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Keywords:Labor productivity 

Journal Article
Is the United States losing its productivity advantage?

Strikingly high rates of labor productivity growth in China, India, and other emerging economies have prompted concerns that U.S. workers and firms are losing ground to their competitors in world markets. A closer look at the evidence, however, suggests that rapid foreign productivity growth will bring gains as well as losses to the U.S. economy. Some import-competing firms may be compelled to restructure or leave the market, but consumers will benefit from lower import prices and more import varieties, and U.S. exporters may gain access to cheaper intermediate products from abroad.
Current Issues in Economics and Finance , Volume 13 , Issue Sep

Working Paper
Labor productivity: structural change and cyclical dynamics

A longstanding puzzle of empirical economics is that average labor productivity declines during recessions and increases during booms. This paper provides a framework to assess the empirical importance of competing hypotheses for explaining the observed procyclicality. For each competing hypothesis we derive the implications for cyclical productivity conditional on expectations of future demand and supply conditions. The novelty of the paper is that we exploit the tremendous heterogeneity in long-run structural changes across individual plants to identify the short-run sources of procyclical ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 96-10

Working Paper
Growing old together: firm survival and employee turnover

Labor market outcomes such as turnover and earnings are correlated with employer characteristics, even after controlling for observable differences in worker characteristics. We argue that this systematic relationship constitutes strong evidence in favor of models where workers choose how much to invest in future productivity. Because employer characteristics are correlated with firm survival, returns to these investments vary across firm types. We describe a dynamic general equilibrium model where workers employed in firms more likely to survive choose to devote more time to productivity ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2005-22

Working Paper
International comparisons of the levels of unit labor costs in manufacturing

Comparing absolute levels of unit labor costs across countries entails translating labor compensation rates and productivity measured in national currencies into a common currency (e.g., U.S. dollars). Compensation rates are translated using market exchange rates and productivity is translated using relative output price levels. This paper focuses on the estimation of relative output price levels. Two approaches have been used, one based on relative unit values and the other on expenditure PPPs. We use primarily the latter approach and extend earlier work in this area by adjusting expenditure ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 527

Working Paper
The Shimer puzzle and the identification of productivity shocks

Shimer (2005) argues that the Mortensen-Pissarides (MP) model of unemployment lacks an amplification mechanism because it generates less than 10 percent of the observed business cycle fluctuations in unemployment given labor productivity shocks of plausible magnitude. This paper argues that part of the problem lies with the identification of productivity shocks. Because of the endogeneity of measured labor productivity, filtering out the trend component as in Shimer (2005) may not correctly identify the shocks driving unemployment. Using a New-Keynesian framework to control for the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2009-04

Journal Article
Productivity gains: how permanent?

This Economic Commentary confirms that productivity growth has been unusually robust over the last few years and explores reasonable assumptions about the likely future pattern of productivity growth. These assumptions can generate substantially different productivity growth paths. Government forecasts, which guide the major tax and benefit programs, have been increased in recent years yet remain cautious.
Economic Commentary , Issue Sep

Journal Article
The 1990s acceleration in labor productivity: causes and measurement

The acceleration of labor productivity growth that began during the mid-1990s is the defining economic event of the past decade. A consensus has arisen among economists that the acceleration was caused by technological innovations that decreased the quality-adjusted prices of semiconductors and related information and communications technology (ICT) products, including digital computers. In sharp contrast to the previous 20 years, services-producing sectors-heavy users of ICT products-led the productivity increase, besting even a robust manufacturing sector. In this article, the authors ...
Review , Volume 88 , Issue May , Pages 181-202

Working Paper
The role of capital service-life in a model with heterogenous labor and vintage capital

We examine how the economy responds to both disembodied and embodied technology shocks in a model with vintage capital. We focus on what happens when there is a change in the number of vintages of capital that are in use at any one time and on what happens when there is a change in the persistence of the shocks hitting the economy. The data suggest that these kinds of changes took place in the U.S. economy in the 1990s, when the pace of embodied technical progress appears to have accelerated. We find that embodied technology shocks lead to greater variability (of output, investment and labor ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2009-24

Journal Article
Capital formation and competitiveness

FRBSF Economic Letter

Working Paper
The importance of capital formation in the recent productivity slowdown

Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory , Paper 104



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