IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cen/wpaper/17-41.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Macro and Micro Dynamics of Productivity: From Devilish Details to Insights

Author

Listed:
  • Lucia S. Foster
  • Cheryl A. Grim
  • John Haltiwanger
  • Zoltan Wolf

Abstract

Researchers use a variety of methods to estimate total factor productivity (TFP) at the firm level and, while these may seem broadly equivalent, how the resulting measures relate to the TFP concept in theoretical models depends on the assumptions about the environment in which firms operate. Interpreting these measures and drawing insights based upon their characteristics thus must take into account these conceptual differences. Absent data on prices and quantities, most methods yield “revenue productivity” measures. We focus on two broad classes of revenue productivity measures in our examination of the relationship between measured and conceptual TFP (TFPQ). The first measure has been increasingly used as a measure of idiosyncratic distortions and to assess the degree of misallocation. The second measure is, under standard assumptions, a function of funda- mentals (e.g., TFPQ). Using plant-level U.S. manufacturing data, we find these alternative measures are (i) highly correlated; (ii) exhibit similar dispersion; and (iii) have similar relationships with growth and survival. These findings raise questions about interpreting the first measure as a measure of idiosyncratic distortions. We also explore the sensitivity of estimates of the contribution of reallocation to aggregate productivity growth to these alternative approaches. We use recently developed structural decompositions of aggregate productivity growth that depend critically on estimates of output versus revenue elasticities. We find alternative approaches all yield a significant contribution of reallocation to productivity growth (although the quantitative contribution varies across approaches).

