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Productivity Dynamics: U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1972–1986


This paper presents an analysis of the dynamics of total factor productivity measures for large plants in SICs 35, 36 and 38. Several TFP measures, derived from production functions and Solow type residuals, are computed and their behavior over time is compared, using non-parametric tools. Aggregate TFP, which has grown substantially over the time period, is compared with average plant level TFP, which has declined or remained flat. Using transition matrices, the persistence of plant productivity is examined, and it is shown how the transition probabilities vary by industry, plant age, and other characteristics.

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Bartelsman, E.J., Dhrymes, P.J. Productivity Dynamics: U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1972–1986. Journal of Productivity Analysis 9, 5–34 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1018383629341

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  • total factor productivity
  • micro level data
  • transition dynamics