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Long-run technical change and multifactor productivity growth in US manufacturing


  • John Mullen


This study utilizes a translog cost function to produce econometric estimates of the separate influences of technical change versus scale efficiency in contributing to multifactor productivity growth within the US manufacturing sector. The analysis generates (two-digit) industry-specific parameters that capture the effects of output versus time-related shifts in the cost function over the 1949-1991 period. Thus initial evidence concerning the relative importance of technical progress (versus 'scale') cannot be provided as a source of productivity gains within two-digit industries. The parametric estimates of total factor productivity growth are compared with existing Divisia measures to explore the shortcomings of the growth accounting technique. These long-run patterns hold implications for the productivity convergence hypothesis traced to knowledge spillovers between industries.

Suggested Citation

  • John Mullen, 2001. "Long-run technical change and multifactor productivity growth in US manufacturing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(3), pages 301-308.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:33:y:2001:i:3:p:301-308
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840121703

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Felix Fitzroy & Michael Funke, 1998. "Skills, Wages and Employment in East and West Germany," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(5), pages 459-467.
    2. Anderson, G J & Blundell, R W, 1982. "Estimation and Hypothesis Testing in Dynamic Singular Equation Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1559-1571, November.
    3. Nadiri, M Ishaq & Rosen, Sherwin, 1969. "Interrelated Factor Demand Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(4), pages 457-471, Part I Se.
    4. Falk, Martin & Koebel, Bertrand M., 1997. "The Demand of Heterogeneous Labour in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-28, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Christis Tombazos, 1999. "The role of imports in expanding the demand gap between skilled and unskilled labour in the US," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(4), pages 509-516.
    6. Diewert, Walter E & Wales, Terence J, 1987. "Flexible Functional Forms and Global Curvature Conditions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 43-68, January.
    7. Koebel, Bertrand M. & Falk, Martin, 1999. "Curvature conditions and substitution pattern among capital, energy, materials and heterogeneous labour," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-06, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. Allen, Chris & Urga, Giovanni, 1999. "Interrelated Factor Demands from Dynamic Cost Functions: An Application to the Non-energy Business Sector of the UK Economy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(263), pages 403-413, August.
    9. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
    10. Flaig, Gebhard & Steiner, Viktor, 1989. "Stability and Dynamic Properties of Labour Demand in West German Manufacturing," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 51(4), pages 395-412, November.
    11. Bergstrom, Villy & Panas, Epaminondas E, 1992. "How Robust Is the Capital-Skill Complementarity Hypothesis?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 540-546, August.
    12. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10091 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Julian R. Betts, 1997. "The Skill Bias Of Technological Change In Canadian Manufacturing Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 146-150, February.
    14. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
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