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Productivity Dynamics: U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1972-1986


  • Phoebus Dhrymes
  • Eric Bartelsman


This paper presents an analysis of the dynamics of total factor productivity measures for large plants in SICs 35, 36, and 38. Several TFP measures, derived from production functions and Solow type residuals, are computed and their behavior over time is compared, using various non-parametric tools. Aggregate TFP, which has grown substantially over the time period, is compared with average plant level TFP, which has declined or remained flat. Using transition matrices, the persistence of plant productivity is examined, and it is shown how the transition probabilities vary by industry, plant age, and other characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Phoebus Dhrymes & Eric Bartelsman, 1992. "Productivity Dynamics: U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1972-1986," Working Papers 92-1, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:92-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. 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.
    7. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques, 1995. "Exploring the relationship between R&D and productivity in French manufacturing firms," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 263-293, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Siedschlag, Iulia & Di Ubaldo, Mattia, 2017. "The impact of investment in knowledge-based capital on productivity: firm-level evidence from Ireland," Papers WP556, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    2. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2005. "Firm Size Matters: Growth and Productivity Growth in African Manufacturing," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 545-583, April.
    3. J. David Brown & John Earle, 2008. "Understanding the Contributions of Reallocation to Productivity Growth: Lessons from a Comparative Firm-Level Analysis," CERT Discussion Papers 0805, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
    4. Shuyun May Li, 2008. "Employment Flows with Endogenous Financing Constraints," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1045, The University of Melbourne.
    5. Rui Castro & Gian Luca Clementi & Yoonsoo Lee, 2008. "Cross-sectoral variation in firm-level idiosyncratic risk," Working Paper 0812, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    6. Jun Du & Yama Temouri, 2015. "High-growth firms and productivity: evidence from the United Kingdom," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 123-143, January.
    7. Escribano, Álvaro & Stucchi, Rodolfo, 2008. "Catching up in total factor productivity through the business cycle : evidence from Spanish manufacturing surveys," UC3M Working papers. Economics we085125, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    8. repec:kap:sbusec:v:49:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11187-017-9859-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Poltavets Ivan, 2005. "Productivity Differential and Competition: Can an Old Dog be Taught New Tricks?," EERC Working Paper Series 05-09e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
    10. Färe, Rolf & Karagiannis, Giannis, 2017. "The denominator rule for share-weighting aggregation," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 260(3), pages 1175-1180.
    11. Rui Castro & Gian Luca Clementi & Yoonsoo Lee, 2015. "Cross Sectoral Variation in the Volatility of Plant Level Idiosyncratic Shocks," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 1-29, March.
    12. Giovanni Dosi & Emanuele Pugliese & Pietro Santoleri, 2017. "Growth and survival of the `fitter'? Evidence from US new-born firms," LEM Papers Series 2017/06, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    13. Thompson, Peter, 2010. "Learning by Doing," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, Elsevier.
    14. repec:oup:indcch:v:26:y:2017:i:2:p:187-210. is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Cristiano Antonelli & Francesco Crespi & Giuseppe Scellato, 2015. "Productivity growth persistence: firm strategies, size and system properties," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 129-147, June.
    16. Mahmut Yasar & Roderick Rejesus & Ilhami Mintemur, 2004. "Is there evidence of creative destruction in the Turkish manufacturing sector? Lessons from a cross-industry analysis of aggregate productivity growth," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(17), pages 1937-1945.
    17. Luna, Ivette & Hiratuka, Celio & Haddad Netto, Elias Youssef, 2016. "Survival of the fittest or does size matter: What are the main drivers of Productivity in Brazil?," MPRA Paper 78208, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2016.
    18. Giovanni Dosi & Marcelo C. Pereira & Maria Enrica Virgillito, 2017. "The footprint of evolutionary processes of learning and selection upon the statistical properties of industrial dynamics," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 187-210.
    19. Shutao Cao, 2008. "A Model of Costly Capital Reallocation and Aggregate Productivity," Staff Working Papers 08-38, Bank of Canada.
    20. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2711-2805 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Massimo Del Gatto & Adriana Di Liberto & Carmelo Petraglia, 2011. "Measuring Productivity," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5), pages 952-1008, December.
    22. Giovanni Dosi & Marco Grazzi, 2006. "Technologies as problem-solving procedures and technologies as input--output relations: some perspectives on the theory of production," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 173-202, February.
    23. repec:eee:jmacro:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:268-286 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Zheng Song & Kaiji Chen, 2007. "Capital Reallocation, Productivity, and Expectation-Driven Business Cycles," 2007 Meeting Papers 512, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    25. Sang V Nguyen & Robert H Mcguckin, 1995. "Exploring The Role Of Acquisition In The Performance Of Firms: Is The "Firm" The Right Unit Of Analysis?," Working Papers 95-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.


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