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Capital Use Intensity and Productivity Biases

  • Andersen, Matthew A.
  • Alston, Julian M.
  • Pardey, Philip G.

Measures of productivity growth are often pro-cyclical. This study focuses on measurement errors in capital inputs, associated with unobserved variations in capital utilization rates, as an explanation for the existence of pro-cyclical patterns in measures of agricultural productivity. Recently constructed national and state-specific indexes of inputs, outputs, and productivity in U.S. agriculture for 1949-2002 are used to estimate production functions in growth rate form that include proxy variables for changes in the utilization of durable inputs. The proxy variables include an index of farmers’ terms of trade and an index of local seasonal growing conditions. We find that utilization responses by farmers are significant and bias measures of productivity growth in a pro-cyclical pattern. We quantify the bias, adjust the measures of productivity for the estimated utilization responses, and compare the adjusted and conventional measures.

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Paper provided by University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics in its series Staff Papers with number 7314.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ags:umaesp:7314
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  3. Albert K. A. Acquaye & Julian M. Alston & Philip G. Pardey, 2003. "Post-War Productivity Patterns in U.S. Agriculture: Influences of Aggregation Procedures in a State-Level Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(1), pages 59-80.
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  8. GianCarlo Moschini, 2000. "Production Risk and the Estimation of Ex Ante Cost Functions," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 00-wp262, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  9. Susanto Basu, 1995. "Procyclical Productivity: Increasing Returns or Cyclical Utilization?," NBER Working Papers 5336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Baxter, Marianne & Farr, Dorsey D., 2005. "Variable capital utilization and international business cycles," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 335-347, March.
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  23. Panos Fousekis & Aspasia Papakonstantinou, 1997. "Economic Capacity Utilisation And Productivity Growth In Greek Agriculture," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1-3), pages 38-51.
  24. Mundlak, Yair & Larson, Don & Butzer, Ritz, 1997. "The determinants of agricultural production : a cross-country analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1827, The World Bank.
  25. Marianne Baxter & Dorsey D. Farr, 2001. "The Effects of Variable Capital Utilization on the Measurement and Properties of Sectoral Productivity: Some International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 8475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  27. Roberto ESPOSTI, 1998. "Stochastic Technical Change and Procyclical TFP The Italian Agriculture Case," Working Papers 108, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
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