Revisiting Some Productivity Debates
Researchers interested in estimating productivity can choose from an array of methodologies, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Methods differ by the assumptions they rely on and imply very different calculations. I compare five widely used techniques: (a) index numbers, (b) data envelopment analysis, and three parametric methods, (c) instrumental variables estimation, (d) stochastic frontiers, and (e) semi-parametric estimation. I compare the estimates directly and evaluate three productivity debates using a panel of manufacturing plants in Colombia. The different methods generate surprisingly similar results. Correlations between alternative productivity estimates are invariably high. All methods confirm that exporters are more productive on average and that only a small portion of the productivity advantage is due to scale economies. Productivity growth is correlated more strongly with export status, frequent investments in capital equipment, and employment of managers than with the use of imported inputs or foreign ownership. On the debate whether aggregate productivity growth is driven by plant-level changes or output share relocation, all methods point to the the importance of plant-level changes, in contrast to results from the U.S.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2003|
|Publication status:||published as Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2008. "The Sensitivity of Productivity Estimates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 311-328.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999.
"Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?,"
Journal of International Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
- Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," NBER Working Papers 6272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Daron Acemoglu & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2001.
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 563-606.
- Acemoglu, D. & Zilibotti, F., 1998. "Productivity Differences," Papers 660, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2000. "Productivity Differences," CEPR Discussion Papers 2498, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Daron Acemoglu & Fabrizio Zilbotti, 1999. "Productivity Differences," NBER Working Papers 6879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1998. "Productivity Differences," Seminar Papers 660, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Richard Blundell & Stephen Bond, 2000.
"GMM Estimation with persistent panel data: an application to production functions,"
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 321-340.
- Richard Blundell & Stephen Bond, 1999. "GMM estimation with persistent panel data: an application to production functions," IFS Working Papers W99/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998.
"Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
- R Blundell & Steven Bond, "undated". "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data model," Economics Papers W14&104., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- Richard Blundell & Stephen Bond, 1995. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," IFS Working Papers W95/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2003. "Computing Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 793-808, November.
- Aw, Bee Yan & Chen, Xiaomin & Roberts, Mark J., 2001. "Firm-level evidence on productivity differentials and turnover in Taiwanese manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 51-86, October.
- Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10065. 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: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.