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The Effects of Variable Capital Utilization on the Measurement and Properties of Sectoral Productivity: Some International Evidence

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  • Marianne Baxter
  • Dorsey D. Farr

Abstract

This paper explores how accounting for variations in factor utilization rates alters the empirical characteristics of productivity residuals in the United States and Canada. Using data on 19 manufacturing industries, we study the behavior of productivity using three proxies for capital services. We find that adjusting for cyclical movements in capital utilization alters many of the empirical characteristics of productivity, both within and across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Marianne Baxter & Dorsey D. Farr, 2001. "The Effects of Variable Capital Utilization on the Measurement and Properties of Sectoral Productivity: Some International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 8475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8475
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    1. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
    2. Baxter, Marianne & Crucini, Mario J, 1995. "Business Cycles and the Asset Structure of Foreign Trade," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(4), pages 821-854, November.
    3. D. W. Jorgenson & Z. Griliches, 1967. "The Explanation of Productivity Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 249-283.
    4. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1995, Volume 10, pages 67-124 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Evans, Charles L., 1992. "Productivity shocks and real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 191-208, April.
    6. Dale W. Jorgenson, 1991. "Productivity and Economic Growth," NBER Chapters,in: Fifty Years of Economic Measurement: The Jubilee of the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, pages 19-118 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1995. "Aggregate productivity and the productivity of aggregates," International Finance Discussion Papers 532, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Susanto Basu, 1996. "Procyclical Productivity: Increasing Returns or Cyclical Utilization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 719-751.
    10. Matthew D. Shapiro, 1996. "Macroeconomic Implications of Variation in the Workweek of Capital," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 79-134.
    11. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584-584.
    12. Costello, Donna M, 1993. "A Cross-Country, Cross-Industry Comparison of Productivity Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 207-222, April.
    13. Marianne Baxter & Dorsey Farr, 2001. "Variable Factor Utilization and International Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 8392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tomlin, Ben, 2014. "Exchange rate fluctuations, plant turnover and productivity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 12-28.
    2. Dotsey, Michael & Duarte, Margarida, 2008. "Nontraded goods, market segmentation, and exchange rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(6), pages 1129-1142, September.
    3. Francesco Daveri & Cecilia Jona-Lasinio, 2005. "Italy's Decline: Getting the Facts Right," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 64(4), pages 365-410, December.
    4. Matthew Andersen & Julian Alston & Philip Pardey, 2012. "Capital use intensity and productivity biases," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 59-71, February.
    5. Luc Everaert & Francisco Simone, 2007. "Improving the estimation of total factor productivity growth: capital operating time in a latent variable approach," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 449-468, November.
    6. James Bessen, 2003. "IT Adoption Costs and Productivity: A Reply to Diego Comin," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 252-262, January.
    7. Serge SHIKHER, 2010. "Technology, factor endowments, and specialization in OECD countries: the role of variable capital utilization," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 10(2).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

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