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What's Holding Back Business Formation?
The pace of business start-ups in the United States has declined over the past few decades. Economic theory suggests that business creation depends on the available workforce, and data analysis supports this strong link. By contrast, the relationship between start-ups and labor productivity is less well-defined, in part because entrepreneurs face initial costs that rise with productivity, specifically their own lost income from alternative employment. Overall, policies that incorporate improving labor availability may help to boost new business growth.
Missing Growth from Creative Destruction
When products disappear from the market with no substitutes from the same manufacturer, they may have been replaced by cheaper or better products from a different manufacturer. Official measurements typically approximate price changes from such creative destruction using price changes for products that were not replaced. This can lead to overstating inflation and, in turn, understating economic growth. A recent estimate suggests that around 0.6 percentage point of growth is missed per year. The bias has not increased over time, however, so it does not explain the slowdown in productivity ...
Is Slow Still the New Normal for GDP Growth?
Estimates suggest the new normal pace for U.S. GDP growth remains between 1% and 1%, noticeably slower than the typical pace since World War II. The slowdown stems mainly from demographic trends that have slowed labor force growth, about which there is relatively little uncertainty. A larger challenge is productivity. Achieving GDP growth consistently above 1% will require much faster productivity growth than the United States has typically experienced since the 1970s.
Nonmanufacturing as an Engine of Growth
In official statistics, manufacturing is the top contributor to U.S. productivity growth despite its shrinking share of employment. However, official numbers tend to understate growth among new producers that improve on existing producers, which is more prevalent outside of manufacturing. Accounting for such missing productivity growth shows that it plays a larger role in sectors such as retail trade and services. Also, the relative contribution of manufacturing to productivity growth has dropped significantly. These findings suggest that nonmanufacturing may be an increasingly important ...
Is Rising Concentration Hampering Productivity Growth?
U.S. productivity is growing slower than in the past. Meanwhile, sales have become increasingly concentrated in the largest businesses. Analysis suggests that IT innovation may have facilitated the rise in concentration by reducing the cost for large firms to enter new markets. This contributed to booming productivity growth from 1995 to 2005. Though large firms are more profitable, their expansion may have increased competition and reduced profit margins within markets. Lower profit margins in a given market could have deterred innovation, eventually lowering growth.
How Does Business Dynamism Link to Productivity Growth?
The rate of business turnover has declined since the late 1970s, which some argue has hampered growth in innovation and productivity. This sounds like a plausible contributor to lackluster economic growth, but the connection between business turnover and productivity is more subtle. First, while business turnover has steadily declined over the past 35 years, aggregate productivity growth has not. Second, even when business starts were at historical highs, existing firms lost very little market share to new firms. This suggests that older firms are just as innovative as newcomers.
BLP Estimation Using Laplace Transformation and Overlapping Simulation Draws
We derive the asymptotic distribution of the parameters of the Berry et al. (1995, BLP) model in a many markets setting which takes into account simulation noise under the assumption of overlapping simulation draws. We show that, as long as the number of simulation draws R and the number of markets T approach infinity, our estimator is ?m = ?min(R,T) consistent and asymptotically normal. We do not impose any relationship between the rates at which R and T go to infinity, thus allowing for the case of R
Innovative Growth Accounting
Recent work highlights a falling entry rate of new firms and a rising market share of large firms in the United States. To understand how these changing firm demographics have affected growth, we decompose productivity growth into the firms doing the innovating. We trace how much each firm innovates by the rate at which it opens and closes plants, the market share of those plants, and how fast its surviving plants grow. Using data on all nonfarm businesses from 1982-2013, we find that new and young firms (ages Oto 5 years) account for almost one-half of growth- three times their share of ...
A Theory of Falling Growth and Rising Rents
Growth has fallen in the U.S., while firm concentration and profits have risen. Meanwhile, labor?s share of national income is down, mostly due to the rising market share of low labor share firms. We propose a theory for these trends in which the driving force is falling firm-level costs of spanning multiple markets, perhaps due to accelerating ICT advances. In response, the most efficient firms spread into new markets, thereby generating a temporary burst of growth. Because their efficiency is difficult to imitate, less efficient firms find their markets more difficult to enter profitably ...
Missing Growth from Creative Destruction
Statistical agencies typically impute inflation for disappearing products from the inflation rate for surviving products. As some products disappear precisely because they are displaced by better products, inflation may be lower at these points than for surviving products. As a result, creative destruction may result in overstated inflation and understated growth. We use a simple model to relate this ?missing growth? to the frequency and size of various kinds of innovations. Using U.S. Census data, we then apply two ways of assessing the magnitude of missing growth for all private nonfarm ...