Sept 23 -- The Dispersion Statistics on Productivity (DiSP) is a joint experimental data product from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. The DiSP provides statistics on within-industry dispersion in productivity.
Productivity measures are critical for understanding economic performance. Official BLS productivity statistics, which are available for major sectors and detailed industries, provide information on the sources of aggregate productivity growth. A large body of research shows that within-industry variation in productivity provides important insights into productivity dynamics. This research reveals large and persistent productivity differences across businesses even within narrowly defined industries. These differences vary across industries and over time and are related to productivity-enhancing reallocation. Dispersion in productivity across businesses can provide information about the nature of competition and frictions within sectors, and about the sources of rising wage inequality across businesses.
Because there were no official statistics providing this level of detail, BLS and the Census Bureau initiated the Collaborative Micro-productivity Project (CMP) to develop and publish experimental statistics on within-industry productivity dispersion (i.e., second-moment measures of establishment-level productivity) and to produce restricted-use research datasets. These measures complement official BLS aggregate and industry-level productivity growth statistics and thereby improve our understanding of the rich productivity dynamics in the U.S. economy. The underlying microdata for these measures are available for use by qualified researchers on approved projects in the Federal Statistical Research Data Center (FSRDC) network. These new statistics confirm the presence of large productivity differences and we hope that these new data products will encourage further research into understanding these differences.
Productivity measures -- Output per hour, Multifactor productivity
Dispersion statistics -- Standard deviation, Interquartile range, Inter-decile range (90-10)
Industry -- 4-digit NAICS
Timeframe -- 1997-2016
BLS DiSP webpage: https://www.bls.gov/lpc/productivity-dispersion.htm
Census DiSP webpage: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/ces/data/public-use-data/dispersion-statistics-on-productivity.html
"Dispersion in Dispersion: Measuring Establishment-Level Differences in Productivity," CES-WP-18-25RR https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2018/CES-WP-18-25RR.pdf
(2018 paper revised Sept 21, 2020)
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