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Plant-level Productivity and Imputation of Missing Data in U.S. Census Manufacturing Data

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  • T. Kirk White
  • Jerome P. Reiter
  • Amil Petrin

Abstract

Within-industry differences in measured plant-level productivity are large. A large literature has been devoted to explaining the causes and consequences of these differences. In the U.S. Census Bureau's manufacturing data, the Bureau imputes for missing values using methods known to result in underestimation of variability and potential bias in multivariate inferences. We present an alternative strategy for handling the missing data based on multiple imputation via sequences of classification and regression trees. We use our imputations and the Bureau's imputations to estimate within-industry productivity dispersions. The results suggest that there is more within-industry productivity dispersion than previous research has indicated. We also estimate relationships between productivity and market structure and between output prices, capital, and the probability of plant exit (controlling for productivity) based on the improved imputations. For some estimands, we find substantially different results than those based on the Census Bureau's imputations.

Suggested Citation

  • T. Kirk White & Jerome P. Reiter & Amil Petrin, 2012. "Plant-level Productivity and Imputation of Missing Data in U.S. Census Manufacturing Data," NBER Working Papers 17816, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17816
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ollinger, Michael & Fernandez-Cornejo, Jorge, 1998. "Innovation And Regulation In The Pesticide Industry," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 27(1), April.
    2. Greg Kaplan & Sam Schulhofer-Wohl, 2012. "Interstate Migration Has Fallen Less Than You Think: Consequences of Hot Deck Imputation in the Current Population Survey," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(3), pages 1061-1074, August.
    3. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
    4. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Amil Petrin & Jerome Reiter & Kirk White, 2011. "The Impact of Plant-level Resource Reallocations and Technical Progress on U.S. Macroeconomic Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(1), pages 3-26, January.
    6. Steven Davis & Cheryl Grim & John Haltiwanger, 2008. "Productivity Dispersion and Input Prices: The Case of Electricity," Working Papers 08-33, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    7. Timothy Dunne & Shawn D. Klimek & Mark J. Roberts, 2003. "Entrant Experience and Plant Exit," NBER Working Papers 10133, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Oren Ziv, 2017. "Geography in Reduced Form," Working Papers 17-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Ezra Oberfield & Devesh Raval, 2012. "Micro data and macro technology," Working Paper Series WP-2012-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    3. Enghin Atalay, 2014. "Materials Prices And Productivity," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 575-611, June.
    4. Boyd, Gale A. & Curtis, E. Mark, 2014. "Evidence of an “Energy-Management Gap” in U.S. manufacturing: Spillovers from firm management practices to energy efficiency," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 463-479.
    5. Lucia S. Foster & Cheryl A. Grim & John Haltiwanger & Zoltan Wolf, 2017. "Macro and Micro Dynamics of Productivity: From Devilish Details to Insights," Working Papers 17-41, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2017. "Dispersion and Volatility of TFPQ in Service Industries," Discussion papers 17088, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    7. T. Kirk White, 2014. "Recovering The Item-Level Edit And Imputation Flags In The 1977-1997 Censuses Of Manufactures," Working Papers 14-37, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    8. Breunig, Christoph & Kummer, Michael & Ohnemus, Jörg & Viete, Steffen, 2016. "IT outsourcing and firm productivity: Eliminating bias from selective missingness in the dependent variable," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-092, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    9. Mitsukuni Nishida & Amil Petrin & Martin Rotemberg & T. Kirk White, 2016. "Measuring Cross-Country Differences in Misallocation," Working Papers 16-50, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    10. Ildikó Magyari, 2017. "Firm Reorganization, Chinese Imports, and US Manufacturing Employment," Working Papers 17-58, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General

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