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Trends of labour productivity in Italy: a study with panel co-integration methods

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  • Stefano Fachin
  • Andrea Gavosto

Abstract

Purpose – The main aim of this paper is to examine labour productivity trends in Italy over the period 1981-2004. Design/methodology/approach – To this end, relying on recent developments in the analysis of non-stationary dependent panels, the paper develops a new method for estimating total factor productivity (TFP) trends. Findings – The conclusions confirm the view that the recent decline in Italian labour productivity growth is mostly due to a widespread fall in TFP growth. Research limitations/implications – The main assumption underlying the proposed TFP estimation method is that technology growth is driven by a single trend common to all units included in the panel (industries, regions or countries). Originality/value – The paper provides two distinct contributions: empirically, it provides robust evidence that TFP slow-down is the main cause of recent negative trends in labour productivity in Italy. Methodologically, the paper proposes an approach to estimating TFP that enjoys several advantages: only basic data for input and output flows are needed, the non-stationary nature of the data is explicitly taken into account, and confidence intervals for TFP growth can be computed. This method can thus be easily applied to many routinely available datasets, to either corroborate existing growth accounting estimates or to obtain previously unavailable estimates.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 7 (November)
Pages: 755-769

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:31:y:2010:i:7:p:755-769

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References

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  1. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2002. "Information Technology and the U.S. Productivity Revival: What Do the Industry Data Say?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1559-1576, December.
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  3. James Harrigan, 1998. "Estimation of cross-country differences in industry production functions," Staff Reports 36, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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  5. Francesco Daveri & Cecilia Jona-Lasinio, 2005. "Italy’s Decline: Getting the Facts Right," Working Papers 301, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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  11. Vincenzo Atella & Beniamino Quintieri, 2001. "Do R&D expenditures really matter for TFP?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(11), pages 1385-1389.
  12. Balistreri, Edward J. & McDaniel, Christine A. & Wong, Eina Vivian, 2003. "An estimation of US industry-level capital-labor substitution elasticities: support for Cobb-Douglas," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 343-356, December.
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  14. Cheng Hsiao & Yan Shen & Hiroshi Fujiki, 2004. "Aggregate vs Disaggregate Data Analysis — A Paradox in the Estimation of a Money Demand Function of Japan Under the Low Interest Rate Policy," IEPR Working Papers 04.1, Institute of Economic Policy Research (IEPR).
  15. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
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  17. Stefano Fachin, 2005. "Long-Run Trends in Internal Migrations in Italy: a Study in Panel Cointegration with Dependent Units," Econometrics 0507002, EconWPA.
  18. Psaradakis, Zacharias, 2001. "On bootstrap inference in cointegrating regressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 1-10, July.
  19. Kee Hiau Looi, 2004. "Estimating Productivity When Primal and Dual TFP Accounting Fail: An Illustration Using Singapore's Industries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-40, October.
  20. n/a, 1997. "Trade with China: Do the Figures Add up?," NIESR Discussion Papers 219, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
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