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Basu, Susanto

Works: 66 works in 353 publications in 2 languages and 2,067 library holdings
Genres: Longitudinal studies 
Roles: Author
Classifications: HB1, 338.542
Publication Timeline
Publications about Susanto Basu
Publications by Susanto Basu
Most widely held works by Susanto Basu
Beyond shocks : what causes business cycles? ( Book )
2 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 220 libraries worldwide
Why is productivity procyclical? : why do we care? by Susanto Basu( Book )
21 editions published between 1999 and 2000 in English and held by 75 libraries worldwide
Abstract: Productivity rises in booms and falls in recessions. There are four main explanations for this procyclical productivity: (i) procyclical technology shocks, (ii) widespread imperfect competition and increasing returns, (iii) variable utilization of inputs over the cycle, and (iv) resource reallocations. Recent macroeconomic literature views this stylized fact of procyclical productivity as an essential feature of business cycles because each explanation has important implications for macroeconomic modeling. In this paper, we discuss empirical methods for assessing the importance of these four explanations. We provide microfoundations for our preferred approach of estimating an explicitly first-order approximation to the production function, using a theoretically motivated proxy for utilization. When we implement this approach, we find that variable utilization and resource reallocations are particularly important in explaining procyclical productivity. We also argue that the reallocation effects that we identify are not biases' they reflect changes in an economy's ability to produce goods and services for final consumption from given primary inputs of capital and labor. Thus, from a normative viewpoint, reallocations are significant for welfare; from a positive viewpoint, they constitute potentially important amplification and propagation mechanisms for macroeconomic modeling
Are apparent productive spillovers a figment of specification error? by Susanto Basu( Book )
17 editions published between 1993 and 1999 in English and held by 74 libraries worldwide
Using data on gross output for two-digit manufacturing industries, we find that an increase in the output of one manufacturing sector has little or no significant effect on the productivity of other sectors. Using value-added data, however, we confirm the results of previous studies which find that output spillovers instead appear large. We provide an explanation for these differences, showing why, with imperfect competition, the use of value-added data leads to a spurious finding of large apparent external effects
Business cycles in international historical perspective by Susanto Basu( Book )
12 editions published in 1999 in English and held by 74 libraries worldwide
This paper examines business cycles theoretically and empirically, with a quantitative study based on experience over the long run and in a cross section of countries. Several major questions in business cycle theory are explored. Theoretical concerns indicate that the properties of business cycle models depend not only on important structural aspects of the model such as money neutrality, labor market structure, and price adjustment, but also on the closure of the model in international markets. Econometric considerations suggest that more information about the country-specific versus universal features of cycles could be gleaned from the study of panel data. A review of business cycle properties in a sample of over a dozen countries is considered in light of these issues
Productivity growth in the 1990s : technology, utilization, or adjustment? by Susanto Basu( Book )
18 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 72 libraries worldwide
Measured productivity growth increased substantially during the second half of the 1990s. This paper examines whether this increase owes to an increase in the rate of technological change or whether it can be explained by non-technological factors relating to factor utilization, factor accumulation, or returns to scale. It finds that the recent increase in productivity growth does appear to arise from an increase in technological change. Cyclical utilization raised measured productivity growth relative to technology growth in the first part of the expansion, but lowered it subsequently. Factor adjustment leads to a steady-state understatement of technology growth by measured productivity growth. The understatement was greater in the second half of the expansion than the first. Changes in the distribution of inputs across industries with different returns to scale lead to a modest understatement in the growth in technology. Although the increase technological change is most pronounced in durable manufacturing, technological change also increased outside of manufacturing
Aggregate productivity and the productivity of aggregates by Susanto Basu( Book )
16 editions published in 1995 in English and held by 71 libraries worldwide
Explanations of procyclical productivity play a key role in a variety of business-cycle models. Most of these models, however, explain this procyclicality within a representative-firm paradigm. This procedure is misleading. We decompose aggregate productivity changes into several terms, each of which has an economic interpretation. However, many of these terms measure composition effects such as reallocations of inputs across productive units. We apply this decomposition to U.S. data by aggregating from roughly the two-digit level to the private economy. We find that the compositional terms are significantly procyclical. Controlling for these terms virtually eliminates the evidence for increasing returns to scale, and implies that input growth is uncorrelated with technology change
