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American Economic Review: Vol. 98 No. 1 (March 2008)

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Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?

Article Citation

Foster, Lucia, John Haltiwanger, and Chad Syverson. 2008. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?" American Economic Review, 98(1): 394-425.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.1.394

Abstract

We investigate the nature of selection and productivity growth in industries where we observe producer-level quantities and prices separately. We show there are important differences between revenue and physical productivity. Because physical productivity is inversely correlated with price while revenue productivity is positively correlated with price, previous work linking (revenue- based) productivity to survival confounded the separate and opposing effects of technical efficiency and demand on survival, understating the true impacts of both. Further, we find that young producers charge lower prices than incumbents. Thus the literature understates new producers' productivity advantages and entry's contribution to aggregate productivity growth. (JEL D24, L11, L25)

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Authors

Foster, Lucia (Center for Economic Studies, US Bureau of the Census)
Haltiwanger, John (U MD)
Syverson, Chad (U Chicago)

JEL Classifications

D24: Production; Cost; Capital and Total Factor Productivity; Capacity
L11: Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
L25: Firm Performance: Size, Diversification, and Scope


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