Productivity Growth Patterns in U.S. Food Manufacturing: Case of Dairy Products Industry
A panel constructed from the Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Research Database is used to measure total factor productivity growth at the plant-level and analyzes the multifactor bias of technical change at three-digit product group level containing five different four-digit sub-group categories for the U.S. dairy products industry from 1972 through 1995. In the TFP growth decomposition, analyzing the growth and its components according to the quartile ranks show that scale effect is the most significant element of TFP growth except the plants in the third quartile rank where technical change dominates throughout the time periods. The exogenous input bias results show that throughout the time periods, technical change is 1) capital-using; 2) labor-using after 1980; 3) material-saving except 1981-1985 period; and, 4) energy-using except 1981-1985 and 1991-1995 periods. Plant productivity analysis indicate that less than 50% of the plants in the dairy products industry stay in the same category, indicating considerable movement between productivity rank categories. Investment analysis results indicate that plant-level investments are quite lumpy since a relatively small percent of observations account for a disproportionate share of overall investment. Productivity growth is found to be positively correlated with recent investment spikes for plants with TFP ranking in the middle two quartiles and uncorrelated with plants in the smallest and largest quartiles. Similarly, past TFP growth rates present no significant correlation with future investment spikes for plants in any quartile.
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