Intermediate goods and business cycles : implications for productivity and welfare by Susanto Basu( Book )
15 editions published between 1993 and 1994 in English and Undetermined and held by 66 libraries worldwide
This paper presents an aggregate demand-driven model of business cycles that provides a new explanation for the procyclicality of productivity, and simultaneously predicts large welfare losses from monetary non-neutrality. The key features of the model are an input- output production structure, imperfect competition, countercyclical markups, and, for some results, state- dependent price rigidity. True technical efficiency is procyclical even though production takes place with constant returns, without technology shocks or technological externalities. The paper has observable implications that distinguish it empirically from related work. These implications are generally supported by data from U.S. manufacturing industries
Cyclical productivity with unobserved input variation by Susanto Basu( Book )
12 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 64 libraries worldwide
In this paper, we derive and estimate relationships governing variable utilization of capital and labor for a firm solving a dynamic cost-minimization problem. Our method allows for (i) imperfect competition, (ii) increasing returns to scale, (iii) unobserved changes in utilization, (iv) unobserved changes in technology, (v) unobserved fluctuations in the factor prices of capital and labor, (vi) unobserved fluctuations in the shadow price of output, and (vii) the non-existence of a value-added production function. We can estimate the parameters of interest without imposing specific functional forms or using restrictions from assuming the existence of a representative consumer. We find that variable capital and labor utilization explain 40-60 percent of the cyclicality of the Solow residual in U.S. manufacturing, so true technology shocks have a lower correlation with output than the RBC literature assumes. Controlling for variable utilization also eliminates the evidence for increasing returns to scale. We show that our model-based proxies for variable utilization are valid even when extending the workweek of capital potentially has two costs: a shift premium paid to workers, as well as a higher rate of depreciation. Thus, these proxies can be used under very general conditions in a wide range of empirical work
Are technology improvements contractionary by Susanto Basu( Book )
21 editions published between 1998 and 2004 in English and held by 63 libraries worldwide
Yes. We construct a measure of aggregate technology change, controlling for imperfect competition, varying utilization of capital and labor, and aggregation effects. On impact, when technology improves, input use falls sharply, and output may fall slightly. With a lag of several years, inputs return to normal and output rises strongly. We discuss what models could be consistent with this evidence. For example, standard one-sector real-business-cycle models are not, since they generally predict that technology improvements are expansionary, with inputs and (especially) output rising immediately. However, the evidence is consistent with simple sticky-price models, which predict the results we find: When technology improves, input use generally falls in the short run, and output itself may also fall
Appropriate technology and growth by Susanto Basu( Book )
13 editions published between 1996 and 1997 in English and held by 60 libraries worldwide
We present a model of growth and technology transfer based on the idea that technologies are specific to particular combinations of inputs. We argue that this model is more realistic than the usual specification, in which an improvement in any technique for producing a given good improves all other techniques for producing that good. Our model implies that technology improvements will diffuse only slowly, even if there are no barriers to the flow of knowledge and no adoption costs. On the other hand, although our basic production technology is of the Àk' variety, technology diffusion implies that countries with identical policies and different initial incomes do eventually converge to the same level of per-capita income. We argue that a model with appropriate technology and technology diffusion is more appealing, and has more realistic predictions for long-run convergence and growth, than either the standard neoclassical model or simple endogenous-growth models
Procyclical productivity : increasing returns or cyclical utilization? by Susanto Basu( Book )
13 editions published between 1995 and 1999 in English and held by 55 libraries worldwide
It has long been argued that cyclical fluctuations in labor and capital utilization and the presence of overhead labor and capital are important for explaining procyclical productivity. Here I present two simple and direct tests of these hypotheses, and a way of measuring the relative importance of these two explanations. The intuition behind the paper is that materials input is likely to be measured with less cyclical error than labor and capital input, and materials are likely to be used in strict proportion to value added. In that case, materials growth provides a good measure of the unobserved changes in capital and labor input. Using this measure, I find that the true growth of variable labor and capital inputs is, on average, almost twice the measured change in the capital stock or labor hours. More than half of that is caused by the presence of overhead inputs in production; the rest is due to cyclical factor utilization
