IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jpolmo/v30y2008i4p633-673.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Explaining a productive decade

Author

Listed:
  • Oliner, Stephen D.
  • Sichel, Daniel E.
  • Stiroh, Kevin J.

Abstract

This paper analyzes the sources of U.S. productivity growth in recent years using both aggregate and industry-level data. We confirm the central role for information technology (IT) in the productivity revival during 1995-2000 and show that IT played a significant, though smaller, role after 2000. Productivity growth after 2000 appears to have been boosted by industry restructuring and cost cutting in response to profit pressures, an unlikely source of future strength. In addition, the incorporation of intangible capital into the growth accounting framework takes some of the luster off the performance of labor productivity since 2000 and makes the gain during 1995-2000 look larger than in the official data. Finally, we examine the outlook for trend growth in labor productivity; our estimate, though subject to much uncertainty, is centered at a year, faster than the lackluster pace that prevailed before 1995 but somewhat slower than the 1995-2006 average.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliner, Stephen D. & Sichel, Daniel E. & Stiroh, Kevin J., 2008. "Explaining a productive decade," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 633-673.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:30:y:2008:i:4:p:633-673
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0161-8938(08)00039-2
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2004. "What's driving the new economy?: the benefits of workplace innovation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(493), pages 97-116, February.
    2. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Trajtenberg, M., 1995. "General purpose technologies 'Engines of growth'?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 83-108, January.
    3. Miles S. Kimball & John G. Fernald & Susanto Basu, 2006. "Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1418-1448, December.
    4. Norsworthy, J R & Malmquist, David H, 1983. "Input Measurement and Productivity Growth in Japanese and U.S. Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 947-967, December.
    5. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G., 1995. "Are apparent productive spillovers a figment of specification error?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 165-188, August.
    6. Robert Inklaar & Mary O'Mahony & Marcel Timmer, 2005. "ICT AND EUROPE's PRODUCTIVITY PERFORMANCE: INDUSTRY-LEVEL GROWTH ACCOUNT COMPARISONS WITH THE UNITED STATES," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(4), pages 505-536, December.
    7. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G. & Shapiro, Matthew D., 2001. "Productivity growth in the 1990s: technology, utilization, or adjustment?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 117-165, December.
    8. Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "The Dynamic Demand for Capital and Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(3), pages 513-542.
    9. Kevin Stiroh & Matthew Botsch, 2007. "Information Technology and Productivity Growth in the 2000s," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8, pages 255-280, May.
    10. Sandra E. Black & Lisa M. Lynch, 2001. "How To Compete: The Impact Of Workplace Practices And Information Technology On Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 434-445, August.
    11. Oliner, Stephen D. & Sichel, Daniel E. & Stiroh, Kevin J., 2008. "Explaining a productive decade," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 633-673.
    12. Dale Jorgenson & Mun Ho & Jon Samuels & Kevin Stiroh, 2007. "Industry Origins of the American Productivity Resurgence," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 229-252.
    13. Martin N. Baily, 2004. "Recent productivity growth: the role of information technology and other innovations," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 35-42.
    14. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2000. "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 125-236.
    15. 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.
    16. Randy A. Becker & John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Shawn D. Klimek & Daniel J. Wilson, 2006. "Micro and Macro Data Integration: The Case of Capital," NBER Chapters,in: A New Architecture for the U.S. National Accounts, pages 541-610 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. MartinNeil Baily & Robert Z. Lawrence, 2001. "Do We Have a New E-conomy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 308-312, May.
    18. Carol Corrado & Charles Hulten & Daniel Sichel, 2005. "Measuring Capital and Technology: An Expanded Framework," NBER Chapters,in: Measuring Capital in the New Economy, pages 11-46 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1351-1408.
    20. Stacey L. Schreft & Aarti Singh, 2003. "A closer look at jobless recoveries," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 45-73.
    21. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-283, April.
    22. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
    23. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & C.J. Krizan, 2002. "The Link Between Aggregate and Micro Productivity Growth: Evidence from Retail Trade," NBER Working Papers 9120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Erica L. Groshen & Simon M. Potter, 2003. "Has structural change contributed to a jobless recovery?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 9(Aug).
    25. Bart van Ark & Robert Inklaar & Robert H. McGuckin, 2003. "ICT and Productivity in Europe and the United States Where Do the Differences Come From?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 49(3), pages 295-318.
    26. Oliner, Stephen D. & Sichel, Daniel E., 2003. "Information technology and productivity: where are we now and where are we going?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 477-503, July.
    27. Susanto Basu & John Fernald, 2001. "Why Is Productivity Procyclical? Why Do We Care?," NBER Chapters,in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 225-302 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Dale W. Jorgenson & Mun S. Ho & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2006. "Projecting Productivity Growth: Lessons from the US Growth Resurgence," Chapters,in: The New Economy and Beyond, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    29. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
    30. Paul Schreyer, 2000. "The Contribution of Information and Communication Technology to Output Growth: A Study of the G7 Countries," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2000/2, OECD Publishing.
    31. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2002. "Information Technology and the U.S. Productivity Revival: What Do the Industry Data Say?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1559-1576, December.
    32. Stiroh, Kevin J, 2002. "Are ICT Spillovers Driving the New Economy?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(1), pages 33-57, March.
    33. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 2008. "Information and communications technology as a general purpose technology: evidence from U.S. industry data," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 1-15.
    34. William D. Nordhaus, 2002. "Productivity Growth and the New Economy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 211-265.
    35. Roberts John M., 2001. "Estimates of the Productivity Trend Using Time-Varying Parameter Techniques," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-32, July.
