IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/oxf/wpaper/513.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Untested Assumptions and Data Slicing: A Critical Review of Firm-Level Production Function Estimators

Author

Listed:
  • Markus Eberhardt
  • Christian Helmers

Abstract

This paper surveys the most popular parametric and semi-parametric estimators for Cobb-Douglas production functions arising from the econometric literature of the past two decades. We focus on the different approaches dealing with 'transmission bias' in firm-level studies, which arises from firms' reaction to unobservable productivity realisations when making input choices. The contribution of the paper is threefold: we provide applied economists with (i) an in-depth discussion of the estimation problem and the solutions suggested in the literature; (ii) a detailed empirical example using FAME data for UK high-tech firms, emphasising analytical tools to investigate data properties and the robustness of the empirical results; (iii) a powerful illustration of the impact of estimator choice on TFP estimates, using matched data on patents in 'TFP regressions'. Our discussion concludes that while from a theoretical point of view the different estimators are conceptually very similar, in practice, the choice of the preferred estimator is far from arbitrary and instead requires in-depth analysis of the data properties rather than blind belief in asymptotic consistency.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Eberhardt & Christian Helmers, 2010. "Untested Assumptions and Data Slicing: A Critical Review of Firm-Level Production Function Estimators," Economics Series Working Papers 513, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:513
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/paper513.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2009. "Are Women More Credit Constrained? Experimental Evidence on Gender and Microenterprise Returns," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 1-32, July.
    2. Markus Eberhardt & Christian Helmers & Hubert Strauss, 2013. "Do Spillovers Matter When Estimating Private Returns to R&D?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 436-448, May.
    3. Jonathan E. Haskel & Sonia C. Pereira & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2007. "Does Inward Foreign Direct Investment Boost the Productivity of Domestic Firms?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 482-496, August.
    4. Christian Helmers & Mark Rogers, 2010. "Innovation and the Survival of New Firms in the UK," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 36(3), pages 227-248, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Giulia Faggio & Kjell G. Salvanes & John Van Reenen, 2010. "The evolution of inequality in productivity and wages: panel data evidence," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(6), pages 1919-1951, December.
    7. Stephen Bond & Måns Söderbom, 2005. "Adjustment Costs and the Identification of Cobb Douglas Production Functions," Economics Papers 2005-W04, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
    8. Doraszelski, Ulrich & Jaumandreu, Jordi, 2006. "R&D and productivity: Estimating production functions when productivity is endogenous," MPRA Paper 1246, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Richard Disney & Jonathan Haskel & Ylva Heden, 2003. "Restructuring and productivity growth in uk manufacturing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 666-694, July.
    10. John Van Reenen & Rupert Harrison & Rachel Griffith, 2006. "How Special Is the Special Relationship? Using the Impact of U.S. R&D Spillovers on U.K. Firms as a Test of Technology Sourcing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1859-1875, December.
    11. Coakley, Jerry & Fuertes, Ana-Maria & Smith, Ron, 2006. "Unobserved heterogeneity in panel time series models," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 50(9), pages 2361-2380, May.
    12. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-365, June.
    13. Maurice J. G. Bun & Frank Windmeijer, 2010. "The weak instrument problem of the system GMM estimator in dynamic panel data models," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 13(1), pages 95-126, February.
    14. Gavin Wallis & Alex Turvey, 2009. "Volume of capital services: estimates for 1950 to 2007," Economic & Labour Market Review, Palgrave Macmillan;Office for National Statistics, vol. 3(1), pages 53-61, January.
    15. Bruno, Giovanni S.F., 2005. "Approximating the bias of the LSDV estimator for dynamic unbalanced panel data models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(3), pages 361-366, June.
    16. Bun, Maurice J. G. & Kiviet, Jan F., 2003. "On the diminishing returns of higher-order terms in asymptotic expansions of bias," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 145-152, May.
    17. Ackerberg, Daniel & Lanier Benkard, C. & Berry, Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 2007. "Econometric Tools for Analyzing Market Outcomes," Handbook of Econometrics,in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 63 Elsevier.
    18. Richard Blundell & Stephen Bond, 2000. "GMM Estimation with persistent panel data: an application to production functions," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 321-340.
    19. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1181-1222, December.
    20. Michael Greenstone & Richard Hornbeck & Enrico Moretti, 2010. "Identifying Agglomeration Spillovers: Evidence from Winners and Losers of Large Plant Openings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 536-598, June.
    21. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2010. "Wage Subsidies for Microenterprises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 614-618, May.
    22. Jacques Mairesse & Jordi Jaumandreu, 2005. "Panel-data Estimates of the Production Function and the Revenue Function: What Difference Does It Make?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(4), pages 651-672, December.
    23. Christian Helmers & Mark Rogers, 2011. "Intellectual Property at the Firm-Level in the UK: The Oxford Firm-Level Intellectual Property Database," Economics Series Working Papers 546, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    24. Benfratello, Luigi & Sembenelli, Alessandro, 2002. "Research joint ventures and firm level performance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 493-507, May.
    25. Richard Harris & Qian Cher Li, 2008. "Evaluating the Contribution of Exporting to UK Productivity Growth: Some Microeconomic Evidence," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(2), pages 212-235, February.
    26. Kiviet, Jan F., 1995. "On bias, inconsistency, and efficiency of various estimators in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 53-78, July.
    27. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    28. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2009. "Returns to Capital in Microenterprises: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 423-423.
