ICT Services and their Prices: What do they tell us about Productivity and Technology?
This paper reassesses the link between ICT prices, technology, and productivity. To understand how the ICT sector could come to the rescue of a whole economy, we extend a multi-sector model due to Oulton (2012) to include ICT services (e.g., cloud services) and use it to calibrate the steady-state contribution of the ICT sector to growth in aggregate U.S. labor productivity. Because ICT technologies diffuse through the economy increasingly via purchases of cloud and data analytic services that are not fully accounted for in the standard narrative on ICT's contribution to economic growth, the ...
Evidence for the Effects of Mergers on Market Power and Efficiency
Study of the impact of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) on productivity and market power has been complicated by the difficulty of separating these two effects. We use newly-developed techniques to separately estimate productivity and markups across a wide range of industries using detailed plant-level data. Employing a difference-in-differences framework, we find that M&As are associated with increases in average markups, but find little evidence for effects on plant-level productivity. We also examine whether M&As increase efficiency through reallocation of production to more efficient ...
Accounting for Productivity Dispersion over the Business Cycle
This paper presents accounting decompositions of changes in aggregate labor and capital productivity. Our simplest decomposition breaks changes in an aggregate productivity ratio into two components: A mean component, which captures common changes to firm factor productivity ratios, and a dispersion component, which captures changes in the variance and higher order moments of their distribution. In standard models with heterogeneous firms and frictions to firm input decisions, the dispersion component is a function of changes in the second and higher moments of the log of marginal revenue ...
Heterogeneous exporters: quantitative differences and qualitative similarities
We combine two detailed datasets on Colombian manufacturing firms and document several stylized facts on exporter heterogeneity of total factor productivity (TFP) and export-market orientation, refining some previously known facts and unveiling some new others. We first show that the exporter productivity premium is remarkably robust across the methodologies used to recover TFP. We then document that the most productive exporters are those that export (1) a higher share of their total production, (2) to a larger number of countries, (3) to destinations less frequently reached by other ...
Technological progress, the \"user cost of money,\" and the real output of banks
Financial institutions provide their customers a variety of unpriced services and cover their costs through interest margins - the interest rates they receive on assets are generally higher than the rates they pay on liabilities. In particular, banks pay below-public-market interest rates on deposits while charging above-public-market rates on loans. Various authors have suggested that this situation allows one to measure the real quantity of financial services provided without explicit prices as proportional to the real stocks of financial assets held by households. We present a ...
Vanishing procyclicality of productivity?: industry evidence
The robust performance of U.S. labor productivity (LP) early in the recovery from the Great Recession contrasts markedly with the sluggish growth of output, and even more with the lack of recovery in employment. This pattern has renewed interest in understanding why productivity has become much less procyclical in recent decades. This is an important topic because the cyclicality of productivity has implications for how we model business cycles, and our understanding of how they are propagated. The topic also has implications for monetary policy because it affects the trend-cycle ...
Schools and Stimulus
This article analyzes the impact of the education funding component of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) on public school districts. We use cross-sectional differences in district-level Recovery Act funding to investigate the program's impact on staffing, expenditures, and debt accumulation.
Schools and Stimulus
This paper analyzes the impact of the education funding component of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Recovery Act) on public school districts. We use cross- Sectional differences in district-level Recovery Act funding to investigate the program's impact on staffing, expenditures and debt accumulation. To achieve identification, we use exogenous variation across districts in the allocations of Recovery Act funds for special needs students. We estimate that $1 million of grants to a district had the following effects: expenditures increased by $570 thousand, district ...
The 2009 recovery act: stimulus at the extensive and intensive labor margins
This paper studies the effect of government stimulus spending on a novel aspect of the labor market: the differential impact of spending on the total wage bill versus employment. We analyze the 2009 Recovery Act via instrumental variables using a new instrument, the spending done by federal agencies that were not instructed to target funds towards harder hit regions. We find a moderate positive effect on jobs created/saved (i.e., "the extensive margin") and also a significant increase in wage payments to workers whose job status was safe without Recovery Act funds (i.e., "the intensive ...
Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in Korea, 1982-2007
The authors apply the analysis of Hsieh and Klenow (2009) to assess the degree of resource misallocation in the Republic of Korea manufacturing sector from 1982 to 2007. They find improvement in the aggregate allocative efficiency during the first decade and a strong reversal after 1992. This pattern reflects the dynamics of the within-industry distortion measures for most industries and is consistent with the evolving systematic relationship between the age/value added of establishments and their measured idiosyncratic distortions over the sample period. Their finding suggests that the ...