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Micro and Macro Data Integration: The Case of Capital

  • Randy Becker
  • John Haltiwanger
  • Ron Jarmin
  • Shawn Klimek
  • Dan Wilson

Micro and macro data integration should be an objective of economic measurement as it is clearly advantageous to have internally consistent measurement at all levels of aggregation – firm, industry and aggregate. In spite of the apparently compelling arguments, there are few measures of business activity that achieve anything close to micro/macro data internal consistency. The measures of business activity that are arguably the worst on this dimension are capital stocks and flows. In this paper, we document, quantify and analyze the widely different approaches to the measurement of capital from the aggregate (top down) and micro (bottom up) perspectives. We find that recent developments in data collection permit improved integration of the top down and bottom up approaches. We develop a prototype hybrid method that exploits these data to improve micro/macro data internal consistency in a manner that could potentially lead to substantially improved measures of capital stocks and flows at the industry level. We also explore the properties of the micro distribution of investment. In spite of substantial data and associated measurement limitations, we show that the micro distributions of investment exhibit properties that are of interest to both micro and macro analysts of investment behavior. These findings help highlight some of the potential benefits of micro/macro data integration.

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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 05-02.

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Length: 78 pages
Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:05-02
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  1. Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2002. "The Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 02-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The Skill Content Of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1279-1333, November.
  3. 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.
  4. Cabalero, R.J., 1997. "Aggregaete Investment," Working papers 97-20, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Lucia Foster & John C. Haltiwanger & C. J. Krizan, 2001. "Aggregate Productivity Growth. Lessons from Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 303-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Daniel Wilson, 2003. "Embodying Embodiment in a Structural, Macroeconomic Input-Output Model," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 371-398.
  7. Russell W. Cooper & John C. Haltiwanger, 2000. "On the Nature of Capital Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 7925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mark E. Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1998. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(2), pages 409-429, April.
  9. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Laura Power, 1995. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," Papers 0062, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  10. C.J. Krizan & John Haltiwanger & Lucia Foster, 2002. "The Link Between Aggregate and Micro Productivity Growth: Evidence from Retail Trade," Working Papers 02-18, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  11. Daniel Wilson, 2004. "Investment Behavior of U.S. Firms Over Heterogenous Capital Goods: A Snapshot," Working Papers 04-19, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  12. Hulten, Charles R. & Wykoff, Frank C., 1981. "The estimation of economic depreciation using vintage asset prices : An application of the Box-Cox power transformation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 367-396, April.
  13. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Plant-Level Adjustment and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 1-54.
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