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

  • Marianne Baxter
  • Dorsey D. Farr

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8475.

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Date of creation: Sep 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Baxter, Marianne and Dorsey D. Farr. "Variable Capital Utilization And International Business Cycles," Journal of International Economics, 2005, v65(2,Mar), 335-347.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8475
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  1. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 9-22.
  2. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
  3. Burnside, C & Eichenbaum, M & Rebelo, S, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," RCER Working Papers 402, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  4. 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.
  5. Marianne Baxter & Mario J. Crucini, 1992. "Business cycles and the asset structure of foreign trade," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 59, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Evans, Charles L., 1992. "Productivity shocks and real business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 191-208, April.
  7. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Marianne Baxter & Dorsey Farr, 2001. "Variable Factor Utilization and International Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 8392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
  11. 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.).
  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 207-22, April.
  13. Susanto Basu, 1995. "Procyclical Productivity: Increasing Returns or Cyclical Utilization?," NBER Working Papers 5336, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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