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A consistent accounting of U.S. productivity growth

  • Eric J. Bartelsman
  • J. Joseph Beaulieu

This paper is an exploration in the relative performance and sources of productivity growth of U.S. private businesses across industries and legal structure. In order to assemble the disparate data from various sources to develop a coherent productivity database, we developed a general system to manage data. The paper describes this system and then applies it by building such a database. The paper presents updated estimates of gross output, intermediate input use, and value added using the BEA's GPO data set. It supplements these data with estimates of missing data on intermediate input use and prices for the 1977-1986 period, and it concords these data, which are organized on a 1972 SIC basis, to the 1987 SIC in order to have consistent time series covering the last twenty-four years. It further refines these data by disaggregating them by legal form of organization. The paper also presents estimates of labor hours, labor quality, investment, capital services and, consequently, multifactor productivity disaggregated by industry and legal form of organization, and it analyzes the contribution of various industries and business organizations to aggregate productivity. The paper also reconsiders these estimates in light of the surge in spending in advance of the century-date change.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2004-55.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2004-55
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  1. Daniel Aaronson & Daniel Sullivan, 2001. "Growth in worker quality," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 53-74.
  2. Miron, Jeffrey A. & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1989. "Production, sales, and the change in inventories : An identity that doesn't add up," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 31-51, July.
  3. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Weale, Martin, 1985. "Testing Linear Hypotheses on National Account Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 685-89, November.
  5. Lawrence Slifman & Carol Corrado, 1999. "Decomposition of Productivity and Unit Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 328-332, May.
  6. Golan, Amos & Judge, George & Robinson, Sherman, 1994. "Recovering Information from Incomplete or Partial Multisectoral Economic Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 541-49, August.
  7. Griliches, Zvi, 1986. "Economic data issues," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1465-1514 Elsevier.
  8. Parikh, Ashok, 1979. "Forecasts of Input-Output Matrices Using the R.A.S. Method," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(3), pages 477-81, August.
  9. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2000. "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 125-236.
  10. Hulten, Charles R, 1978. "Growth Accounting with Intermediate Inputs," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 511-18, October.
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