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The Sources of Productivity Change in the Manufacturing Sectors of the U.S. Economy

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Abstract

The Bureau of Labor Statistics measures productivity change using an index formula that fails a transitivity test. This means the Bureau is likely to report productivity changes even when outputs and inputs in different (non-adjacent) periods are identical. I use alternative formulas that i) satisfy all economically-relevant tests from index theory, and ii) can be decomposed into measures of technical change and efficiency change. I find the main sources of productivity change are scale and mix efficiency change. This supports the view that firms are technically efficient and rationally change their production plans in response to changes in (expected) prices.

Suggested Citation

  • C.J. O'Donnell, 2011. "The Sources of Productivity Change in the Manufacturing Sectors of the U.S. Economy," CEPA Working Papers Series WP072011, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:qld:uqcepa:67
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    File URL: https://economics.uq.edu.au/files/5199/WP072011.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christopher J. O'Donnell, 2010. "Measuring and decomposing agricultural productivity and profitability change ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 54(4), pages 527-560, October.
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    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.
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    5. Christopher J. O'Donnell, 2012. "Nonparametric Estimates of the Components of Productivity and Profitability Change in U.S. Agriculture," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(4), pages 873-890.
    6. C. O’Donnell & K. Nguyen, 2013. "An econometric approach to estimating support prices and measures of productivity change in public hospitals," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 323-335, December.
    7. Bjurek, Hans, 1996. " The Malmquist Total Factor Productivity Index," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 98(2), pages 303-313, June.
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    10. Walter Briec & Kristiaan Kerstens, 2004. "A Luenberger-Hicks-Moorsteen productivity indicator: its relation to the Hicks-Moorsteen productivity index and the Luenberger productivity indicator," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 23(4), pages 925-939, May.
    11. Fare, Rolf & Shawna Grosskopf & Mary Norris & Zhongyang Zhang, 1994. "Productivity Growth, Technical Progress, and Efficiency Change in Industrialized Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 66-83, March.
    12. Pilat, Dirk & Rao, D S Prasada, 1996. "Multilateral Comparisons of Output, Productivity, and Purchasing Power Parities in Manufacturing," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 42(2), pages 113-130, June.
    13. C.J. O'Donnell, 2008. "An aggregate quantity-price framework for measuring and Decomposing productivity and profitability change," CEPA Working Papers Series WP072008, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    14. Grosskopf, S. & Margaritis, D. & Valdmanis, V., 1995. "Estimating output substitutability of hospital services: A distance function approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 575-587, February.
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    16. C. O’Donnell, 2014. "Econometric estimation of distance functions and associated measures of productivity and efficiency change," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 187-200, April.
    17. Nishimizu, Mieko & Page, John M, Jr, 1982. "Total Factor Productivity Growth, Technological Progress and Technical Efficiency Change: Dimensions of Productivity Change in Yugoslavia, 1965-78," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(368), pages 920-936, December.
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    19. Atkinson, Scott E & Cornwell, Christopher & Honerkamp, Olaf, 2003. "Measuring and Decomposing Productivity Change: Stochastic Distance Function Estimation versus Data Envelopment Analysis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 21(2), pages 284-294, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Laurenceson, James & O'Donnell, Christopher, 2014. "New estimates and a decomposition of provincial productivity change in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 86-97.
    2. C.J. O'Donnell & S. Fallah-Fini & K, Triantis, 2011. "Comparing Firm Performance Using Transitive Productivity Index Numbers in a Meta-frontier Framework," CEPA Working Papers Series WP082011, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.

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