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Productivity or Employment: Is It a Choice?

Author

Listed:
  • Andrea De Michelis

    ()

  • Marcello Estevão

    ()

  • Beth Anne Wilson

    ()

Abstract

Traditionally, shocks to total factor productivity (TFP) are considered exogenous and the response of employment is determined by their effect on aggregate demand. We approach the relationship between TFP and labour input differently, raising the possibility that in response to labour supply shocks firms adjust production efficiency. TFP would, thus, be endogenous to firms’ production decisions. We present cross-country evidence of a strong negative correlation between growth in TFP and labour inputs over the medium to long run. This result is robust to changing datasets, sample periods, and industry composition. To address the question of causality, we use instruments to capture changes in hours worked that are independent of TFP movements and find that TFP growth falls (increases) following a pickup (decline) in hours growth. These results have important policy implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea De Michelis & Marcello Estevão & Beth Anne Wilson, 2013. "Productivity or Employment: Is It a Choice?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 25, pages 41-60, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:25:y:2013:5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Federal Reserve: Looking Back, Looking Forward
      by Guest Author in The Big Picture on 2014-01-04 16:00:00

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    1. repec:bla:jecrev:v:68:y:2017:i:2:p:200-216 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Barbara M. Fraumeni, 2013. "Comments on "Productivity or Employment: Is It a Choice?"," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 25, pages 61-64, Spring.
    3. Yellen, Janet L., 2011. "Improving the international monetary and financial system : a speech at the Banque de France International Symposium, Paris, France, March 4, 2011," Speech 565, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Camille Hémet, 2015. "Diversity and employment prospects: neighbors matter!," Working Papers 2015/4, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    5. Jianmin Tang, 2015. "Employment and Productivity: Exploring the Trade-off," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 28, pages 63-80, Spring.
    6. Jesús Cuaresma & Harald Oberhofer & Gallina Vincelette, 2014. "Institutional barriers and job creation in Central and Eastern Europe," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-29, December.
    7. Oberhofer, Harald & Vincelette, Gallina A, 2013. "Determinants of job creation in eleven new EU member states : evidence from firm level data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6533, The World Bank.
    8. Bernanke, Ben S., 2014. "The Federal Reserve: Looking Back, Looking Forward : a speech at the Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 3, 2014," Speech 792, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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