Suggested Citation

  • Lucia S. Foster & Cheryl A. Grim & John Haltiwanger & Zoltan Wolf, 2017. "Macro and Micro Dynamics of Productivity: From Devilish Details to Insights," Working Papers 17-41, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:17-41
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2017/CES-WP-17-41R.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2017
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2017/CES-WP-17-41.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2017
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gita Gopinath & Şebnem Kalemli-Özcan & Loukas Karabarbounis & Carolina Villegas-Sanchez, 2017. "Capital Allocation and Productivity in South Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(4), pages 1915-1967.
    2. Jan De Loecker, 2011. "Product Differentiation, Multiproduct Firms, and Estimating the Impact of Trade Liberalization on Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1407-1451, September.
    3. Marcela Eslava & John Haltiwanger & Adriana Kugler & Maurice Kugler, 2013. "Trade and Market Selection: Evidence from Manufacturing Plants in Colombia," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 135-158, January.
    4. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-365, June.
    5. Klette, Tor Jakob & Griliches, Zvi, 1996. "The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators When Output Prices Are Unobserved and Endogenous," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 343-361, July-Aug..
    6. 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.
    7. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 394-425, March.
    8. Richard Ericson & Ariel Pakes, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82.
    9. Mark Bils, 2017. "Misallocation or Mismeasurement?," 2017 Meeting Papers 715, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. 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.
    11. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
    12. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
    13. Martin Neil Baily & Eric J. Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger, 2001. "Labor Productivity: Structural Change And Cyclical Dynamics," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 420-433, August.
    14. Ralf Martin, 2005. "Productivity Dispersion, Competition and Productivity Measurement," CEP Discussion Papers dp0692, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    15. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2008. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Heterogeneous Plants," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 707-720, October.
    16. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Cooper, Russell & Haltiwanger, John & Willis, Jonathan L., 2007. "Search frictions: Matching aggregate and establishment observations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(Supplemen), pages 56-78, September.
    18. John Haltiwanger, 2016. "Firm Dynamics and Productivity: TFPQ, TFPR, and Demand Side Factors," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2016), pages 3-26, October.
    19. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Kevin Caves & Garth Frazer, 2015. "Identification Properties of Recent Production Function Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 2411-2451, November.
    20. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-938, October.
    21. John Asker & Allan Collard-Wexler & Jan De Loecker, 2014. "Dynamic Inputs and Resource (Mis)Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(5), pages 1013-1063.
    22. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
    23. Amil Petrin & James Levinsohn, 2012. "Measuring aggregate productivity growth using plant-level data," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(4), pages 705-725, December.
    24. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2007. "Robustness Of Productivity Estimates," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 529-569, September.
    25. 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.
    26. Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim & John Haltiwanger & Zoltan Wolf, 2016. "Firm-Level Dispersion in Productivity: Is the Devil in the Details?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 95-98, May.
    27. Michael W. L. Elsby & Ryan Michaels, 2013. "Marginal Jobs, Heterogeneous Firms, and Unemployment Flows," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 1-48, January.
    28. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Jonathan L. Willis, 2007. "Implications of Search Frictions: Matching Aggregate and Establishment-level Observations," NBER Working Papers 13115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. T. Kirk White & Jerome P. Reiter & Amil Petrin, 2012. "Plant-level Productivity and Imputation of Missing Data in U.S. Census Manufacturing Data," NBER Working Papers 17816, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    30. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-670, May.
    31. Eric Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2013. "Cross-Country Differences in Productivity: The Role of Allocation and Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 305-334, February.
    32. Ryan A. Decker & John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2018. "Changing Business Dynamism and Productivity : Shocks vs. Responsiveness," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-007, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    33. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & C. J. Krizan, 2006. "Market Selection, Reallocation, and Restructuring in the U.S. Retail Trade Sector in the 1990s," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 748-758, November.
    34. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2009. "On estimating firm-level production functions using proxy variables to control for unobservables," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(3), pages 112-114, September.
    35. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-1150, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Cindy Cunningham & Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim & John Haltiwanger & Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia & Jay Stewart & Zoltan Wolf, 2018. "Dispersion in Dispersion: Measuring Establishment-Level Differences in Productivity," Working Papers 18-25, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Matt Marx, 2018. "Punctuated Entrepreneurship (Among Women)," Working Papers 18-26, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. T. Kirk White & Jerome P. Reiter & Amil Petrin, 2018. "Imputation in U.S. Manufacturing Data and Its Implications for Productivity Dispersion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(3), pages 502-509, July.
    4. G. Jacob Blackwood & Cindy Cunningham & Matthew Dey & Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim & John C. Haltiwanger & Rachel L. Nesbit & Sabrina Pabilonia & Jay Stewart & Cody Tuttle & Zoltan Wolf, 2022. "Opening the Black Box: Task and Skill Mix and Productivity Dispersion," NBER Chapters, in: Technology, Productivity, and Economic Growth, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim & John C. Haltiwanger & Zoltan Wolf, 2019. "Innovation, Productivity Dispersion, and Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring and Accounting for Innovation in the Twenty-First Century, pages 103-136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Gonzales-Rocha, Erick & Mendez-Guerra, Carlos, 2018. "Increasing productivity dispersion: Evidence from light manufacturing in Brazil," MPRA Paper 88478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Galaasen, Sigurd & Jamilov, Rustam & Juelsrud, Ragnar Enger & Rey, Hélène, 2020. "Granular Credit Risk," CEPR Discussion Papers 15385, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Shaw, Kathryn & Sørensen, Anders, 2022. "Coming of age: Watching young entrepreneurs become successful," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    9. Sara Calligaris & Massimo Del Gatto & Fadi Hassan & Gianmarco I P Ottaviano & Fabiano Schivardi & Tommaso MonacelliManaging Editor, 2018. "The productivity puzzle and misallocation: an Italian perspective," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 33(96), pages 635-684.
