The U.S. Productivity Slowdown: A Case of Statistical Myopia
This paper identifies three major periods: 1900-1929, 1929-1965, and 1965-1978. In contrast to the middle period, the extreme periods are characterized by rapid growth in private employment and hours worked; because growth in private productivity increases by less, measured labor productivity growth falls compared to the middle period. However this fall reflects a substantial substitution of quantity for quality in labor force growth: after private employment and hours are adjusted for age, sex, immigration, and education, no difference is observed among the average quality-adjusted labor productivity growth rates. Substantial variation in these growth rates remains within the 1929-1965 and 1965-1978 periods. Slow quality-adjusted labor productivity growth during 1929-1948 is just offset by unusually rapid growth during 1948-1965; these variations are attributed to the near cessation of investment during the Depression and World War II and subsequent recovery of the capital-labor ratio. Thus no substantial variations in total factor productivity growth or technical progress is found. Variations inproductivity growth within 1965-1978 are explained by price-control induced biases in reported deflated output. Correction of these biases results inequal quality-adjusted labor productivity growth in 1965-1973 and 1973-1978.A substantial program of future research is proposed. A data appendix is included.
|Date of creation:||Nov 1982|
|Publication status:||published as Darby, Michael R. "The U.S. Productivity Slowdown: A Case of Statistical Myopia." The American Economic Review, Vol. 74, No. 3, (June 1984), pp. 30 1-322.|
|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.:
- Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
- John Folger & Charles Nam, 1964. "Educational trends from census data," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 1(1), pages 247-257, March.
- Cox, Charles C, 1980. "The Enforcement of Public Price Controls," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 887-916, October.
- Zvi Griliches, 1961. "Hedonic Price Indexes for Automobiles: An Econometric of Quality Change," NBER Chapters,in: The Price Statistics of the Federal Goverment, pages 173-196 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Robert H. Rasche & John A. Tatom, 1977. "Energy resources and potential GNP," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jun, pages 10-24.
- Friedman, Milton, 1974. "A Bias in Current Measures of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 431-432, Part I, M.
- Walter Y. Oi, 1962. "Labor as a Quasi-Fixed Factor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 538-538.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1018. 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 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.