BLS Handbook of Methods

In This Chapter

Chapter 10.
Productivity Measures: Business Sector and Major Subsectors

Technical References

Bureau of Labor Statistics
Growth, 1948-90, Bulletin 2426, December 1993.
Changes in the educational attainment and experience of the workforce are measured and their impact on multifactor productivity are measured.
Labor Composition and U.S. Productivity

Productivity: A Selected Annotated Bibliography 1983-1987, Bulletin 2360, 1990.
Recent references concerning productivity and productivity measurement. Each reference includes a brief annotation.

The Impact of Research and Development of Productivity Growth, Bulletin 2331, 1989.
Presents annual measures of the stock of research and development and its contribution to productivity growth in the nonfarm business sector. The data cover 1948 to 1987.

Trends in Multifactor Productivity, 1948-81, Bulletin 2178, 1983.
Presents BLS annual indexes of multifactor productivity for private business, private nonfarm business, and manufacturing for the period 1948 through 1981. Also presents BLS annual measures of output per unit of capital services input for the three sectors.

Dean, Edwin; Harper, Michael; and Otto, Phyllis Flohr, "Improvements to the quarterly productivity measures," Monthly Labor Review, October 1995.
Summarizes the impact of switching from fixed-weighted to annual-weighted output on the labor productivity measures.

Gullickson, William, "Measurement of productivity growth in U.S. manufacturing," Monthly Labor Review, July 1995.
Updates multifactor (KLEMS) productivity measures for each 2-digit SIC. Contains a discussion of alternative manufacturing output measures and their use in productivity measurement.

Jablonski, Mary; Kunze, Kent; and Otto, Phyllis Flohr, "Hours at Work: A New Base for BLS Productivity Statistics," Monthly Labor Review, February 1990.
A description of the methodology used to develop measures of the ratio of hours at work to hours paid for the period 1948 to the present by linking the Hours at Work survey to early periodic surveys and unpublished data sources.

Harper, Michael J.; Berndt, Ernst R.; and Wood, David O. "Rates of Return and Capital Aggregation Using Alternative Rental Prices," in D.W. Jorgenson and R. London, Technology and Capital Formation, MIT Press, 1989.
Examines the theoretical rationale for and empirical implementation of rental price formulas for use in weighting capital assets for multifactor productivity measurement.

Hulten, Charles R.; Robertson, James W.; and Wykoff, Frank C. "Energy, Obsolescence, and the Productivity Slowdown," in D.W. Jorgenson and R. London, Technology and Capital Formation, MIT Press, 1989.
An empirical examination of the hypothesis that high energy prices contributed to the post-1973 productivity slowdown by inducing capital obsolescence.

Dean, Edwin; Kunze, Kent; and Rosenblum, Larry. "Productivity Change and the Measurement of Heterogeneous Labor Inputs," prepared for Conference on New Measurement Procedures for U.S. Agricultural Productivity, March 1989. Changes in the education and experience distribution of the workforce (based on a new model) show a modest contribution to productivity growth (0.2 percent annually) and very little explanation of the productivity slowdown.

Harper, Michael J. and Gullickson, William. "Cost Function Models and Accounting for Growth in U.S. Manufacturing, 1949-86," prepared for the National Bureau of Economic Research Summer Institute, 1989. The effects of factor substitution induced by relative price changes on labor productivity are assessed using an econometric cost function model.

Powers, Susan G. "The Role of Capital Discards in Multifactor Productivity Measurement," Monthly Labor Review, June 1988.
Current measures of capital stocks do not reflect a firm's choice of when to discard capital. Capital stocks based on variations in capital discards over the business cycle are constructed. It is shown that multifactor productivity measures using these stocks do not significantly differ from the current productivity measures.

Dean, Edwin R. and Kunze, Kent. "United States Multifactor Productivity Growth, 1948-86," Monthly Labor Review, May 1988.
Presents growth rates of multifactor productivity for the periods 1948-73, 1973-79, and 1979-86 for private business, nonfarm business, and manufacturing. Analyzes trends in multifactor measures and describes data revisions and methodological improvements that have been incorporated into these measures.

Gillickson, William and Harper, Michael J. "Multifactor Productivity in 20 U.S. Manufacturing Industries, 1949-83," Monthly Labor Review, October 1987. Presents multifactor productivity measures for 20 manufacturing industries and for total manufacturing, based on annual measures of output and inputs of capital, labor, energy, materials, and purchased business services. Analyzes multifactor growth rates in manufacturing industries.

Fulco, L. J. "U.S. Productivity Growth Since 1982: The Post-Recession Experience," Monthly Labor Review, December 1986.
A review of developments in major sectors of the economy focusing on the first 14 quarters of the recovery phase of the business cycle. Contrasts experience during the recovery which began in the fourth quarter of 1982 with all previous post-World War II cycles.

Mark, Jerome A. "Problems Encountered in Measuring Single-Factor and Multifactor Productivity," Monthly Labor Review, December 1986.
Development of new data sources, better use of existing sources, and broader coverage are some of the ways in which BLS has improved its productivity measures; progress has been made, but inadequacies remain.

Sveikauskas, Leo. "The Contribution of R&D to Productivity Growth," Monthly Labor Review, March 1986.
Results of a BLS study suggest that the direct contribution of research and development to post-War productivity growth was between 0.1 and 0.2 percent annually in the nonfarm business sector; R&D had no substantial effect on the post-1973 productivity slowdown.

Kunze, Kent. "A New BLS Survey Measures the Ratio of Hours Worked to Hours Paid," Monthly Labor Review, June 1984.
Hours at work accounted for about 93 percent of hours paid for production and nonsupervisory workers in 1982, according to an annual survey which includes only the time required to be on the job site, thereby excluding paid holidays, sick leave, and vacations.

Mark, Jerome A. and Waldorf, William H. "Multifactor Productivity: A New BLS Measure," Monthly Labor Review, December 1983.
Annual indexes for private business show that advances in multifactor productivity account for most of the growth of output per hour of all persons during 1948-81.

Harper, Michael J. "The Measurement of Productive Capital Stock, Capital Wealth and Capital Services," BLS Working Paper No. 128, 1982. Analysis of the computation of capital depreciation for productivity measurement.

Other publications
Baily, Martin Neil and Gordon, Robert J. "Measurement Issues, the Productivity Slowdown, and the Explosion of Computer Power," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. Washington, DC, The Brookings Institution, 1989.

Jorgenson, Dale; Gollop, Frank; and Fraumeni, Barbara. Productivity and U.S. Economic Growth, Cambridge, MA, The Harvard University Press, 1987.

Denison, Edward F. Trends in American Economic Growth, 1929-1982. The Brookings Institution, Washington, DC, 1985.

Caves, Douglas W.; Christensen, Laurits R.; and Diewert, W. Erwin. "The Economic Theory of Index Numbers and the Measurement of Input, Output, and Productivity," Econometrica, Vol. 50, No. 6, 1983, pp. 1393-1414.

Kendrick, John W. and Vaccara, Beatrice N., editors. New Developments in Productivity Measurement and Analysis. Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1980.

Usher, Dan, ed. The Measurement of Capital. Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1980.

National Research Council's Panel to Review Productivity Statistics. Measurement and Interpretation of Productivity. Washington, DC, The National Academy of Sciences, 1979.

Christensen, Laurits and Jorgenson, Dale. "The Measurement of U.S. Real Capital Input, 1929-67," Review of Income and Wealth, December 1969.

Next: In chapter 11

Recommend this page using: