Morning Must-Read: David Beckworth: Are We Mismeasuring Productivity Growth?
Morning Must-Read: Jonathan Chait: 4 New Studies: Obamacare Working Incredibly Well

Over at Equitable Growth: Cato Institute Economic Growth Conference: Panel I

B7e jpg 460×333 pixelsOver at Equitable Growth: Cato Institute: The Future of U.S. Economic Growth: Panel 1: Forecasting the Long-Term Growth Outlook

  • Dale Jorgenson, Harvard University
  • John Fernald, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
  • Martin Baily, Brookings Institution

If David Beckworth is here, I want him to ask his question--itself triggered by an observation from Noah Smith at Stonybrook. If he isn't here, or is shy...

David Beckworth: Are We Mismeasuring Productivity Growth?: "Noah Smith... observed that the Fernald TFP data...

...can be decomposed into TFP in investment production and TFP in consumption production. TFP in investment looks better than the overall.... TFP in consumption... has basically flatlined since the early 1970s and is what is driving the Great Stagnation.... The Great Flattening does not seem reasonable. Has productivity growth in consumption really been flat since the early 1970s?... This suggests there are big measurement problems in consumption production. And I suspect they can be traced to the service sector..." READ MOAR

Here are the figures:



And the question is obvious: if this is mismeasurement of technological progress in consumption focused since 1973 on quality, choice, and information goods, how should we understand the past generation and a half? If this isn't mismeasurement, what explains the end of technological progress in the production of consumer output?