    29. Breusch, Trevor & Qian, Hailong & Schmidt, Peter & Wyhowski, Donald, 1999. "Redundancy of moment conditions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 89-111, July.
    30. Markus Eberhardt & Francis Teal, 2011. "Econometrics For Grumblers: A New Look At The Literature On Cross‐Country Growth Empirics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(1), pages 109-155, February.
    31. Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal, 2003. "Openness and human capital as sources of productivity growth: An empirical investigation," CSAE Working Paper Series 2003-06, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    32. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-283, April.
    33. Stephen Bond & Céline Nauges & Frank Windmeijer, 2005. "Unit roots: identification and testing in micro panels," CeMMAP working papers CWP07/05, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    34. Massimo Del Gatto & Adriana Di Liberto & Carmelo Petraglia, 2011. "Measuring Productivity," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5), pages 952-1008, December.
    35. Blalock, Garrick & Gertler, Paul J., 2004. "Learning from exporting revisited in a less developed setting," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 397-416, December.
    36. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2007. "ROBUSTNESS OF PRODUCTIVITY ESTIMATES -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(3), pages 529-569, September.
    37. Judson, Ruth A. & Owen, Ann L., 1999. "Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 9-15, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ugur, Mehmet & Trushin, Eshref & Solomon, Edna & Guidi, Francesco, 2016. "R&D and productivity in OECD firms and industries: A hierarchical meta-regression analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 2069-2086.
    2. Kancs, d’Artis & Siliverstovs, Boriss, 2016. "R&D and non-linear productivity growth," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 634-646.
    3. Serafinelli, Michel, 2013. "Good Firms, Worker Flows and Productivity," MPRA Paper 49055, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 12 Aug 2013.
    4. Jürgen Bitzer & Erkan Gören & Sanne Hiller, 2015. "Absorption of Foreign Knowledge: Firms’ Benefits of Employing Immigrants," Working Papers V-386-15, University of Oldenburg, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2015.
    5. Wolf, Katja & Stockinger, Bastian, 2016. "The productivity effects of worker mobility between heterogenous firms," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145750, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Markus Eberhardt, 2013. "Nonlinearities in the Relationship between Debt and Growth: Evidence from Co-Summability Testing," Discussion Papers 2013/06, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    7. Michel Serafinelli, 2015. "'Good' Firms, Worker Flows and Local Productivity," Working Paper series 15-29, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    8. Markus Eberhardt & Francis Teal, "undated". "Aggregation versus Heterogeneity in Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Discussion Papers 11/08, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    9. Sabien Dobbelaere & Rodolfo Lauterbach & Jacques Mairesse, 2016. "Micro-evidence on product and labor market regime differences between Chile and France," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(2), pages 229-252, May.
    10. Markus Eberhardt & Francis Teal, 2013. "No Mangoes in the Tundra: Spatial Heterogeneity in Agricultural Productivity Analysis," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(6), pages 914-939, December.
    11. Dobbelaere, Sabien & Kiyota, Kozo & Mairesse, Jacques, 2015. "Product and labor market imperfections and scale economies: Micro-evidence on France, Japan and the Netherlands," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 290-322.
    12. Bena Jan & Ondko Peter & Vourvachaki Evangelia, 2011. "Productivity Gains from Services Liberalization in Europe," EERC Working Paper Series 11/15e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
    13. Sabien Dobbelaere & Mark Vancauteren, 2014. "Market imperfections, skills and total factor productivity : Firm-level evidence on Belgium and the Netherlands," Working Paper Research 267, National Bank of Belgium.
    14. Francesco Venturini & Ana Rincon-Aznar & Dr Michela Vecchi, 2013. "ICT as a general purpose technology: spillovers, absorptive capacity and productivity performance," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 416, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    15. Marin, Giovanni, 2014. "Do eco-innovations harm productivity growth through crowding out? Results of an extended CDM model for Italy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 301-317.
    16. Dodlova, Marina & Göbel, Kristin & Grimm, Michael & Lay, Jann, 2015. "Constrained firms, not subsistence activities: Evidence on capital returns and accumulation in Peruvian microenterprises," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 94-110.
    17. Markus Eberhardt & Andrea F. Presbitero, 2013. "This Time They’re Different: Heterogeneity and Nonlinearity in the Relationship between Debt and Growth," Discussion Papers 2013/10, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    18. Markus Eberhardt & Christian Helmers & Hubert Strauss, 2013. "Do Spillovers Matter When Estimating Private Returns to R&D?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 436-448, May.
    19. Elisa Gatto & Guido Signorino, 2014. "Crop-diversity and Cereal Production under the CAP Reform: Evidence from Italy," SCIENZE REGIONALI, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(3), pages 35-50.
    20. Daniel Gonçalves & Ana Martins, 2016. "The Determinants of TFP Growth in the Portuguese Manufacturing Sector," GEE Papers 0062, Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos, Ministério da Economia, revised Nov 2016.
    21. Monica Correa Lopez & Rafael Domenech, 2014. "Does anti-competitive service sector regulation harm exporters? Evidence from manufacturing firms in Spain," Working Papers 1413, BBVA Bank, Economic Research Department.
    22. Laurin Janes, 2013. "Can capital grants help microenterprises reach the productivity level of SMEs? Evidence from an experiment in Sri Lanka," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-18, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    23. repec:ial:wpaper:3 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:9:p:1644-:d:112375 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Laurin Janes, 2013. "Can capital grants help microenterprises reach the productivity level of SMEs? Evidence from an experiment in Sri Lanka," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2013-18, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Productivity; production function; UK firms; panel data estimates;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • O23 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:513. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anne Pouliquen). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sfeixuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.