IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Assessing the effects of measurement errors on the estimation of production functions


  • Carmine Ornaghi

    (Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)


This article explores to what extent the poor results that are often found when estimating parameters of production functions can be attributed to measurement errors, due to the use of common price deflators across firms. Because of the lack of detailed micro-economic data, econometricians have to rely on industry-wide deflators when computing outputs and intermediate inputs. A unique feature of the longitudinal data used in this paper is that it reports firm-level prices. This allows for a comparative assessment of production function parameters where the outputs and intermediate inputs are computed using both firm-specific prices and industry-wide deflators. The empirical results presented in this paper show that the use of common deflators across firms leads to lower scale estimates, mainly because of a large downward bias in the estimated coefficients for labour. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Carmine Ornaghi, 2006. "Assessing the effects of measurement errors on the estimation of production functions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(6), pages 879-891.
  • Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:21:y:2006:i:6:p:879-891
    DOI: 10.1002/jae.887

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    File Function: Supporting data files and programs
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
    2. Klette, Tor Jakob & Griliches, Zvi, 1996. "The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators When Output Prices Are Unobserved and Endogenous," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 343-361, July-Aug..
    3. Richard Blundell & Stephen Bond & Frank Windmeijer, 2000. "Estimation in dynamic panel data models: improving on the performance of the standard GMM estimator," IFS Working Papers W00/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    4. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
    5. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-947, October.
    6. Alonso-Borrego, César & Sánchez Mangas, Rocío, 2001. "GMM estimation of a production function with panel data : an application to Spanish manufacturing firms," DES - Working Papers. Statistics and Econometrics. WS ws015527, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Estadística.
    7. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
    8. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-362, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. David C. Maré, 2016. "Urban Productivity Estimation with Heterogeneous Prices and Labour," Working Papers 16_21, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    2. Ornaghi, Carmine & Castiglionesi, Fabio, 2009. "On the determinants of TFP growth: evidence from Spanish manufacturing firms," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0912, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    3. Jaumandreu, Jordi & Mairesse, Jacques, 2006. "Using price and demand information to identify production functions," MPRA Paper 1247, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Enghin Atalay, 2014. "Materials Prices And Productivity," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 575-611, June.
    5. Trax, Michaela & Brunow, Stephan & Suedekum, Jens, 2015. "Cultural diversity and plant-level productivity," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 85-96.
    6. Kamil Galuscak & Lubomir Lizal, 2011. "The Impact of Capital Measurement Error Correction on Firm-Level Production Function Estimation," Working Papers 2011/09, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
    7. Dobbelaere, Sabien & Kiyota, Kozo & Mairesse, Jacques, 2015. "Product and labor market imperfections and scale economies: Micro-evidence on France, Japan and the Netherlands," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 290-322.
    8. Ornaghi, Carmine, 2006. "Spillovers in product and process innovation: Evidence from manufacturing firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 349-380, March.
    9. Carlos Casacuberta & Dayna Zaclicever, 2015. "The Effect of Trade Protection on Productivity in Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0215, Department of Economics - dECON.
    10. Ulf Lewrick & Lukas Mohler & Rolf Weder, 2014. "When firms and industries matter: understanding the sources of productivity growth," BIS Working Papers 469, Bank for International Settlements.
    11. Ziga Zarnic, 2010. "European Electricity Market Reforms: Any Signs of Efficiency Improvements?," LICOS Discussion Papers 26210, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    12. Doan, Tinh & Nguyen, Ha, 2013. "Productivity dispersion and the roles of quality of labour input and competition: A case of Vietnamese manufacturing sector," MPRA Paper 48357, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Smeets, Valerie & Warzynski, Frederic, 2013. "Estimating productivity with multi-product firms, pricing heterogeneity and the role of international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 237-244.
    14. Dumont, Michel & Verschelde, Marijn & Rayp, Glenn & Merlevede, Bruno, 2014. "European competitiveness - A semiparametric stochastic metafrontier analysis at the firm level," Working Paper Series 1701, European Central Bank.
    15. Ornaghi, Carmine & Castiglionesi, Fabio, 2009. "On the determinants of TFP growth: evidence from Spanish manufacturing firms," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 912, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    16. Steffen Mueller, 2008. "Capital stock approximation using firm level panel data," Working Papers 038, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    17. Grieco, Paul L. E. & Li, Shengyu & Zhang, Hongsong, 2015. "Multi-Dimensional Effects of International Trade: The Experience of Chinese Manufacturers," RIEI Working Papers 2015-05, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Research Institute for Economic Integration.
    18. Mueller Steffen, 2008. "Capital Stock Approximation using Firm Level Panel Data: A Modified Perpetual Inventory Approach," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 228(4), pages 357-371, August.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:jae:japmet:v:21:y:2006:i:6:p:879-891. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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.