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Invariance Properties of Solow's Productivity Residual

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  • Robert E. Hall

Abstract

In 1957, Robert Solow published a paper that provided the theoretical foundation for almost all subsequent work on productivity measurement. Although most applications of Solow's method have measured trends over fairly long time periods, the method also has important uses at higher frequencies. Under constant returns to scale and competition, the Solow residual measures the pure shift of the production function. Shifts in product demand and factor supplies should have no effect on the residual. Tests of this invariance property show that it fails in a great many industries. Though other explanations may deserve some weight, it appears that the leading cause of the failure of invariance is increasing returns and market power. The empirical findings give some support to the theory of monopolistic competition.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert E. Hall, 1989. "Invariance Properties of Solow's Productivity Residual," NBER Working Papers 3034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3034
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    1. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Iain Cockburn & Murray Frank, 1992. "Market Conditions and Retirement of Physical Capital: Evidence fron Oil Tankers," NBER Working Papers 4194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Huw Dixon & ANTHONY SAVAGAR, 2017. "The Effect of Firm Entry on Capacity Utilization and Macroeconomic Productivity," 2017 Meeting Papers 1130, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Juessen, Falko & Linnemann, Ludger, 2012. "Markups and fiscal transmission in a panel of OECD countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 674-686.
    4. Eichenbaum, Martin, 1991. "Real business-cycle theory : Wisdom or whimsy?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 607-626, October.
    5. Keller, Wolfgang, 2002. "Trade and the Transmission of Technology," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 5-24, March.
    6. Satyajit Chatterjee & Russell Cooper, 2014. "Entry And Exit, Product Variety, And The Business Cycle," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(4), pages 1466-1484, October.
    7. Auerbach, Alan J. & Hassett, Kevin, 1992. "Tax policy and business fixed investment in the United States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 141-170, March.
    8. Ferreira da Silva, Gisele, 2002. "The impact of financial system development on business cycles volatility: cross-country evidence," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 233-253, June.
    9. Sbordone, Argia M., 1996. "Cyclical productivity in a model of labor hoarding," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 331-361, October.
    10. Harald Badinger & Fritz Breuss, 2005. "Has Austria’s Accession to the EU Triggered an Increase in Competition? A Sectoral Markup Study," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 145-180, June.
    11. Giovanni Gallipoli & Gianluigi Pelloni, 2013. "Macroeconomic Effects of Job Reallocations: A Survey," Review of Economic Analysis, Digital Initiatives at the University of Waterloo Library, vol. 5(2), pages 127-176, December.
    12. Kim, Sangho & Lim, Hyunjoon & Park, Donghyun, 2010. "Productivity and Employment in a Developing Country: Some Evidence from Korea," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 514-522, April.
    13. Harald Badinger & Fritz Breuss, 2004. "Has Austria's Accession to the EU Triggered an Increase in Competition? A Sectoral Markup Study," WIFO Working Papers 220, WIFO.
    14. Jeremy Greenwood & Zvi Hercowitz & Per Krusell, 1992. "Macroeconomic implications of investment-specific technological change," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 76, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    15. Huggett, Mark & Ospina, Sandra, 2001. "Does productivity growth fall after the adoption of new technology?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 173-195, August.
    16. Catherine Bruno & Lucrezia Reichlin, 1991. "Mesure de la productivité et fluctuations économiques," Revue de l'OFCE, Programme National Persée, vol. 35(1), pages 57-76.
    17. Renelt, David, 1991. "Economic growth : a review of the theoretical and empirical literature," Policy Research Working Paper Series 678, The World Bank.
    18. Romer, Paul M., 1990. "Human capital and growth: Theory and evidence," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 251-286, January.
    19. Semmler, Will & Gong, Gang, 1996. "Estimating parameters of real business cycle models," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 301-325, September.

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