    10. Francesco Manaresi & Nicola Pierri, 2018. "Credit supply and productivity growth," BIS Working Papers 711, Bank for International Settlements.
    11. Nicholas Bloom & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lucia Foster & Ron Jarmin & Megha Patnaik & Itay Saporta-Eksten & John Van Reenen, 2019. "What Drives Differences in Management Practices?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(5), pages 1648-1683, May.
    12. Emin Dinlersoz & Zoltan Wolf, 2018. "Automation, Labor Share, and Productivity: Plant-Level Evidence from U.S. Manufacturing," Working Papers 18-39, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    13. Eric J. Bartelsman & Zoltan Wolf, 2017. "Measuring Productivity Dispersion," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-033/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
    14. Francesco Manaresi & Nicola Pierri, 2018. "Credit supply and productivity growth," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1168, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    15. Massimo Del Gatto & Fadi Hassan & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2019. "Company Profits in Italy," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 093, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    16. Doerr, Sebastian, 2018. "Collateral, Reallocation, and Aggregate Productivity: Evidence from the U.S. Housing Boom," MPRA Paper 106163, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Schoefer, Benjamin & Ziv, Oren, 2021. "Productivity, Place, and Plants," CEPR Discussion Papers 15676, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim & John Haltiwanger & Zoltan Wolf, 2016. "Firm-Level Dispersion in Productivity: Is the Devil in the Details?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 95-98, May.
    19. G. Jacob Blackwood & Cindy Cunningham & Matthew Dey & Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim & John C. Haltiwanger & Rachel L. Nesbit & Sabrina Pabilonia & Jay Stewart & Cody Tuttle & Zoltan Wolf, 2022. "Opening the Black Box: Task and Skill Mix and Productivity Dispersion," NBER Chapters, in: Technology, Productivity, and Economic Growth, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Deng, Zhongqi & Jiang, Nan & Song, Shunfeng & Pang, Ruizhi, 2021. "Misallocation and price distortions: A revenue decomposition of medical service providers in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    21. Mr. Nicola Pierri & Francesco Manaresi, 2019. "Credit Supply and Productivity Growth," IMF Working Papers 2019/107, International Monetary Fund.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. 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.
    2. Ryan A. Decker & John C. Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2018. "Changing Business Dynamism and Productivity: Shocks vs. Responsiveness," NBER Working Papers 24236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Simone Lenzu & Francesco Manaresi, 2019. "Sources and implications of resource misallocation: new evidence from firm-level marginal products and user costs," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 485, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Lenzu, Simone & Manaresi, Francesco, 2018. "Do Marginal Products Differ from User Costs? Micro-Level Evidence from Italian Firms," Working Papers 276, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, George J. Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State.
    5. Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim & John C. Haltiwanger & Zoltan Wolf, 2019. "Innovation, Productivity Dispersion, and Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring and Accounting for Innovation in the Twenty-First Century, pages 103-136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Daan Freeman & Leon Bettendorf & Harro van Heuvelen & Gerdien Meijerink, 2021. "The contribution of business dynamics to productivity growth in the Netherlands," CPB Discussion Paper 427, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    7. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-365, June.
    8. Andrea Pozzi & Fabiano Schivardi, 2016. "Demand or productivity: what determines firm growth?," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 47(3), pages 608-630, August.
    9. Enrico De Monte, 2020. "Entry, Exit and Productivity: Evidence from French Manufacturing Firms," Working Papers of BETA 2020-07, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    10. Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim & John Haltiwanger, 2016. "Reallocation in the Great Recession: Cleansing or Not?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 293-331.
    11. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2017. "The Causes and Costs of Misallocation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 151-174, Summer.
    12. Florin Maican & Matilda Orth, 2017. "Productivity Dynamics and the Role of ‘Big-Box’ Entrants in Retailing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 397-438, June.
    13. Toni M. Whited & Jake Zhao, 2021. "The Misallocation of Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 76(5), pages 2359-2407, October.
    14. J. David Brown & Emin Dinlersoz & John S. Earle, 2022. "Productivity Dispersion, Misallocation, and Reallocation Frictions: Theory and Evidence from Policy Reforms," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 64(1), pages 1-43, March.
    15. J. David Brown & Emin Dinlersoz & John S. Earle, 2016. "Does Higher Productivity Dispersion Imply Greater Misallocation?A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 16-42, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    16. Douglas Gollin & Christopher Udry, 2021. "Heterogeneity, Measurement Error, and Misallocation: Evidence from African Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 129(1), pages 1-80.
    17. Daron Acemoglu & Ufuk Akcigit & Harun Alp & Nicholas Bloom & William Kerr, 2018. "Innovation, Reallocation, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(11), pages 3450-3491, November.
    18. Massimo Del Gatto & Fadi Hassan & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2019. "Company Profits in Italy," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 093, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    19. Redha Fares, 2022. "Bankruptcy, Performance and Market Selection: Evidence from Firms in France," Erudite Ph.D Dissertations, Erudite, number ph22-01 edited by Claude Mathieu.
    20. John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Robert Kulick & Javier Miranda, 2016. "High Growth Young Firms: Contribution to Job, Output, and Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Entrepreneurial Businesses: Current Knowledge and Challenges, pages 11-62, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:17-41. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesgvus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Dawn Anderson (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cesgvus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.