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

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  • Catherine J. Morrison

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine J. Morrison, 1989. "Unraveling the Productivity Growth Slowdown in the U.S., Canada and Japan: The Effects of Subequilibrium, Scale Economies and Markup," NBER Working Papers 2993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2993
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Morrison, Catherine J., 1986. "Productivity measurement with non-static expectations and varying capacity utilization : An integrated approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 51-74.
    3. Morrison, Catherine J, 1992. "Markups in U.S. and Japanese Manufacturing: A Short-Run Econometric Analysis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 10(1), pages 51-63, January.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-947, October.
    7. 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.
    8. Domowitz, Ian & Hubbard, R Glenn & Petersen, Bruce C, 1988. "Market Structure and Cyclical Fluctuations in U.S. Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 55-66, February.
    9. 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 275-287, May.
    10. 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 312-324, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ziesemer, Thomas, 1995. "Reconciling environmental policy with employment, international competitiveness and participation requirements," Research Memorandum 016, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. Altug, S. & Filiztekin, A., 1997. "Estimates of the Returns to Scale for US Manufacturing," Papers 1997/24, Koc University.
    3. Bernstein, Jeffrey I., 1992. "Price margins and capital adjustment : Canadian mill products and pulp and paper industries," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 491-510, September.
    4. Tybout, James R., 1991. "Researching the trade - productivity link : new directions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 638, The World Bank.
    5. Louis Amato & Christie Amato, 2001. "The Effects of Global Competition on Total Factor Productivity in U.S. Manufacturing," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 19(4), pages 405-421, December.
    6. Morrison, Catherine J & Schwartz, Amy Ellen, 1996. "State Infrastructure and Productive Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1095-1111, December.
    7. Bernstein, J.I. & Nadiri, M.I., 1993. "Production, Financial Structure and Productivity Growth in U.S. Manufacturing," Working Papers 93-10, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    8. Morrison, Catherine J, 1993. "Investment in Capital Assets and Economic Performance: The U.S. Chemicals and Primary-Metals Industries in Transition," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 11(1), pages 45-60, January.
    9. Guenter Lang, 2002. "Innovative Slowdown, Productivity Reversal? - Estimating the Impact of R&D on Technological Change," Discussion Paper Series 218, Universitaet Augsburg, Institute for Economics.
    10. Soete, Luc & Ziesemer, Thomas, 1997. "Gains from trade and environmental policy under imperfect competition and pollution from transport," Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    11. Ernst R. Berndt & Bengt Hansson, 1991. "Measuring the Contribution of Public Infrastructure Capital in Sweden," NBER Working Papers 3842, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Pinar Celikkol & Spiro Stefanou, 2004. "Productivity Growth Patterns in U.S. Food Manufacturing: Case of Dairy Products Industry," Working Papers 04-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    13. Pinar Celikkol & Spiro Stefanou, 2004. "Productivity Growth Patterns in U.S. Food Manufacturing: Case of Meat Products Industry," Working Papers 04-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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