Identifying Productivity When It Is a Choice

46 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2017 Last revised: 28 Feb 2019

Date Written: February 26, 2019


Productivity is typically modeled as an exogenous plant characteristic, but the people who run the plant make choices that affect how productive it is. Instruments that are uncorrelated with productivity but correlated with input use are therefore rare because when plants want to adjust one factor of production, input use, they also want to adjust other factors of production, like productivity. This article develops a method to partially identify statistics of the productivity distribution based on a monotone comparative static result without assuming productivity is exogenous or requiring an instrumental variable. I use the method to study the productivity effect of restructuring in the electricity generation industry.

Keywords: Productivity, Partial Identification, Technology Choice, Identification of Production Functions, Power Plants, Restructuring

JEL Classification: D24, L11, L94

Suggested Citation

Flynn, Zach, Identifying Productivity When It Is a Choice (February 26, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Zach Flynn (Contact Author)

Afiniti ( email )

1701 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington, DC 20006
United States


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