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Über dieses Buch

This text is designed to provide a comprehensive guide to students, researchers, or consultants who wish to carry out and to interpret analyses of economic performance, with an emphasis on productivity growth. The text includes an overview of standard productivity growth measurement techniques and adaptations, and data construc­ tion procedures. It goes further, however, by expanding the tradition­ al growth accounting (index number) framework to allow consider­ ation of how different aspects of firm behavior underlying productivity growth are interrelated, how they can be measured con­ sistently in a parametric model, and how they permit a well-defined decomposition of standard productivity growth measures. These ideas are developed by considering in detail a number of underlying theoretical results and econometric issues. The impacts of various production characteristics on productivity growth trends are also evaluated by overviewing selected methodological extensions and em­ pirical evidence. More specifically, in the methodological extensions, emphasis is placed on incorporation of cost and demand characteristics, such as fixity and adjustment costs, returns to scale, and the existence of market power, into analyses of productivity growth. These character­ istics, generally disregarded in such analyses, can have very important impacts on production structure and firm behavior, and thus on economic performance. They also provide the conceptual basis for vii viii PREFACE measures that are often used independently as indicators of economic performance, such as investment, capacity utilization, and profit measures.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
The economic performance and efficiency of firms is a major concern of many individuals, including policy makers, consumers, economists, and managers of the firms themselves. Policy makers attempt to determine how economic growth, full employment and other indicators of economic performance can be enhanced, or at least not harmed, by policies that affect firm behavior. Consumers believe firms that produce more efficiently tend to produce at lower prices and higher production levels. Economists are interested in what causes fluctuations in production, costs, and associated economic performance measures, and how decisions of firms are linked to realizations of these indicators. Firms’ desires to provide quality product at the lowest cost in order to maximize revenues for any given cost structure are facilitated by efficient production. All of these economic agents, therefore, need interpretable measures of economic performance and efficiency to use to motivate their analyses and actions.
Catherine J. Morrison

Chapter 2. The Traditional Measurement of Productivity Growth: Theoretical Issues

Abstract
The word “productivity” has widely varying connotations for different people because the word is used so extensively and loosely. Although it is generally understood that increased productivity is somehow advantageous, most people would find it difficult to define clearly the notion of productivity.
Catherine J. Morrison

Chapter 3. The Measurement and Interpretation of Capacity Utilization

Abstract
Recognition of scarcity or fixity of resources is the key to development of the concepts of capacity and capacity utilization. The degree of scarcity, in fact, uniquely determines the amount of available capacity because “capacity” refers to the amount of resources — say fixed capital and/or labor and energy resources — one has available to “utilize” for production of output. If “not enough” (somehow defined) output is being produced, we say that capacity is underutilized. People could potentially obtain more goods and services at lower cost given the available inputs and technology.
Catherine J. Morrison

Chapter 4. Interactions Among Measures of Productivity Growth, Returns to Scale and Capacity Utilization

Abstract
So far we have considered traditional methodologies for productivity growth (technical change) and capacity utilization measurement. We have also touched briefly on the idea of scale economies and their relationship to capacity utilization measures. Although the standard theoretical motivations and measurement techniques for these different characteristics of the production process vary, it is clear they are closely related. In fact, erroneous measures may be generated if interactions among technical change, capacity utilization and scale are not explicitly recognized. As already mentioned a number of times, this suggests that traditional productivity growth measures should be adjusted to identify the impacts of fixity and returns to scale independently of technical change.
Catherine J. Morrison

Chapter 5. Empirical Implementation of Productivity Growth Measures and Adjustments

Abstract
In the past few chapters we have specified a framework for analysis of productivity growth. This framework highlights the linkages among some different aspects of productivity that are necessary to unravel to present a clear picture of the impacts that affect a firm’s economic performance. Unfortunately, empirical identification of these different aspects is not straightforward.
Catherine J. Morrison

Chapter 6. Data Construction for Estimation and Measurement

Abstract
The data generally used for estimation of production theory models, or generating accounting measures of productivity growth, include as many outputs and inputs of the firms as possible in order to reflect all production and costs. Output is usually measured as an aggregate of all types of production. The categories of inputs generally distinguished are capital (K), labor (L), energy (E), non-energy intermediate materials (M) and sometimes purchased services (S). Inputs such as land and inventories are often included in the measure of capital. Others, like pollution abatement capital, are often implicitly included, and some, such as R&D (research and development) expenses, are generally ignored.
Catherine J. Morrison

Chapter 7. Issues of Econometric Implementation

Abstract
The production theory and data construction discussions in the previous two chapters laid the foundation for combining the two to provide an empirical representation of production processes. Accomplishing this is important to explore more fully the structure of production for a firm or industry than is possible using data analysis only. Many issues, however, arise when attempting to carry out such econometric measurement.
Catherine J. Morrison

Chapter 8. Empirical Evidence on Productivity Growth and Capacity Utilization

Abstract
Analyses of productivity growth and indicators of economic performance may provide insights about a number of different issues. The issue that has probably received the most attention in the recent productivity literature is the “productivity slowdown” that began in the early 1970s in most industrialized countries. This slowdown was documented and analyzed for the U.S. by a number of researchers, including Edward Denison [1979]. Denison presented a wide-ranging study using growth accounting measurement procedures (outlined in Chapter 2). His study concluded that “What happened is, to be blunt, a mystery”.
Catherine J. Morrison

Chapter 9. Other Factors Affecting Productivity Growth: Some Recent Developments

Abstract
A number of different determinants of costs and therefore production may be important for representing firm behavior, depending on the focus of the analysis and the industry or firm under consideration. Some representative factors affecting firm behavior mentioned in previous chapters include capital obsolescence, the regulatory environment, and imperfect competition. These constraints, “goods” or choices for the firm have very diverse characteristics, but all affect costs and therefore measured productivity growth in important ways.
Catherine J. Morrison

Chapter 10. Pulling it Together

Abstract
The measurement of economic performance is a wide ranging topic that can be approached from various angles and perspectives. In this text we have focused primarily on the measurement of productivity growth and its determinants. This has led us to consider in detail indicators of production structure and performance such as utilization and investment levels for inputs, profitability and scale economies, as well as technical change.
Catherine J. Morrison

Backmatter

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