Revisions in Utilization-Adjusted TFP and Robust Identification of News Shocks
55 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2017
Date Written: February 2017
This paper documents large revisions in a widely-used series of utilization-adjusted total factor productivity (TFP) by Fernald (2014) and shows that these revisions can materially affect empirical conclusions about the macroeconomic effects of news shocks. We propose an alternative identification that is robust to measurement issues with TFP, including the revisions in Fernald’s series. When applied to U.S. data, the shock predicts sustained future productivity growth while simultaneously generating strong impact responses of novel indicators of technological innovation and forward-looking information variables. The shock does, however, not lead to comovement in macroeconomic aggregates as typically associated with business cycle fluctuations.
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