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Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables

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  • James Levinsohn
  • Amil Petrin

Abstract

We introduce a new method for conditioning out serially correlated unobserved shocks to the production technology by building ideas first developed in Olley and Pakes (1996). Olley and Pakes show how to use investment to control for correlation between input levels and the unobserved firm-specific productivity process. We prove that like investment, intermediate inputs (those inputs which are typically subtracted out in a value-added production function) can also solve this simultaneity problem. We highlight three potential advantages to using an intermediate inputs approach relative to investment. Our results indicate that these advantages are empirically important.

Suggested Citation

  • James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7819 Note: PR ITI
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G., 1995. "Are apparent productive spillovers a figment of specification error?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 165-188, August.
    2. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Robinson, Peter M, 1988. "Root- N-Consistent Semiparametric Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 931-954, July.
    4. Pakes, Ariel & Olley, Steven, 1995. "A limit theorem for a smooth class of semiparametric estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 295-332, January.
    5. Tybout, James & de Melo, Jamie & Corbo, Vittorio, 1991. "The effects of trade reforms on scale and technical efficiency : New evidence from Chile," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3-4), pages 231-250, November.
    6. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 1999. "When Industries Become More Productive, Do Firms?," NBER Working Papers 6893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Levinsohn, J. & Petrin, A., 1999. "When Industries Become More Productive, Do Firms?: Investigating Productivity Dynamics," Working Papers 445, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    8. repec:fth:michin:445 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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.
    10. Timothy Dunne & Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1988. "Patterns of Firm Entry and Exit in U.S. Manufacturing Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 495-515, Winter.
    11. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-564, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kee, Hiau Looi & Hoekman, Bernard, 2007. "Imports, entry and competition law as market disciplines," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 831-858, May.
    2. Ralf Martin, 2005. "Productivity Dispersion, Competition and Productivity Measurement," CEP Discussion Papers dp0692, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Carlos Casacuberta & Gabriela Fachola & Nestor Gandelman, 2004. "The impact of trade liberalization on employment, capital, and productivity dynamics: evidence from the uruguayan manufacturing sector," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(4), pages 225-248.
    4. Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2009. "The return to firm investments in human capital," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 97-106, January.
    5. Almeida, Rita K. & Carneiro, Pedro, 2006. "The Return to the Firm Investment in Human Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 1937, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Gábor Békés & Péter Harasztosi & Balázs Muraközy, 2009. "Firms and Products in International Trade: Data and Patterns for Hungary," CeFiG Working Papers 9, Center for Firms in the Global Economy, revised 12 Oct 2009.
    7. Branislav Saxa, 2008. "Learning-by-Exporting or Managerial Quality? Evidence from the Czech Republic," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 115, pages 109-139.
    8. Fernandes, Ana M., 2007. "Trade policy, trade volumes and plant-level productivity in Colombian manufacturing industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 52-71, March.
    9. Gatti, Roberta & Love, Inessa, 2006. "Does access to credit improve productivity ? Evidence from Bulgarian firms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3921, The World Bank.
    10. repec:rss:jnljms:v5i3p4 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Békés, Gábor & Muraközy, Balázs & Harasztosi, Péter, 2011. "Firms and products in international trade: Evidence from Hungary," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 4-24, March.
    12. Jesus Felipe & Rana Hasan & J. S. L. McCombie, 2008. "Correcting for biases when estimating production functions: an illusion of the laws of algebra?," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(3), pages 441-459, May.
    13. Chiara Criscuolo & Ralf Martin, 2009. "Multinationals and U.S. Productivity Leadership: Evidence from Great Britain," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 263-281, May.
    14. Jim Levinsohn & Wendy Petropoulos, 2001. "Creative Destruction or Just Plain Destruction?: The U.S. Textile and Apparel Industries since 1972," NBER Working Papers 8348, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Montufar Helu Jiménez, Alejandro, 2013. "Reformas en la producción y distribución eléctrica y su relación con el sector manufacturero: el impacto de la sustitución de Luz y Fuerza del Centro por la Comisión Federal de Electricidad," MPRA Paper 49507, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Jan De Loecker, 2011. "Product Differentiation, Multiproduct Firms, and Estimating the Impact of Trade Liberalization on Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1407-1451, September.
    17. Mika Saito, 2004. "Trade Patterns Among Industrial Countries; Their Relationship to Technology Differences and Capital Mobility," IMF Working Papers 04/23, International Monetary Fund.
    18. Simoneti, Marko & Damijan, Joze P. & Rojec, Matija & Majcen, Boris, 2005. "Case-by-Case Versus mass privatization in transition economies: Initial owner and final seller effects on performance of firms in Slovenia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1603-1625, October.
    19. Kee, Hiau Looi, 2002. "Markups, returns to scale, and productivity : a case study of Singapore's manufacturing sector," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2857, The World Bank.
    20. Hassan, M. Kabir & Isik, Ihsan & Mamun, Abdullah, 2010. "Trade liberalization and industry performance in Bangladesh," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 399-417, May.

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