ABSTRACT

The rise of China as the world’s manufacturer has generated considerable interest in the evolution of Chinese productivity, e.g., Yu (2015) and Brandt et al. (2017). Yet how productivity is and should be estimated remains an area of active research. In this chapter we review some state-of-the-art methods for estimating productivity, always adopting a practitioner’s perspective. We then apply these methods to Chinese manufacturing data over the 2000–2006 period. We estimate dozens of different specifications for 28 industries for a total of 672 production function estimates. We then compare results across specifications and draw conclusions about the strengths and pitfalls of each.