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Heterogeneity in Panel Data: Are There Stable Production Functions?

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  • Jacques Mairesse
  • Zvi Griliches

Abstract

We estimate separate productions functions for approximately 450 manufacturing firms each in France and the United States and for 850 manufacturing firms in Japan, covering the 13 year period 1967-1979, and focus on the wide dispersion in the estimated slope coefficients in all three countries. The main question asked Is: "Is this dispersion real?" Could it be just a reflection of sampling variability or is it an indication of real heterogeneity? We estimate the "true" dispersion using three different approaches: Maximum Likelihood, regressions of squares and cross-products of residuals, and Swamy's "residual" method, and try to interpret the somewhat different answers which emerge. In particular, we investigate the "reality" of the estimated heterogeneity by looking at its stability over time and by relating it to differences in capital shares and the industrial structure. We conclude that the observed heterogeneity is not "real." It is caused by some non-stable misspecification of our simple model, implying that we are unlikely to discern different but stable individual production relations in samples of this size which contain only a limited number of the economically relevant variables.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacques Mairesse & Zvi Griliches, 1988. "Heterogeneity in Panel Data: Are There Stable Production Functions?," NBER Working Papers 2619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2619
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    1. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Comparing Productivity Growth: An Exploration of French and U.S. Industrial and Firm Data," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 157-186 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics,in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
    3. Thomas E. MaCurdy, 1981. "Multiple Time-Serie3 Models Applied to Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 0646, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
    5. Jacques Mairesse & Christian Baudelot, 1988. "Introduction," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 39(1), pages 7-11.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sabien Dobbelaere & Jacques Mairesse, 2013. "Panel data estimates of the production function and product and labor market imperfections," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 1-46, January.
    2. Klette, Tor Jakob & Griliches, Zvi, 1996. "The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators When Output Prices Are Unobserved and Endogenous," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 343-361, July-Aug..
    3. Richard H. Cohen & Carl Bonham, 2007. "Specifying the Forecast Generating Process for Exchange Rate Survey Forecasts," Working Papers 200718, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    4. Per Pettersson, 2000. "Do Parties Matter for Fiscal Policy Choices," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1373, Econometric Society.
    5. Manuel Arellano & Stéphane Bonhomme, 2012. "Identifying Distributional Characteristics in Random Coefficients Panel Data Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 987-1020.
    6. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques, 1995. "Exploring the relationship between R&D and productivity in French manufacturing firms," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 263-293, January.
    7. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Klette, Tor Jakob & Griliches, Zvi, 2000. "Empirical Patterns of Firm Growth and R&D Investment: A Quality Ladder Model Interpretation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 363-387, April.
    9. König, Heinz & Laisney, François & Lechner, Michael & Pohlmeier, Winfried, 1993. "On the dynamics of process innovative activity: an empirical investigation using panel data," ZEW Discussion Papers 93-08, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    10. Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2007. "Using Firm Optimization to Evaluate and Estimate Returns to Scale," NBER Working Papers 13666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Yue Ma & Shu Kam Lee & Hing Lin Chan, 2003. "Estimating Firm Behavior under Rationing: a Panel Data Study of the Chinese Manufacturing Industry," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 221-244.
    12. J. Paul Elhorst, 1996. "A Regional Analysis of Labour Force Participation Rates across the Member States of the European Union," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(5), pages 455-465.
    13. Arthur Diamond, 2004. "Zvi Griliches's contributions to the economics of technology and growth," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 365-397.
    14. Dobbelaere, Sabien & Mairesse, Jacques, 2005. "Cross-Sectional Heterogeneity in Price-Cost Margins and the Extent of Rent Sharing at the Sector and Firm Level in France," IZA Discussion Papers 1898, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Tybout, James R., 1990. "Making noisy data sing : a micro approach to measuring industrial efficiency," Policy Research Working Paper Series 327, The World Bank.

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