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Productivity, Welfare and Reallocation: Theory and Firm Level Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Susanto Basu

    (Boston College
    NBER)

  • Luigi Pascali

    (Boston College)

  • Fabio Schiantarelli

    (Boston College
    IZA)

  • Luis Serven

    (World Bank)

Abstract

We prove that the change in welfare of a representative consumer is summarized by the current and expected future values of the standard Solow productivity residual. The equivalence holds if the representative household maximizes utility while taking prices parametrically. This result justifies TFP as the right summary measure of welfare (even in situations where it does not properly measure technology) and makes it possible to calculate the contributions of disaggregated units (industries or firms) to aggregate welfare using readily available TFP data. Based on this finding, we compute firm and industry contributions to welfare for a set of European OECD countries (Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, Spain), using industry-level (EU-KLEMS) and firm-level (Amadeus) data. After adding further assumptions about technology and market structure (firms minimize costs and face common factor prices), we show that welfare change can be decomposed into three components that reject respectively technical change, aggregate distortions and allocative efficiency. Then, using theoretically appropriate firm-level data, we assess the importance of each of these components as sources of welfare improvement in the same set of European countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Susanto Basu & Luigi Pascali & Fabio Schiantarelli & Luis Serven, 2009. "Productivity, Welfare and Reallocation: Theory and Firm Level Evidence," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 728, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 12 Jul 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:728
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Amil Petrin & Jerome Reiter & Kirk White, 2011. "The Impact of Plant-level Resource Reallocations and Technical Progress on U.S. Macroeconomic Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(1), pages 3-26, January.
    2. Martin L. Weitzman, 1976. "On the Welfare Significance of National Product in a Dynamic Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(1), pages 156-162.
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    Cited by:

    1. John R. Baldwin & Wulong Gu & Beiling Yan, 2013. "Export Growth, Capacity Utilization, and Productivity Growth: Evidence from the Canadian Manufacturing Plants," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 59(4), pages 665-688, December.
    2. Susanto Basu & Luigi Pascali & Fabio Schiantarelli & Luis Serven, 2012. "Productivity and the Welfare of Nations," Working Papers 621, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    3. Guido Sandleris & Mark L. J. Wright, 2014. "The Costs of Financial Crises: Resource Misallocation, Productivity, and Welfare in the 2001 Argentine Crisis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(1), pages 87-127, January.
    4. Jae Sim & Egon Zakrajsek & Simon Gilchrist, 2010. "Uncertainty, Financial Frictions, and Investment Dynamics," 2010 Meeting Papers 1285, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. David Zeke & Robert Kurtzman, 2016. "Accounting for Productivity Dispersion over the Business Cycle," 2016 Meeting Papers 482, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Charles I. Jones & Peter J. Klenow, 2016. "Beyond GDP? Welfare across Countries and Time," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(9), pages 2426-2457, September.
    7. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-365, June.
    8. Susanto Basu & Luigi Pascali & Fabio Schiantarelli & Luis Serven, 2012. "Productivity and the Welfare of Nations," Working Papers 621, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    9. Michel Dumont, 2011. "Working Paper 11-11 - A decomposition of industry-level productivity growth in Belgium using firm-level data," Working Papers 1111, Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium.
    10. Ezra Oberfield, 2011. "Productivity and Misallocation During a Crisis," 2011 Meeting Papers 1328, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Ariel Weinberger, 2015. "Markups and misallocation with trade and heterogeneous firms," Globalization Institute Working Papers 251, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    12. G. Jacob Blackwood & Lucia S. Foster & Cheryl A. Grim & John Haltiwanger & Zoltan Wolf, 2021. "Macro and Micro Dynamics of Productivity: From Devilish Details to Insights," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 142-172, July.
    13. Sophie Osotimehin, 2019. "Aggregate productivity and the allocation of resources over the business cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 32, pages 180-205, April.
    14. Inklaar, Robert & Koetter, Michael & Noth, Felix, 2015. "Bank market power, factor reallocation, and aggregate growth," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 31-44.
    15. Biewen, Martin & Weiser, Constantin, 2011. "A New Approach to Testing Marginal Productivity Theory," IZA Discussion Papers 6113, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Eric J. Bartelsman & Zoltan Wolf, 2017. "Measuring Productivity Dispersion," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-033/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    17. Lucia S. Foster & Cheryl A. Grim & John Haltiwanger & Zoltan Wolf, 2017. "Macro and Micro Dynamics of Productivity: From Devilish Details to Insights," NBER Working Papers 23666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Sophie Osotimehin, 2019. "Aggregate productivity and the allocation of resources over the business cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 32, pages 180-205, April.
    19. Koetter, Michael, 2013. "Market structure and competition in German banking: Modules I and IV," Working Papers 06/2013, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung.
    20. Daniel Gonçalves & Ana Martins, 2016. "The Determinants of TFP Growth in the Portuguese Manufacturing Sector," GEE Papers 0062, Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia, revised Nov 2016.
    21. Albert Bollard & Peter Klenow & Gunjam Sharma, 2013. "India's Mysterious Manufacturing Miracle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 59-85, January.
    22. Albert Bollard & Peter Klenow & Gunjam Sharma, 2013. "India's Mysterious Manufacturing Miracle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 59-85, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Productivity; Welfare; Reallocation; Technology; TFP;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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