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Information, Misallocation and Aggregate Productivity

Author

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  • Joel M. David
  • Hugo A. Hopenhayn
  • Venky Venkateswaran

Abstract

We propose a theory linking imperfect information to resource misallocation and hence to aggregate productivity and output. In our setup, firms look to a variety of noisy information sources when making input decisions. We devise a novel empirical strategy that uses a combination of firm-level production and stock market data to pin down the information structure in the economy. Even when only capital is chosen under imperfect information, applying this methodology to data from the US, China, and India reveals substantial losses in productivity and output due to the informational friction. Our estimates for these losses range from 7-10% for productivity and 10-14% for output in China and India, and are smaller, though still significant, in the US. Losses are substantially higher when labor decisions are also made under imperfect information. We find that firms turn primarily to internal sources for information; learning from financial markets contributes little, even in the US.

Suggested Citation

  • Joel M. David & Hugo A. Hopenhayn & Venky Venkateswaran, 2014. "Information, Misallocation and Aggregate Productivity," NBER Working Papers 20340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20340
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    1. Albagli, Elias & Hellwig, Christian & Tsyvinski, Aleh, 2011. "Information Aggregation, Investment, and Managerial Incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers 8539, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Bai, Jennie & Philippon, Thomas & Savov, Alexi, 2016. "Have financial markets become more informative?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(3), pages 625-654.
    3. Nicholas Bloom & Benn Eifert & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2013. "Does Management Matter? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 1-51.
    4. 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.
    5. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
    6. Artyom Durnev & Randall Morck & Bernard Yeung & Paul Zarowin, 2003. "Does Greater Firm-Specific Return Variation Mean More or Less Informed Stock Pricing?," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(5), pages 797-836, December.
    7. Yuanzhi Luo, 2005. "Do Insiders Learn from Outsiders? Evidence from Mergers and Acquisitions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1951-1982, August.
    8. Asker, John & Collard-Wexler, Allan & De Loecker, Jan, 2011. "Productivity volatility and the misallocation of resources in developing economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 8469, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Thomas Mayer, 1959. "Plant and Equiptment Lead Times," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33, pages 127-127.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Joel M. David & Venky Venkateswaran, 2017. "The Sources of Capital Misallocation," NBER Working Papers 23129, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kun Li, 2016. "Privatization, Distortions, and Productivity," 2016 Meeting Papers 993, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Tatsuro Senga, 2014. "A New Look at Uncertainty Shocks: Imperfect Information and Misallocation," UTokyo Price Project Working Paper Series 042, University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Economics.
    4. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2017. "The Causes and Costs of Misallocation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 151-174, Summer.
    5. Robert Ulbricht & Ludwig Straub, 2015. "Endogenous Uncertainty and Credit Crunches," 2015 Meeting Papers 199, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. José Asturias & Manuel García-Santana & Roberto Ramos, 2016. "Competition and the Welfare Gains from Transportation Infrastructure: Evidence from the Golden Quadrilateral of India," Working Papers 907, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    7. Jose Maria Barrero, 2017. "Firm Dynamics with Subjective Beliefs," 2017 Meeting Papers 367, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. David, Joel M. & Simonovska, Ina, 2016. "Correlated beliefs, returns, and stock market volatility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(S1), pages 58-77.
    9. David Lagakos & Mushfiq Mobarak & Michael Waugh, 2018. "The Welfare Effects of Encouraging Rural-Urban Migration," Working Papers 2018-002, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    10. Daniel A Dias & Christine J. Richmond & Carlos Robalo Marques, 2016. "A Tale of Two Sectors; Why is Misallocation Higher in Services than in Manufacturing?," IMF Working Papers 16/220, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Shenoy, Ajay, 2017. "Market failures and misallocation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 65-80.
    12. Krislert Samphantharak & Robert M. Townsend, 2018. "Risk and Return in Village Economies," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 1-40, February.
    13. George-Marios Angeletos & Fabrice Collard & Harris Dellas, 2014. "Quantifying Confidence," NBER Working Papers 20807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2014. "On the Measure of Distortions," NBER Working Papers 20404, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. repec:eee:macchp:v2-1065 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Hikaru Saijo & Cosmin Ilut, 2015. "Learning, Confidence, and Business Cycles," 2015 Meeting Papers 917, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    17. David Zeke & Robert Kurtzman, 2016. "Accounting for Productivity Dispersion over the Business Cycle," 2016 Meeting Papers 482, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. repec:eee:eneeco:v:69:y:2018:i:c:p:270-279 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Venky Venkateswaran & Joel David, 2017. "Capital Misallocation: Frictions or Distortions?," 2017 Meeting Papers 1636, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    20. George-Marios Angeletos & Chen Lian, 2016. "Incomplete Information in Macroeconomics: Accommodating Frictions in Coordination," NBER Working Papers 22297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Zheng Li & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2018. "Fiscal decentralization and interregional capital misallocation: Evidence from China," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1816, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    22. Benjamin Bennett & René Stulz & Zexi Wang, 2017. "Does the Stock Market Make Firms More Productive?," NBER Working Papers 24102, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Jules H. van Binsbergen & Christian C. Opp, 2017. "Real Anomalies," NBER Working Papers 23238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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