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Declining Dynamism, Allocative Efficiency, and the Productivity Slowdown

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Abstract

A large literature documents declining measures of business dynamism including high-growth young firm activity and job reallocation. A distinct literature describes a slowdown in the pace of aggregate labor productivity growth. We relate these patterns by studying changes in productivity growth from the late 1990s to the mid 2000s using firm-level data. We find that diminished allocative efficiency gains can account for the productivity slowdown in a manner that interacts with the within-firm productivity growth distribution. The evidence suggests that the decline in dynamism is reason for concern and sheds light on debates about the causes of slowing productivity growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Ryan A. Decker & John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2017. "Declining Dynamism, Allocative Efficiency, and the Productivity Slowdown," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-019, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2017-19
    DOI: 10.17016/FEDS.2017.019
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    1. 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.
    2. David M. Byrne & John G. Fernald & Marshall B. Reinsdorf, 2016. "Does the United States Have a Productivity Slowdown or a Measurement Problem?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 47(1 (Spring), pages 109-182.
    3. Marc J. Melitz & Sašo Polanec, 2015. "Dynamic Olley-Pakes productivity decomposition with entry and exit," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 46(2), pages 362-375, June.
    4. Dan Andrews & Chiara Criscuolo & Peter N. Gal, 2015. "Frontier Firms, Technology Diffusion and Public Policy: Micro Evidence from OECD Countries," OECD Productivity Working Papers 2, OECD Publishing.
    5. 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.
    6. Decker, Ryan A. & Haltiwanger, John & Jarmin, Ron S. & Miranda, Javier, 2016. "Where has all the skewness gone? The decline in high-growth (young) firms in the U.S," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 4-23.
    7. Chad Syverson, 2017. "Challenges to Mismeasurement Explanations for the US Productivity Slowdown," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 165-186, Spring.
    8. Alon, Titan & Berger, David & Dent, Robert & Pugsley, Benjamin, 2018. "Older and slower: The startup deficit’s lasting effects on aggregate productivity growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 68-85.
    9. Robert J. Gordon, 2016. "Perspectives on The Rise and Fall of American Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 72-76, May.
    10. 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.).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job reallocation; Labor supply and demand; Productivity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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