Models of labour services and estimates of total factor productivity

Robert Dixon, David Shepherd

Applied Economics | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2010


This article examines the manner in which labour services are modelled in the aggregate production function, concentrating on the relationship between numbers employed and average hours worked. It argues that numbers employed and hours worked are not perfect substitutes and that conventional estimates of total factor productivity which, by using total hours worked as the measure of labour services, assume they are perfect substitutes, will be biased when there are marked changes in average hours worked. The relevance of the theoretical argument is illustrated using data for the United States and the United Kingdom. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

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