IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this book chapter or follow this series

Aggregate Productivity Growth. Lessons from Microeconomic Evidence

In: New Developments in Productivity Analysis

  • Lucia Foster
  • John C. Haltiwanger
  • C. J. Krizan

In this study we focus on the role of the reallocation of activity across individual producers for aggregate productivity growth. A growing body of empirical analysis yields striking patterns in the behavior of establishment-level reallocation and productivity. Nevertheless, a review of existing studies yields a wide range of findings regarding the contribution of reallocation to aggregate productivity growth. Through our review of existing studies and our own sensitivity analysis, we find that reallocation plays a significant role in the changes in productivity growth at the industry level and that the impact of net entry is disproportionate since entering plants tend to displace less productive exiting plants, even after controlling for overall average growth in productivity. However, an important conclusion of our sensitivity analysis is that the quantitative contribution of reallocation to the aggregate change in productivity is sensitive to the decomposition methodology employed. Our findings also confirm and extend others in the literature that indicate that both learning and selection effects are important in this context. A novel aspect of our analysis is that we have examined the role of reallocation for aggregate productivity growth to a selected set of service sector industries. Our analysis considers the 4-digit industries that form the 3-digit industry automobile repair shops. We found tremendous churning in this industry with extremely large rates of entry and exit. Moreover, we found that productivity growth in the industry is dominated establishment data at Census, the results are quite striking and clearly call for further analysis.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

in new window

This chapter was published in:
  • Charles R. Hulten & Edwin R. Dean & Michael J. Harper, 2001. "New Developments in Productivity Analysis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number hult01-1, July.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 10129.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10129
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    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.:

    as in new window
    1. Griliches, Zvi & Regev, Haim, 1995. "Firm productivity in Israeli industry 1979-1988," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 175-203, January.
    2. Martin Neil Baily & Eric J. Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger, 1998. "Labor Productivity: Structural Change and Cyclical Dynamics," Working Papers 98-7, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Cooley, Thomas F. & Greenwood, Jeremy & Yorukoglu, Mehmet, 1997. "The replacement problem," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 457-499, December.
    4. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    5. Richard Ericson & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "An Alternative Theory of Firm and Industry Dynamics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1041, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    6. Macdonald, G.M., 1988. "Competitive Diffusion," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 88-10, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
    7. Griliches, Zvi, 1994. "Productivity, R&D, and the Data Constraint," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 1-23, March.
    8. Blanchard, Olivier & Kremer, Michael, 1997. "Disorganization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1091-1126, November.
    9. Donald Siegel & Zvi Griliches, 1991. "Purchased Services, Outsourcing, Computers, and Productivity in Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 3678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Bee Yan Aw & Xiaomin Chen & Mark J. Roberts, 1997. "Firm-level Evidence on Productivity Differentials, Turnover, and Exports in Taiwanese Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 6235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. John Haltiwanger & Russell Cooper & Laura Power, 1999. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 921-946, September.
    12. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1991. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," NBER Working Papers 3922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Ariel Pakes & Mark Schankerman, 1984. "The Rate of Obsolescence of Patents, Research Gestation Lags, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," NBER Chapters, in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 73-88 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Aghion, P. & Howitt, P., 1989. "A Model Of Growth Through Creative Destruction," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 8904, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
    15. George S Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics Of Productivity In The Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Working Papers 92-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    16. Baily, Martin Neil & Bartelsman, Eric J & Haltiwanger, John, 1996. " Downsizing and Productivity Growth: Myth or Reality?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 259-78, August.
    17. Mark J Roberts & Dylan Supina, 1997. "Output Price And Markup Dispersion In Micro Data: The Roles Of Producer And Heterogeneity And Noise," Working Papers 97-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    18. Chari, V V & Hopenhayn, Hugo, 1991. "Vintage Human Capital, Growth, and the Diffusion of New Technology," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(6), pages 1142-65, December.
    19. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
    20. Campbell, J.R., 1995. "Entry, Exit, Technology, and Business Cycles," RCER Working Papers 407, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    21. Lambson, V.E., 1989. "Industry Evolution With Sunk Costs And Uncertian Market Conditions," Working papers 8904, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    22. Douglas W Dwyer, 1997. "Productivity Races I: Are Some Productivuty Measures Better Than Others?," Working Papers 97-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    23. Doms, Mark & Dunne, Timothy & Troske, Kenneth R, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-90, February.
    24. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1994. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 94-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    25. Mark J. Roberts & Dylan Supina, 1997. "Output Price and Markup Dispersion in Micro Data: The Roles of Producer Heterogeneity and Noise," NBER Working Papers 6075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Jovanovic, Boyan & Rob, Rafael, 1989. "The Growth and Diffusion of Knowledge," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 569-82, October.
    27. John C. Haltiwanger, 1997. "Measuring and analyzing aggregate fluctuations: the importance of building from microeconomic evidence," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 55-78.
    28. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
    29. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "Plant Turnover and Gross Employment Flows in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 48-71, January.
    30. Ariel Pakes & Mark Schankerman, 1979. "The Rate of Obsolescence Of Knowledge, Research Gestation Lags, and the Private Rate of Return to Research Resources," NBER Working Papers 0346, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    31. McGuckin, Robert H, 1995. "Establishment Microdata for Economic Research and Policy Analysis: Looking beyond the Aggregates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(1), pages 121-26, January.
    32. Caballero, Ricardo J & Hammour, Mohamad L, 1996. "On the Timing and Efficiency of Creative Destruction," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 805-52, August.
    33. Ericson, Richard & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
    34. Richard E. Caves, 1997. "Industrial Organization and New Findings on the Turnover and Mobility of Firms," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1808, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    35. Jeffrey Campbell, 1998. "Entry, Exit, Embodied Technology, and Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(2), pages 371-408, April.
    36. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth Through Creative Destruction," Scholarly Articles 12490578, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    37. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-38, October.
    38. Murphy, Kevin J., 1999. "Executive compensation," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2485-2563 Elsevier.
    39. Boyan Jovanovic & Glenn MacDonald, 1993. "Competitive Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 4463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    40. Dial, Jay & Murphy, Kevin J., 1995. "Incentives, downsizing, and value creation at General Dynamics," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 261-314, March.
    41. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
    42. Douglas W Dwyer, 1995. "Technology Locks, Creative Destruction And Non-Convergence In Productivity Levels," Working Papers 95-6, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    43. Stein, Jeremy C, 1997. "Waves of Creative Destruction: Firm-Specific Learning-by-Doing and the Dynamics of Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(2), pages 265-88, April.
    44. Roberts, Kevin & Weitzman, Martin L, 1981. "Funding Criteria for Research, Development, and Exploration Projects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1261-88, September.
    45. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
    46. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
    47. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    48. Edwin R. Dean & Kent Kunze, 1992. "Productivity Measurement in Service Industries," NBER Chapters, in: Output Measurement in the Service Sectors, pages 73-107 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10129. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.