The case of the missing productivity growth : or, does information technology explain why productivity accelerated in the United States but not the United Kingdom? by Susanto Basu( Book )
16 editions published in 2003 in English and held by 49 libraries worldwide
Abstract: We argue that unmeasured investments in intangible organizational capital associated with the role of information and communications technology (ICT) as a general purpose technology' can explain the divergent U.S. and U.K. TFP performance after 1995. GPT stories suggest that measured TFP should rise in ICT-using sectors, perhaps with long lags. Contemporaneously, investments in ICT may in fact be associated with lower TFP as resources are diverted to reorganization and learning. In both the U.S. and U.K., we find a strong correlation between ICT use and industry TFP growth. The U.S. results, in particular, are consistent with GPT stories: the TFP acceleration was located primarily in ICT-using industries and is positively correlated with industry ICT capital growth from the 1980s and early 1990s. Indeed, as GPT stories suggest, controlling for past ICT growth, industry TFP growth appears negatively correlated with increases in ICT capital services in the late 1990s. A somewhat different picture emerges for the U.K. TFP growth does not appear correlated with lagged ICT capital growth. But TFP growth in the late 1990s is strongly and positively associated with the growth of ICT capital services, while being strongly and negatively associated with the growth of ICT investment
Productivity, welfare and reallocation theory and firm level evidence by Susanto Basu( Computer File )
19 editions published between 2009 and 2012 in English and German and held by 32 libraries worldwide
We prove that the change in welfare of a representative consumer is summarized by the current and expected future values of the standard Solow productivity residual. The equivalence holds if the representative household maximizes utility while taking prices parametrically. This result justifies TFP as the right summary measure of welfare (even in situations where it does not properly measure technology) and makes it possible to calculate the contributions of disaggregated units (industries or firms) to aggregate welfare using readily available TFP data. Based on this finding, we compute firm and industry contributions to welfare for a set of European OECD countries (Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, Spain), using industry-level (EU-KLEMS) and firm-level (Amadeus) data. After adding further assumptions about technology and market structure (firms minimize costs and face common factor prices), we show that welfare change can be decomposed into three components that reflect respectively technical change, aggregate distortions and allocative efficiency. Using the appropriate firm-level data, we assess the importance of each of these components as sources of welfare improvement in the same set of European countries
Some evidence on the importance of sticky wages by Alessandro Barattieri( Computer File )
13 editions published in 2010 in English and German and held by 26 libraries worldwide
Nominal wage stickiness is an important component of recent medium-scale structural macroeconomic models, but to date there has been little microeconomic evidence supporting the assumption of sluggish nominal wage adjustment. We present evidence on the frequency of nominal wage adjustment using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) for the period 1996-1999. The SIPP provides high-frequency information on wages, employment and demographic characteristics for a large and representative sample of the US population. The main results of the analysis are as follows. 1) After correcting for measurement error, wages appear to be very sticky. In the average quarter, the probability that an individual will experience a nominal wage change is between 5 and 18 percent, depending on the samples and assumptions used. 2) The frequency of wage adjustment does not display significant seasonal patterns. 3) There is little heterogeneity in the frequency of wage adjustment across industries and occupations 4) The hazard of a nominal wage change first increases and then decreases, with a peak at 12 months. 5) The probability of a wage change is positively correlated with the unemployment rate and with the consumer price inflation rate
Productivity and the welfare of nations by Susanto Basu( file )
15 editions published between 2012 and 2013 in English and Undetermined and held by 20 libraries worldwide
We show how to relate the welfare of a country's infinitely-lived representative consumer to observable aggregate data. To a first order, welfare is summarized by total factor productivity and by the capital stock per capita. These variables suffice to calculate welfare changes within a country, as well as welfare differences across countries. The result holds regardless of the type of production technology and the degree of market competition. It applies to open economies as well, if total factor productivity is constructed using domestic absorption, instead of gross domestic product, as the measure of output. It also requires that total factor productivity be constructed with prices and quantities as perceived by consumers, not firms. Thus, factor shares need to be calculated using after-tax wages and rental rates and they will typically sum to less than one. These results are used to calculate welfare gaps and growth rates in a sample of developed countries with high-quality total factor productivity and capital data. Under realistic scenarios, the U.K. and Spain had the highest growth rates of welfare during the sample period 1985-2005, but the U.S. had the highest level of welfare
