NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Zoltan Wolf

Westat

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2017Macro and Micro Dynamics of Productivity: From Devilish Details to Insights
with Lucia S. Foster, Cheryl A. Grim, John Haltiwanger: w23666
Researchers use a variety of methods to estimate total factor productivity (TFP) at the firm level and, while these may seem broadly equivalent, how the resulting measures relate to the TFP concept in theoretical models depends on the assumptions about the environment in which firms operate. Interpreting these measures and drawing insights based upon their characteristics thus must take into account these conceptual differences. Absent data on prices and quantities, most methods yield ``revenue productivity" measures. We focus on two broad classes of revenue productivity measures in our examination of the relationship between measured and conceptual TFP (TFPQ). The first measure has been increasingly used as a measure of idiosyncratic distortions and to assess the degree of misallocation...
 
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