Factor Adjustment, Quality Change, and Productivity Growth for U.S. Manufacturing
Jeffrey I. Bernstein, Theofanis P. Mamuneas, Panos Pashardes
NBER Working Paper No. 6877
This paper accounts for quality improvements and adjustment costs in all inputs to U.S. manufacturing production. Adjustment processes for non-capital inputs are slower than previously recognized. Annual adjustment percentages are: labor 77, capital 30, energy 20, and materials 21. Factor prices should be adjusted for quality improvements to reflect higher marginal products. The percentage increases in marginal products from quality improvements are: labor 0.25, capital 0.30, energy 2.13, and materials 0.92. Observed input growth should be adjusted for quality improvements. Unadjusted input growth causes efficiency-based productivity growth rates to exceed observed productivity growth in the slowdown period of 1974 - 1995.