The value of risk : measuring the service output of U.S. commercial banks by Susanto Basu( Book )
14 editions published in 2008 in English and held by 15 libraries worldwide
Rather than charging direct fees, banks often charge implicitly for their services via interest spreads. As a result, much of bank output has to be estimated indirectly. In contrast to current statistical practice, dynamic optimizing models of banks argue that compensation for bearing systematic risk is not part of bank output. We apply these models and find that between 1997 and 2007, in the U.S. National Accounts, on average, bank output is overestimated by 21 percent and GDP is overestimated by 0.3 percent. Moreover, compared with current methods, our new estimates imply more plausible estimates of the share of capital in income and the return on fixed capital
A general-equilibrium asset-pricing approach to the measurement of nominal and real bank output by J. Christina Wang( Book )
11 editions published between 2004 and 2008 in English and held by 14 libraries worldwide
This paper addresses the proper measurement of financial service output that is not priced explicitly. It shows how to impute nominal service output from financial intermediaries₂ interest income, and how to construct price indices for those financial services. We model financial intermediaries as providers of financial services which resolve asymmetric information between borrowers and lenders. We embed these intermediaries in a dynamic, stochastic, general-equilibrium model where assets are priced competitively according to their systematic risk, as in the standard consumption-based capital-asset-pricing model. In this environment, we show that it is critical to take risk into account in order to measure financial output accurately. We also show that even using a risk-adjusted reference rate does not solve all the problems associated with measuring nominal financial service output. Our model allows us to address important outstanding questions in output and productivity measurement for financial firms, such as: (1) What are the correct "reference rates" to use in calculating bank output? In particular, should they take account of risk? (2) If reference rates need to be risk-adjusted, should they be ex ante or ex post rates of return? (3) What is the right price deflator for the output of financial firms? Is it just the general price index? (4) When--if ever--should we count capital gains of financial firms as part of financial service output?
Uncertainty shocks in a model of effective demand by Susanto Basu( Book )
10 editions published between 2011 and 2014 in English and held by 9 libraries worldwide
Can increased uncertainty about the future cause a contraction in output and its components? This paper examines the role of uncertainty shocks in a one-sector, representative-agent, dynamic, stochastic general-equilibrium model. When prices are flexible, uncertainty shocks are not capable of producing business-cycle comovements among key macroeconomic variables. With countercyclical markups through sticky prices, however, uncertainty shocks can generate fluctuations that are consistent with business cycles. Monetary policy usually plays a key role in offsetting the negative impact of uncertainty shocks. If the central bank is constrained by the zero lower bound, then monetary policy can no longer perform its usual stabilizing function and higher uncertainty has even more negative effects on the economy. We calibrate the size of uncertainty shocks using fluctuations in the VIX and find that increased uncertainty about the future may indeed have played a significant role in worsening the Great Recession, which is consistent with statements by policymakers, economists, and the financial press
ICT and total factor productivity growth : intangible capital of productive externalities? by Ram Acharya( Book )
5 editions published between 2000 and 2011 in English and held by 3 libraries worldwide
What accounts for the exceptional TFP growth performance of the U.S. and to some extent some of the other OECD countries after the mid-1990s? Most commentators have pointed to enormous productivity gains in the production of information and communications technology (ICT) as the answer. But according to standard neoclassical theory, technical progress in one industry should not raise TFP growth in other industries. Yet the TFP acceleration is due mostly to industries that use, but do not produce ICT capital. This paper investigates two explanations for this apparent puzzle, one based on existence of intangible capital that is not measured in the National Income Accounts, and othe other based on productive externalities
Unbundling Canada's weak productivity performance : a review of the issues by Susanto Basu( Book )
7 editions published between 2000 and 2014 in English and held by 2 libraries worldwide
Canada is one of the few OECD countries to trail the United States in both level and growth rate of productivity over a long period of time (1980-2005). This paper suggests a method for breaking down this productivity gap into three components: differences in allocative efficiency, the effects of scale economies, and a residual
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