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Les lois de la production ne sont plus ce qu'elles étaient : une introduction à l'économétrie des panels


  • Jacques Mairesse


[eng] The present study explores some of the problems encountered by econometricians working with panel data and shows that Paul Douglas view of production functions in his famous article "Are there laws of production?" is difficult to maintain when confronted with such data. We examine first the variability in the level and rate of change of production and labor productivity and in the estimated response parameters capital elasticities) in both the cross-sectional and the time dimensions for three samples of large manufacturing firms in France, Japan and U.S. during the 1967-1979 period. We study next the question whether the large variability which we observe in the individual firm dimension reflects real heterogeneity in firm performances and characteristics in particular their estimated capital elasticities. Finally we exhibit the discrepancies among the different estimates of the production function coefficients in the cross-sectional and time dimensions between and within and consider the problem they pose for our understanding of production behavior and panel data econometrics. [fre] Les lois de la production ne sont plus ce qu'elles étaient : une introduction à l'économétrie des panels. . La présente étude illustre plusieurs problèmes importants rencontrés par l'économètre qui travaille sur des données de panel. Reprenant le titre de l'article célèbre de Paul Douglas « Are there laws of production ? », elle montre qu'il devient difficile, lorsqu'on analyse de telles données, de conserver la conception que celui-ci avait des fonctions de production.. On examine d'abord sur trois échantillons de grandes entreprises industrielles américaines, françaises et japonaises sur la période 1967-1979, quelles sont les variabilités (inter) individuelles et temporelles des niveaux et des évolutions de la production et de la productivité du travail, ainsi que celles des coefficients de réponse (élasticités) de la production au capital. On cherche à savoir ensuite si la grande variabilité individuelle observée traduit une hétérogénéité réelle des performances et caractéristiques des entreprises, et notamment des estimations des élasticités du capital, et l'on s'interroge sur l'interprétation à donner aux tests. On met en évidence enfin les disparités des estimations globales de la fonction de production (et notamment celles des élasticités du capital) obtenues dans les dimensions transversales et longitudinales (en coupe et en série), et l'on discute des problèmes qui sont ainsi posés à l'économètre.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacques Mairesse, 1988. "Les lois de la production ne sont plus ce qu'elles étaient : une introduction à l'économétrie des panels," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 39(1), pages 225-271.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:reveco:reco_0035-2764_1988_num_39_1_409056
    DOI: 10.3406/reco.1988.409056
    Note: DOI:10.3406/reco.1988.409056

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Productivity and R&D at the Firm Level," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 100-133, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Paul H. Douglas, 1967. "Comments on the Cobb-Douglas Production Function," NBER Chapters, in: The Theory and Empirical Analysis of Production, pages 15-22, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques, 1995. "Exploring the relationship between R&D and productivity in French manufacturing firms," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 263-293, January.
    2. Jacques Mairesse & Mohamed Sassenou, 1991. "R&D Productivity: A Survey of Econometric Studies at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 3666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jacques Mairesse & Benoît Mulkay, 2004. "Une evaluation du credit d’impot recherche en France, 1980-1997," Working Papers 2004-43, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.

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