Matthew Slaughter

Associate Dean for Faculty; Signal Companies Professor of Management

Academic Working Papers

  • "Envy, Altruism, and the International Distribution of Trade Protection," with Xiaobo Lu and Kenneth F. Scheve, National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper #15700, 2010.

  • "Effects of Terms of Trade Gains and Tariff Changes on the Measurement of U.S. Productivity Growth" with Robert C. Feenstra, and Marshall B. Reinsdorf, 2008.
    Since 1995, growth in productivity in the United States has accelerated dramatically, due in large part to the information technology sector. In this paper we argue that part of the apparent speed-up in productivity growth actually represents gains in the terms of trade and tariff reductions, especially for high-tech products. Unmeasured gains in the terms of trade and declines in tariffs cause real output growth and productivity growth to be overstated. Building on the GDP function approach of Diewert and Morrison, we develop methods for measuring these effects. The growth rates of our alternative price indexes for U.S. imports are as much as 2% per year lower than the growth rate of price indexes calculated using official methods. Because non-petroleum imports amount to around 10% of GDP during the late 1990s, the period we study, this terms-of-trade gain can account for close to 0.2 percentage points per year, or about 20% of the apparent increase in productivity growth for the U.S. economy.

  • "Productivity Growth, Knowledge Flows, and Spillovers" with Gustavo Crespi, Chiara Criscuolo, and Jonathan E. Haskel, 2008.
    This paper explores the role of knowledge flows and productivity growth by linking direct survey data on knowledge flows to firm-level data on TFP growth. Our data measure the information flows often considered important, especially by policy-makers, such as from within the firm and from suppliers, customers, and competitors. We examine (a) what are the empirically important sources of knowledge flows? (b) to what extent do such flows contribute to TFP growth? (c) do such flows constitute a spillover of free knowledge? (d) how do such flows correspond to suggested spillover sources, such as multinational or R&D presence? We find that: (a) the main sources of knowledge are competitors; suppliers; and plants that belong to the same business group ; (b) these three flows together account for about 50% of TFP growth; (c) the main "free" information flow spillover is from competitors; and (d) multinational presence contributes to this spillover.

  • "High-End Labor Markets: Talent, Performance, and Earnings on the PGA Tour," with Arnaud Costinot, Gordon H. Hanson, and Paul Wolfson, 2009.

  • "Expansion Abroad and the Domestic Operations of U.S. Multinational Firms," with Gordon H. Hanson and Marilyn Ibarra-Caton, 2009.

  • "Globalization, Multinationals, and the Elasticity of Labor Demand" with Jonathan E. Haskel, 2008.
    One of the most widely discussed impacts of globalization on domestic economies is to raise the elasticity of demand for labor-especially for multinational firms at the heart of globalization. To examine this idea empirically, on a panel of U.K. manufacturing plants spanning the 1980s and 1990s we estimate internal and external margins of labour demand. Because the 1990s featured the global shock of the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and the rise of China and India, these data are particularly well suited. We have two main findings: one on the internal margin of labor demand at ongoing plants, and the other on the external margin of plant shutdowns. First, multinational firms have more-elastic labor demand than do purely domestic firms-a gap that grew over the 1990s. Second, before 1990 multinational plant were less likely to close-but after 1990 they were more likely to close. Together, our results indicate important labor-demand differences between multinational and domestic firms-differences that recent global changes have accentuated.

  • "Globalization, Multinationals, and the Elasticity of Labor Demand," with Jonathan E. Haskel, 2009. "Real Relative Prices: Exchange-Rate Regimes Don’t Matter," with Robert F. Martin, 2009.