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Does mismeasurement explain low productivity growth?

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  • Chad Syverson

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Abstract

Abstract The “mismeasurement hypothesis” holds that the recent slowdown in recorded productivity growth merely reflects a fall-off in our ability to measure productivity rather than an actual deceleration in economic growth, in large part reflecting benefits people gain, but don’t pay for, from using new technology applications. If this hypothesis is valid, we should see that national drops in productivity growth are connected to usage of these services, we should be able to ascertain large gains in surplus related to them, growth in the technology sector should be sharply understated, and labor incomes should be swelling relative to output. None of these arenas show evidence that recent miscounts of aggregate productivity are notably large compared to the past.

Suggested Citation

  • Chad Syverson, 2017. "Does mismeasurement explain low productivity growth?," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 52(2), pages 99-102, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:buseco:v:52:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1057_s11369-017-0024-6
    DOI: 10.1057/s11369-017-0024-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David M. Byrne & John G. Fernald & Marshall B. Reinsdorf, 2016. "Does the United States Have a Productivity Slowdown or a Measurement Problem?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 47(1 (Spring), pages 109-182.
    2. Chad Syverson, 2017. "Challenges to Mismeasurement Explanations for the US Productivity Slowdown," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 165-186, Spring.
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    Keywords

    Productivity; Mismeasurement; Technology;

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