm that the acceleration of inflation from 1964-1972 to 1973-1980 reduced total factor productivity growth in a way that was both statistically significant and sizeable. In addition, they reveal that, even when the effect of inflation is separated from the effects of technical change and economies of scale, the choice of functional form is most crucial. The reason being that cost functions such as the translog, the generalized Leontief, and the generalized square root quadratic are not general enough to account for the sensitivity of estimates to model specification. On these grounds then we conclude that, for a precise estimation of the adverse impact of inflation on total factor productivity growth, it is imperative both to sort out the three effects involved and do so by adopting the most general flexible functional form available for the cost function.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0506001.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 02 Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0506001

Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 19
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: inflation; total factor productivity; generalized Box-Cox cost function; economic growth;

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  1. Clark, Todd E, 1997. "Cross-country Evidence on Long-Run Growth and Inflation," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(1), pages 70-81, January.
  2. Robert J. Barro, 2013. "Inflation and Economic Growth," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 14(1), pages 121-144, May.
  3. Andrew J. Buck & Felix Fitzroy, 1988. "Inflation and Productivity Growth in the Federal Republic of Germany," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 10(3), pages 428-444, April.
  4. Appelbaum, Elie, 1979. "On the Choice of Functional Forms," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(2), pages 449-58, June.
  5. Berndt, Ernst R & Khaled, Mohammed S, 1979. "Parametric Productivity Measurement and Choice among Flexible Functional Forms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1220-45, December.
  6. Levine, Ross & Renelt, David, 1991. "A sensitivity analysis of cross-country growth regressions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 609, The World Bank.
  7. Stanley Fischer, 1993. "The Role of Macroeconomic Factors in Growth," NBER Working Papers 4565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Brian Motley, 1998. "Growth and inflation: a cross-country study," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 15-28.
  9. Hanoch, Giora, 1975. "The Elasticity of Scale and the Shape of Average Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 492-97, June.
  10. David Smyth, 1995. "The supply side effects of inflation in the United States: evidence from multifactor productivity," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(12), pages 482-483.
  11. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1975. "Transcendental Logarithmic Utility Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 367-83, June.
  12. Baltagi, Badi H & Griffin, James M, 1988. "A General Index of Technical Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 20-41, February.
  13. Gallant, A. Ronald, 1977. "Three-stage least-squares estimation for a system of simultaneous, nonlinear, implicit equations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 71-88, January.
  14. Diewert, W E, 1971. "An Application of the Shephard Duality Theorem: A Generalized Leontief Production Function," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 481-507, May-June.
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