Revisiting Some Productivity Debates
Johannes Van Biesebroeck ()
No 10065, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
Researchers interested in estimating productivity can choose from an array of methodologies, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Methods differ by the assumptions they rely on and imply very different calculations. I compare five widely used techniques: (a) index numbers, (b) data envelopment analysis, and three parametric methods, (c) instrumental variables estimation, (d) stochastic frontiers, and (e) semi-parametric estimation. I compare the estimates directly and evaluate three productivity debates using a panel of manufacturing plants in Colombia. The different methods generate surprisingly similar results. Correlations between alternative productivity estimates are invariably high. All methods confirm that exporters are more productive on average and that only a small portion of the productivity advantage is due to scale economies. Productivity growth is correlated more strongly with export status, frequent investments in capital equipment, and employment of managers than with the use of imported inputs or foreign ownership. On the debate whether aggregate productivity growth is driven by plant-level changes or output share relocation, all methods point to the the importance of plant-level changes, in contrast to results from the U.S.
JEL-codes: C3 O3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eff
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (41) Track citations by RSS feed
Published as Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2008. "The Sensitivity of Productivity Estimates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 26, pages 311-328.
Downloads: (external link)
Journal Article: The Sensitivity of Productivity Estimates (2008)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10065
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().