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NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Measuring Productivity: Lessons from Tailored Surveys and Productivity Benchmarking

David Atkin, Amit Khandelwal, Adam Osman

NBER Working Paper No. 25471
Issued in January 2019
NBER Program(s):International Trade and Investment

We use tailored surveys and benchmarking in the flat-weave rug industry to better understand the shortcomings of standard productivity measures. TFPQ performs poorly because of variation in product specifications across firms. Controlling for specifications aligns TFPQ with lab benchmarks. We also collect quality metrics to construct quality productivity (the ability to produce quality given inputs) and find substantial dispersion across firms. This motivates interest in multi-dimensional productivity, or capability. As quality productivity is negatively correlated with TFPQ, TFPR may perform better at capturing capabilities in settings where better firms make products with more demanding specifications that have greater input requirements.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25471

Published: David Atkin & Amit K. Khandelwal & Adam Osman, 2019. "Measuring Productivity: Lessons from Tailored Surveys and Productivity Benchmarking," AEA Papers and Proceedings, vol 109, pages 444-449. citation courtesy of

 
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