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The vintage effect in TFP-growth: An analysis of the age structure of capital

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  • Gittleman, Maury
  • ten Raa, Thijs
  • Wolff, Edward N.

Abstract

The age structure of capital plays an important role in the measurement of productivity. It has been argued that the slowdown in the 1970's can be ascribed to the aging of the stock of capital. In this paper we incorporate the age structure in productivity measurement. A proposition proves that Nelson's (1964) formula is wrong. Our final proposition shows that inclusion of the vintage effect prompts an upward correction of measured productivity growth in times of an aging stock of capital. Here capital ages if the investment/capital ratio falls short of the inverse of the capital age, as a first proposition shows. The analysis rests on a rigorous accounting for vintages. We translate the Bureau of Economic Analysis' age of capital data into a measure of rates of obsolescence. Empirically, the correction of productivity growth for the vintage effect requires an estimate of the obsolescence and depreciation parameters on the basis of age data. The results indicate that the use of capital stock in efficiency units does cause some smoothing of Total Factor Productivity growth over time. In the 1950s, when investment accelerated, the vintage-adjusted capital growth rate well exceeded the BEA growth rate, and vintage-adjusted TFP growth is significantly lower than unadjusted TFP growth. The measured productivity slowdown of the 1970s is somewhat ameliorated.
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(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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  • Gittleman, Maury & ten Raa, Thijs & Wolff, Edward N., 2006. "The vintage effect in TFP-growth: An analysis of the age structure of capital," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 306-328, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:streco:v:17:y:2006:i:3:p:306-328
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Raouf Boucekkine & Bruno De Oliveira Cruz, 2015. "Technological Progress and Investment: A Non-Technical Survey," Working Papers halshs-01145485, HAL.
    2. Taiji Hagiwara & Yoichi Matsubayashi, 2014. "Capital Accumulation, Vintage and Productivity: The Japanese Experience," Discussion Papers 1418, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
    3. Boulanger, Pierre & Philippidis, George, 2015. "The EU budget battle: Assessing the trade and welfare impacts of CAP budgetary reform," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 119-130.
    4. repec:spr:cliomt:v:12:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11698-016-0149-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Yasmina Rim Limam & Stephen M. Miller & Giampaolo Garzarelli, 2016. "Decomposition of Output Growth in the Presence of Input Quality: A Stochastic Frontier Approach," Working papers 2016-13, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    6. Richard Harris & John Moffat, 2015. "Plant-level determinants of total factor productivity in Great Britain, 1997–2008," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 1-20, August.
    7. Antonin Bergeaud & Gilbert Cette & Rémy Lecat, 2018. "The role of production factor quality and technology diffusion in twentieth-century productivity growth," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 12(1), pages 61-97, January.
    8. Richard Harris & John Moffat, 2011. "Plant-level Determinants of Total Factor Productivity in Great Britain, 1997-2006," SERC Discussion Papers 0064, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    9. Echevarría Olave, Cruz Ángel & Iza Padilla, María Amaya, 2005. "Life Expectancy, Human Capital, Social Security and Growth," DFAEII Working Papers 2005-17, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
    10. Davide Piacentino, 2008. "Productivity, Infrastructures and Convergence: Panel Data Evidence on Italian Regions," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2008(2), pages 5-26.
    11. Joseph Byrne & Giorgio Fazio & Davide Piacentino, 2009. "Total Factor Productivity Convergence among Italian Regions: Some Evidence from Panel Unit Root Tests," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 63-76.
    12. TOKUI Joji & INUI Tomohiko & Young Gak KIM, 2008. "Embodied Technological Progress and the Productivity Slowdown in Japan," Discussion papers 08017, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    13. Boulanger, Pierre & Philippidis, George, 2014. "Modelling the Common Agricultural Policy. General equilibrium effects of the 2014-2020 budget agreement," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 182789, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    14. A. Bergeaud & G. Cette & R. Lecat, 2016. "The role of production factor quality and technology diffusion in 20th century productivity growth," Working papers 588, Banque de France.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada

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