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Unraveling the Productivity Growth Slowdown in the U.S., Canada and Japan: The Effects of Subequilibrium, Scale Economies and Markup

  • Catherine J. Morrison

Measures of productivity growth typically include in the Productivity "residual" the impacts of subequilibrium from fixity of factors, costs of adjustment, returns to scale and markups. This paper proposes a general two part framework for adjusting the residual measure to take these impacts into account. Errors computing the weights on output and quasi-fixed input growth in traditional measures are first corrected for both primal- and Cost-side measures. Then the deviation of revenues from costs is used to decompose the full primal measure to identify the differential influences of technical change, utilization fluctuations, scale economies and price margins. Use of the framework is illustrated empirically for the U.S.,, Japanese and Canadian manufacturing sectors, using an econometric model that allows explicit incorporation and measurement of these influences. The adjusted measures show that a significant amount of cyclical and secular change in measured productivity growth can be attributed to production characteristics other than technical change, particularly scale economies.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2993.

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Date of creation: Jun 1989
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Publication status: published as "Unraveling the Productivity Growth Slowdown in the United States, Canada and Japan: The Effects of
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2993
Note: PR
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  1. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "The Relation Between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," NBER Working Papers 1785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Catherine J. Morrison, 1985. "Productivity Measurement with Nonstatic Expectations and Varying Capacity Utilization: An Integrated Approach," NBER Working Papers 1561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ian Domowitz & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1986. "Market Structure and Cyclical Fluctuations in U.S. Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 2115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Morrison, C. J. & Berndt, E. R., 1981. "Short-run labor productivity in a dynamic model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 339-365, August.
  5. Catherine J. Morrison, 1988. "Markups in U.S. and Japanese Manufacturing: A Short Run Econometric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 2799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Catherine J. Morrison, 1989. "Markup Behavior in Durable and Nondurable Manufacturing: A production Theory Approach," NBER Working Papers 2941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Morrison, Catherine J, 1985. "Primal and Dual Capacity Utilization: An Application to Productivity Measurement in the U.S. Automobile Industry," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 312-24, October.
  8. Melvyn A. Fuss & Leonard Waverman, 1986. "The Extent and Sources of Cost and Efficiency Differences Between U.S. and Japanese Automobile Producers," NBER Working Papers 1849, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  10. Morrison, Catherine J, 1988. "Quasi-Fixed Inputs in U.S. and Japanese Manufacturing: A Generalized Leontief Restricted Cost Function Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 275-87, May.
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