    36. Ana Aizcorbe & Stephen D Oliner & Daniel E Sichel, 2008. "Shifting Trends in Semiconductor Prices and the Pace of Technological Progress," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 43(3), pages 23-39, July.
    37. James A. Kahn & Jong-Soo Lim, 1998. "Skilled Labor-Augmenting Technical Progress in U. S. Manufacturing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1281-1308.
    38. Robert J. Gordon, 2003. "Exploding Productivity Growth: Context, Causes, and Implications," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 207-298.
    39. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2001. "Investing in information technology: productivity payoffs for U.S. industries," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 7(Jun).
    40. Charlotta Groth & Soledad Nuñez & Sylaja Srinivasan, 2006. "Productivity growth, adjustment costs and variable factor utilisation: the UK case," Bank of England working papers 295, Bank of England.
    41. Leonard I. Nakamura, 1999. "Intangibles: what put the new in the new economy?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Jul, pages 3-16.
    42. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 1-32, March.
    43. Kiley, Michael T., 2001. "Computers and growth with frictions: aggregate and disaggregate evidence," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 171-215, December.
    44. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2003. "Computing Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 793-808, November.
    45. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U. S. Economy," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1911, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    46. Carol Corrado & Paul Lengermann & Eric J. Bartelsman & J. Joseph Beaulieu, 2007. "Sectoral Productivity in the United States: Recent Developments and the Role of IT," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8, pages 188-210, May.
    47. Francesco Daveri & Andrea Mascotto, "undated". "The IT revolution across the U.S. states," Working Papers 226, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    48. Charlotta Groth, 2005. "Estimating UK capital adjustment costs," Bank of England working papers 258, Bank of England.
    49. Robert E. Hall, 2004. "Measuring Factor Adjustment Costs," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(3), pages 899-927.
    50. Barry P. Bosworth & Jack E. Triplett, 2007. "The Early 21st Century U.S. Productivity Expansion is Still in Services," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 14, pages 3-19, Spring.
    51. Daniel Aaronson & Ellen R. Rissman & Daniel G. Sullivan, 2004. "Assessing the jobless recovery," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 2-21.
    52. Bruno, Michael, 1978. "Duality, Intermediate Inputs and Value-Added," Histoy of Economic Thought Chapters,in: Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel (ed.), Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications, volume 2, chapter 1 McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought.
    53. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald & Nicholas Oulton & Sylaja Srinivasan, 2004. "The Case of the Missing Productivity Growth, or Does Information Technology Explain Why Productivity Accelerated in the United States But Not in the United Kingdom?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2003, Volume 18, pages 9-82 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    54. James A. Kahn & Robert W. Rich, 2006. "Tracking productivity in real time," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 12(Nov).
    55. Caballero, Ricardo J & Hammour, Mohamad L, 1994. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1350-1368, December.
    56. Dale W. Jorgenson & Mun S. Ho & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2005. "Productivity, Volume 3: Information Technology and the American Growth Resurgence," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 3, number 0262101114.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Huub Meijers, 2014. "Does the internet generate economic growth, international trade, or both?," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 137-163, February.
    2. Janet L. Yellen, 2007. "The U.S. economy and monetary policy," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue dec7.
    3. Oulton, Nicholas, 2012. "Long term implications of the ICT revolution: Applying the lessons of growth theory and growth accounting," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 1722-1736.
    4. Taylor, John B., 2008. "A review of the productivity resurgence," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 619-626.
    5. repec:aei:rpaper:37301 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jung, Hyun-Joon & Na, Kyoung-Youn & Yoon, Chang-Ho, 2013. "The role of ICT in Korea’s economic growth: Productivity changes across industries since the 1990s," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 292-310.
    7. Najarzadeh, Reza & Rahimzadeh, Farzad & Reed, Michael, 2014. "Does the Internet increase labor productivity? Evidence from a cross-country dynamic panel," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 986-993.
    8. Liao, Hailin & Wang, Bin & Li, Baibing & Weyman-Jones, Tom, 2016. "ICT as a general-purpose technology: The productivity of ICT in the United States revisited," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 10-25.
    9. David M. Byrne & Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2013. "Is the Information Technology Revolution Over?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 25, pages 20-36, Spring.
    10. repec:eee:ecolet:v:157:y:2017:i:c:p:88-91 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Oliner, Stephen D. & Sichel, Daniel E. & Stiroh, Kevin J., 2008. "Explaining a productive decade," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 633-673.
    12. Martin Aarøe Christensen, 2015. "A CGE model with ICT and R&D-driven endogenous growth: A detailed model description," JRC Working Papers JRC97908, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    13. Fueki, Takuji & Kawamoto, Takuji, 2009. "Does information technology raise Japan's productivity?," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 325-336, December.
    14. Andrew Figura & William L. Wascher, 2008. "The causes and consequences of economic restructuring: evidence from the early 21st century," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-41, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    15. Crafts, Nicholas & O’Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj, 2014. "Twentieth Century Growth*This research has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement no. 249546.," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 6, pages 263-346 Elsevier.
    16. Nicholas Crafts, 2010. "Cliometrics and technological change: a survey," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(5), pages 1127-1147.
    17. Choi, Changkyu & Hoon Yi, Myung, 2009. "The effect of the Internet on economic growth: Evidence from cross-country panel data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 39-41, October.
    18. Hyunbae Chun & Jung-Wook Kim & Randall Morck, 2011. "Varying Heterogeneity among U.S. Firms: Facts and Implications," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 1034-1052, August.
    19. Selgin, George & Beckworth, David & Bahadir, Berrak, 2015. "The productivity gap: Monetary policy, the subprime boom, and the post-2001 productivity surge," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 189-207.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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 - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jpolmo:v:30:y:2008:i:4:p:633-673. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505735 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.