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Productivity growth, adjustment costs and variable factor utilisation: the UK case

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  • Charlotta Groth
  • Soledad Nuñez
  • Sylaja Srinivasan

Abstract

This paper constructs estimates of total factor productivity (TFP) growth for the United Kingdom for the period 1970-2000, using an industry data set that spans the whole economy. The estimates are obtained by controlling for variable utilisation of capital and labour, and costs of adjusting these factors. The analysis is focused on the 1990s. This was a period when the growth rate of the standard measure of TFP growth for the United Kingdom, the Solow residual, did not match the sharp rise in US productivity, even though the macroeconomic environment in both countries was similar. The paper delivers two main results. First, the aggregate Solow residual underestimates TFP growth throughout the 1990s, since it does not account for falling utilisation rates and high capital adjustment costs. Second, the impact of non-technological factors on the Solow residual is similar in the first and the second half of the 1990s. This means that the broad movement in the Solow residual during the 1990s is similar to that of the estimated TFP growth. Potential reasons behind these results are discussed using disaggregated data.

Suggested Citation

  • Charlotta Groth & Soledad Nuñez & Sylaja Srinivasan, 2006. "Productivity growth, adjustment costs and variable factor utilisation: the UK case," Bank of England working papers 295, Bank of England.
  • Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:295
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    File URL: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/research/Documents/workingpapers/2006/WP295.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicholas Oulton, 2002. "ICT and Productivity Growth in the United Kingdom," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(3), pages 363-379.
    2. Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "The Dynamic Demand for Capital and Labor," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(3), pages 513-542.
    3. Susanto Basu, 1996. "Procyclical Productivity: Increasing Returns or Cyclical Utilization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 719-751.
    4. Shapiro, Matthew D, 1986. "Capital Utilization and Capital Accumulation: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 1(3), pages 211-234, July.
    5. David Card & Richard B. Freeman, 2004. "What Have Two Decades of British Economic Reform Delivered?," NBER Chapters,in: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000, pages 9-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L., 1999. "Monetary policy shocks: What have we learned and to what end?," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 65-148 Elsevier.
    7. Sbordone, Argia M, 1997. "Interpreting the Procyclical Productivity of Manufacturing Sectors: External Effects or Labor Hoarding?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 26-45, February.
    8. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 67-124 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Charlotta Groth, 2005. "Estimating UK capital adjustment costs," Bank of England working papers 258, Bank of England.
    10. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Oliner, Stephen D. & Sichel, Daniel E. & Stiroh, Kevin J., 2008. "Explaining a productive decade," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 633-673.
    2. Harchaoui, Tarek M., 2012. "The Europe-U.S. Retail Trade Productivity Gap in a Rear-view Mirror," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-127, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
    3. Hashmat Khan & John Tsoukalas, 2005. "Technology Shocks and UK Business Cycles," Macroeconomics 0512006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. V. Ball & Carlos San-Juan-Mesonada & Camilo Ulloa, 2014. "State productivity growth in agriculture: catching-up and the business cycle," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 327-338, December.
    5. Ludmila Fadejeva & Aleksejs Melihovs, 2010. "Measuring Total Factor Productivity and Variable Factor Utilization," Eastern European Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(5), pages 63-101, September.
    6. Ball, V. Eldon & San Juan, Carlos & Ulloa, Camilo, 2012. "State Productivity Growth: Catching Up and the Business Cycle," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 123334, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Hashmat Khan & John Tsoukalas, 2011. "Effects of Productivity Shocks on Employment: UK Evidence (revised 25 February 2013)," Carleton Economic Papers 11-05, Carleton University, Department of Economics, revised 25 Feb 2013.
    8. Konstantins Benkovskis & Ludmila Fadejeva & Julia Wörz, 2013. "How Important Is Total Factor Productivity for Growth in Central, Eastern and Southeastern European Countries?," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 1, pages 8-27.
    9. Ulloa, Camilo A. & San Juan Mesonada, Carlos & Ball, V. Eldon, 2011. "Agricultural productivity in the United States: catching-up and the business cycle," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1116, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    10. Richard Dion & Robert Fay, 2008. "Understanding Productivity: A Review of Recent Technical Research," Discussion Papers 08-3, Bank of Canada.
    11. Khan Hashmat & Tsoukalas John, 2013. "Effects of productivity shocks on hours worked: UK evidence," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 1-31, September.

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