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Toward a Model of Firm Productivity Dynamics

A common finding from international research on firm productivity dynamics is that withinfirm productivity dynamics tend to dominate the effects of firm entry and exit on aggregate productivity. The aim of this paper is to explore the suitability of Statistics New Zealand’s Business Demography (BD) and Goods and Services Tax (GST) data as a basis for modelling within-firm productivity dynamics. The paper first analyses and describes the cross-sectional and time-series properties of sales, purchases and a value-added measure of labour productivity. Cross-sectional results reveal a great deal of heterogeneity in average sales, purchases and labour productivity both across and within industries and cohorts. Univariate time-series properties of these variables are remarkably similar and sales and purchases are highly correlated contemporaneously. Transition probabilities are also calculated for movement of firms between quartiles of the labour productivity distribution over varying lengths of time. In order to understand the processes driving the data, a simple statistical model for sales, purchases and value-added per unit of employment is developed to calibrate to the stylised empirical facts. The model does a remarkably good job at mimicking the properties of the BD and GST data.

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Paper provided by New Zealand Treasury in its series Treasury Working Paper Series with number 06/11.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 30 Nov 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:06/11
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  1. Martin Neil Baily & Eric J. Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger, 1994. "Downsizing and Productivity Growth: Myth or Reality?," NBER Working Papers 4741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Duncan Mills & Jason Timmins, 2004. "Firm Dynamics in New Zealand: A Comparative Analysis with OECD Countries," Treasury Working Paper Series 04/11, New Zealand Treasury.
  3. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "Pattenrs Of Firm Entry And Exit In U.S. Manufacturing Industries," Papers 1-88-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  4. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & C.J. Krizan, 1998. "Aggregate Productivity Growth: Lessons from Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mare, David & Timmins, Jason, 2007. "Geographic Concentration and Firm Productivity," Occasional Papers 07/1, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  6. David Law & Nathan McLellan, 2005. "The Contributions from Firm Entry, Exit and Continuation to Labour Productivity Growth in New Zealand," Treasury Working Paper Series 05/01, New Zealand Treasury.
  7. David C. Maré, 2005. "Concentration, Specialisation and Agglomeration of firms in New Zealand," Working Papers 05_12, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
  8. Criscuolo, Chiara & Haskel, Jonathan E. & Slaughter, Matthew J., 2010. "Global engagement and the innovation activities of firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 191-202, March.
  9. Griliches, Zvi & Regev, Haim, 1995. "Firm productivity in Israeli industry 1979-1988," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 175-203, January.
  10. Buckle, Robert A & Meads, Chris S, 1991. "How Do Firms React to Surprising Changes to Demand? A Vector Autoregressive Analysis Using Business Survey Data," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(4), pages 451-66, November.
  11. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
  12. Buckle, R-A & Carlson, J-A, 1996. "Inflation an Asymmetric Price Adjustment," Papers 96-013, Purdue University, Krannert School of Management - Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).
  13. Buckle, Robert A & Carlson, John A, 1998. "Inflation and Asymmetric Output Adjustments by Firms," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 36(2), pages 215-28, April.
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