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The Dynamics of Plant-level Productivity in U.S. Manufacturing

  • Kirk White
  • Arpad Abraham

Recent work in I.O. has emphasized the importance of firm- and plant-level heterogeneity in total factor productivity. Jensen and McGuckin (1996) argue that the major empirical regularity in studies of firm or establishment level productivity is heterogeneity within sectors and across plant characteristics. In a seminal paper, Olley and Pakes (1996) presented an econometric method for estimating establishment-level productivity taking into account selection issues. This paper extends Olley and Pakes in two directions. First, instead of focusing on the single industry, this paper applies the Levinsohn-Petrin (1999) modification of the Olley-Pakes methodology to estimate plant-level productivity across many industries. This is made possible by use of a unique plant-level dataset that covers all industries in the U.S. manufacturing sector. Second, while Olley and Pakes were interested in the dynamics of productivity, they focused on measuring year-by-year or multi-year average productivity within an industry. This paper augments their approach by estimating an establishment-level idiosyncratic productivity process.

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Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 with number 332.

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Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf4:332
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  1. Sakellaris, Plutarchos, 2004. "Patterns of plant adjustment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 425-450, March.
  2. George S Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics Of Productivity In The Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Working Papers 92-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. 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.
  4. Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2002. "The Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 02-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  5. Kjetil Storesletten & Chris Telmer & Amir Yaron, . "Asset pricing with idiosyncratic risk and overlapping generations," GSIA Working Papers 226, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  6. Douglas W Dwyer, 1996. "ARE FIXED EFFECTS FIXED? Persistence in Plant Level Productivity," Working Papers 96-3, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. Levinsohn, J. & Petrin, A., 1999. "When Industries Become More Productive, Do Firms?: Investigating Productivity Dynamics," Working Papers 445, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  8. R Blundell & Steven Bond, . "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data model," Economics Papers W14&104., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  9. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1995. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building From Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1994. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 94-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  11. Laura Power, 1998. "The Missing Link: Technology, Investment, And Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 300-313, May.
  12. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
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