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A Consistent Accounting of U.S. Productivity Growth

In: Hard-to-Measure Goods and Services: Essays in Honor of Zvi Griliches

  • Eric J. Bartelsman
  • J. Joseph Beaulieu

This paper is an exploration in the relative performance and sources of productivity growth of U.S. private businesses across industries and legal structure. In order to assemble the disparate data from various sources to develop a coherent productivity database, we developed a general system to manage data. The paper describes this system and then applies it by building such a database. The paper presents updated estimates of gross output, intermediate input use, and value added using the BEA's GPO data set. It supplements these data with estimates of missing data on intermediate input use and prices for the 1977-1986 period, and it concords these data, which are organized on a 1972 SIC basis, to the 1987 SIC in order to have consistent time series covering the last twenty-four years. It further refines these data by disaggregating them by legal form of organization. The paper also presents estimates of labor hours, labor quality, investment, capital services and, consequently, multifactor productivity disaggregated by industry and legal form of organization, and it analyzes the contribution of various industries and business organizations to aggregate productivity. The paper also reconsiders these estimates in light of the surge in spending in advance of the century-date change.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Ernst R. Berndt & Charles R. Hulten, 2007. "Hard-to-Measure Goods and Services: Essays in Honor of Zvi Griliches," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern07-1, December.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 0886.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0886
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

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    1. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Lawrence Slifman & Carol Corrado, 1996. "Decomposition of productivity and unit costs," Staff Studies 1, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Griliches, Zvi, 1986. "Economic data issues," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1465-1514 Elsevier.
    4. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2000. "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 125-236.
    5. Jeffrey A. Miron & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Production, Sales and the Change in Inventories: An Identity that Doesn't Add Up," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 20-87, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    6. Parikh, Ashok, 1979. "Forecasts of Input-Output Matrices Using the R.A.S. Method," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(3), pages 477-81, August.
    7. Hulten, Charles R, 1978. "Growth Accounting with Intermediate Inputs," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 511-18, October.
    8. Weale, Martin, 1985. "Testing Linear Hypotheses on National Account Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 685-89, November.
    9. Golan, Amos & Judge, George & Robinson, Sherman, 1994. "Recovering Information from Incomplete or Partial Multisectoral Economic Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 541-49, August.
    10. Daniel Aaronson & Daniel G. Sullivan, 2001. "Growth in worker quality," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 53-74.
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