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From micro to macro: a note on the analysis of aggregate productivity dynamics using firm-level data

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  • Daniel A. Dias

    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
    CEMAPRE)

  • Carlos Robalo Marques

    (Banco de Portugal (Research Department))

Abstract

In the empirical literature, the analysis of aggregate productivity dynamics using firm-level productivity has mostly been based on changes in the mean of log-productivity. This paper shows that there can be substantial quantitative and qualitative differences in the results relative to when the analysis is based on changes in the mean of productivity, and discusses the circumstances under which such differences are likely to happen. We use firm-level data for Portugal for the period 2006–2015 to illustrate the point. When the mean of productivity is used, we estimate that TFP and labor productivity for the whole economy increased by 17.7 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively, over this period. But, when the mean of log-productivity is used, these two productivity measures decline by 4.3 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. Similarly disparate results are obtained for productivity decompositions regarding the contributions for productivity growth of surviving, entering and exiting firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel A. Dias & Carlos Robalo Marques, 2021. "From micro to macro: a note on the analysis of aggregate productivity dynamics using firm-level data," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 56(1), pages 1-14, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jproda:v:56:y:2021:i:1:d:10.1007_s11123-021-00601-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s11123-021-00601-4
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marc J. Melitz & Sašo Polanec, 2015. "Dynamic Olley-Pakes productivity decomposition with entry and exit," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 46(2), pages 362-375, June.
    2. Ryan A. Decker & John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2017. "Declining Dynamism, Allocative Efficiency, and the Productivity Slowdown," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 322-326, May.
    3. Daniel A. Dias & Carlos Robalo Marques & Christine Richmond, 2020. "A Tale of Two Sectors: Why is Misallocation Higher in Services than in Manufacturing?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 66(2), pages 361-393, June.
    4. Daniel A. Dias & Carlos Robalo Marques, 2021. "Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining: Cleansing Effects of the Portuguese Financial Crisis," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 83(2), pages 352-376, April.
    5. Naomi Griffin & Kazuhiko Odaki, 2009. "Reallocation and productivity growth in Japan: revisiting the lost decade of the 1990s," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 125-136, April.
    6. Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim & John Haltiwanger, 2016. "Reallocation in the Great Recession: Cleansing or Not?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 293-331.
    7. Ana Cristina Soares & João Amador, 2012. "Competition in the Portuguese Economy:An overview of classical indicators," Working Papers w201208, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    8. Ryan A. Decker & John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2018. "Changing Business Dynamism and Productivity : Shocks vs. Responsiveness," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-007, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2009. "On estimating firm-level production functions using proxy variables to control for unobservables," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 112-114, September.
    10. Griliches, Zvi & Regev, Haim, 1995. "Firm productivity in Israeli industry 1979-1988," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 175-203, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    D24; E32; L25; O47;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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