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Comparative output and labor productivity in manufacturing between China, Japan, Korea and the United States for ca. 1935 - A production-side PPP approach

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Author Info

  • Yuan, Tangjun
  • Fukao, Kyoji
  • Wu, Harry X.

Abstract

Following the standard industry-of-origin methodology to measure production-side purchasing power parities (PPPs), this study for the first time provides a set of unit value ratios (UVRs) of manufacturing products between China, Japan, Korea and the US, based on which it derives PPP estimates for individual manufacturing industries for these East Asian countries with the US as the benchmark for ca. 1935. The estimated PPP for total manufacturing suggests that the relative level of the producer price in China, Japan and Korea was about half to two thirds of the prevailing market exchange rates, respectively. The estimated PPPs are used to calculate comparative output and labor productivity for individual industries of these countries for ca. 1935. It shows that the size of factory manufacturing in Japan was 12 percent of the US level and in China only about one percent of the US level. In terms of comparative labor productivity, measured as PPP$ per hour worked, Japanese and Korean manufacturing was 24 and 23 percent of the US level, whereas Chinese manufacturing was only 7 percent of the US level.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 47 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 325-346

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:47:y:2010:i:3:p:325-346

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

Related research

Keywords: Production-side (industry-of-origin) purchasing power parity (PPP) Unit value ratio Comparative output and labor productivity Comparative advantage Economic development;

References

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  1. Broadberry, Stephen & Burhop, Carsten, 2007. "Comparative Productivity in British and German Manufacturing Before World War II: Reconciling Direct Benchmark Estimates and Time Series Projections," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(02), pages 315-349, June.
  2. Ma, Debin, 2008. "Economic Growth in the Lower Yangzi Region of China in 1911–1937: A Quantitative and Historical Analysis," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(02), pages 355-392, June.
  3. Nishimizu, Mieko & Robinson, Sherman, 1984. "Trade policies and productivity change in semi-industrialized countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1-2), pages 177-206.
  4. Maddison, Angus, 1983. "A Comparison of Levels of GDP Per Capita in Developed and Developing Countries, 1700–1980," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(01), pages 27-41, March.
  5. Pilat, Dirk & Rao, D S Prasada, 1996. "Multilateral Comparisons of Output, Productivity, and Purchasing Power Parities in Manufacturing," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 42(2), pages 113-30, June.
  6. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1998. "Real Wages and Relative Factor Prices in the Third World Before 1940: What Do They Tell Us About the Sources of Growth?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1855, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
  8. Fremdling, Rainer & De Jong, Herman & Timmer, Marcel P., 2007. "British and German Manufacturing Productivity Compared: A New Benchmark for 1935/36 Based on Double Deflated Value Added," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 67(02), pages 350-378, June.
  9. Kyoji Fukao & Osamu Saito, 2006. "Japan's alternating phases of growth and outlook for the future," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d06-196, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  10. van Ark, Bart & Maddison, Angus, 1988. "Comparisons of real output in manufacturing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5, The World Bank.
  11. Debin Ma, 2008. "Economic growth in the Lower Yangzi region of China in 1911–1937: a quantitative and historical analysis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 32398, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Paul B. Trescott, 1996. "How Keynesian Economics Came to China," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 9601001, EconWPA.
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