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Keywords:Productivity 

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Endogenous productivity and development accounting

Cross-country data reveal that the per capita incomes of the richest countries exceed those of the poorest countries by a factor of thirty-five. We formalize a model with embodied technical change in which newer, more productive vintages of capital coexist with older, less productive vintages. A reduction in the cost of investment raises both the quantity and productivity of capital simultaneously. The model induces a simple relationship between the relative price of investment goods and per capita income. Using cross-country data on the prices of investment goods, we find that the model does ...
Staff Reports , Paper 258

Working Paper
Estimating the Euler equation for output

New Keynesian macroeconomic models have generally emphasized that expectations of future output are a key factor in determining current output. The theoretical motivation for such forward-looking behavior relies on a straightforward generalization of the well-known Euler equation for consumption. In this paper, we use maximum likelihood and generalized method of moments (GMM) methods to explore the empirical importance of output expectations. We find little evidence that rational expectations of future output help determine current output, especially after taking into account the small-sample ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2002-12

Working Paper
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 ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-045

Working Paper
Why is productivity procyclical? Why do we care?

Productivity rises in booms and falls in recessions. There are four main explanations for procyclical productivity: (i) procyclical technology shocks, (ii) widespread imperfect competition and increasing returns, (iii) variable utilization of inputs over the cycle, and (iv) resource reallocations. Each of these explanations has important implications for macroeconomic modeling. In this paper, we discuss empirical methods for assessing the importance of these explanations. We provide microfoundations for our preferred approach of estimating a first-order approximation to the production ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 638

Report
Industry restructuring measures and productivity: evidence from the 1980s

This paper analyzes the empirical relationship between corporate restructuring and productivity. We estimate neoclassical production functions and factor demand functions to analyze the importance of restructuring in improving resource allocation and productivity. We find, at most, restructuring may have spurred the substitution of capital for labor in some industries, helping to set the stage for increased labor productivity. However, there is little evidence that restructurings, themselves, aided in the improvement of true technological progress.
Research Paper , Paper 9509

Journal Article
Will fast productivity growth persist?

Strong productivity growth is essential for improving living standards and can have an important impact on economic policy, yet economists are far from being experts at predicting when the trend of productivity growth might shift. In the 1960s, productivity growth boomed, growing at an average annual rate of 2-1/2%. It weakened in the early 1970s, and for the next two decades or so averaged an annual growth rate of only about 1-1/4%. Then, in the mid-1990s, productivity growth boomed again, averaging about a 3% annual rate from the last quarter of 1995 through the middle of 2004. These shifts ...
FRBSF Economic Letter

Working Paper
Shifting trends in semiconductor prices and the pace of technological progress

This paper examines three questions motivated by previous research on semiconductors and productivity growth: Why did semiconductor prices fall so rapidly in the second half of the 1990s, why has the rate of price decline slowed since 2001, and to what extent are these price swings associated with changes in the rate of advance in semiconductor technology? We show that the price swings are statistically significant and that they reflect changes in both price-cost markups and cost trends. Further analysis indicates that the shift to faster cost declines in the mid-1990s likely corresponded to ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2006-44

Report
The scale of production in technological revolutions

Many manufacturing industries, including the computer industry, have seen large increases in productivity growth rates and have experienced a reduction in average establishment size and a decrease in the variance of the sizes of plants. A vintage capital model is introduced where learning increases productivity on any given technology and firms choose when to adopt a new vintage. In the model, a rise in the rate of technological change leads to a decrease in both the mean and variance of the size distribution.
Staff Report , Paper 269

Working Paper
Productivity and U.S. macroeconomic performance: interpreting the past and predicting the future with a two-sector real business cycle model

A two-sector real business cycle model, estimated with postwar U.S. data, identifies shocks to the levels and growth rates of total factor productivity in distinct consumption- and investment-goods- producing technologies. This model attributes most of the productivity slowdown of the 1970s to the consumption-goods sector; it suggests that a slowdown in the investment-goods sector occurred later and was much less persistent. Against this broader backdrop, the model interprets the more recent episode of robust investment and investment-specific technological change during the 1990s largely as ...
Working Papers , Paper 06-10

Journal Article
Labor markets in turbulent times: some evidence from Mexico

Financial shocks increase the need to shift workers among employers, industries and occupations. These disruptions, in turn, can have adverse impacts on productivity.
Southwest Economy , Issue Sep , Pages 10-14

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