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Characterising deindustrialisation: An analysis of changes in manufacturing employment and output internationally

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  • Fiona Tregenna

Abstract

Deindustrialisation is typically conceptualised as a decline in manufacturing as a share of total employment. From a Kaldorian perspective deindustrialisation could have negative implications for long-run growth, given the special growth-pulling properties of manufacturing. However, defining deindustrialisation purely in terms of employment share is conceptually limiting given that some of the Kaldorian processes operate primarily through output rather than employment, as well as blunting empirical analysis by not focussing enough on changes in manufacturing share of gross domestic product (GDP). This study develops a new method using decomposition techniques to analyse changes in manufacturing employment levels and shares in 48 countries over periods of 'deindustrialisation'. The analysis separates out changes in the levels and shares of employment manufacturing into components associated with changes in the share of manufacturing in GDP, the growth of manufacturing value-added, the labour intensity of manufacturing production and economic growth. The results indicate that in most cases the decline in manufacturing employment is associated primarily with falling labour intensity of manufacturing rather than an overall decline in the size or share of the manufacturing sector. We suggest that deindustrialisation should appropriately be defined in terms of a sustained decline in both the share of manufacturing in total employment and the share of manufacturing in GDP. Copyright The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Cambridge Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 33 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 433-466

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:33:y:2009:i:3:p:433-466

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Cited by:
  1. Tregenna, F., 2009. "Contracting Out of Service Activities and the Effects on Sectoral Employment Patterns in South Africa," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0906, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  2. Flavio Vilela Vieira & Ana Paula Macedo De Avellar & Michele Polline Verissimo, 2014. "Indústria E Crescimento: Análise Depainel," Anais do XL Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 40th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 078, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  3. Tregenna, Fiona, 2008. "Sectoral Engines of Growth in South Africa: An Analysis of Services and Manufacturing," Working Paper Series RP2008/98, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  4. Emanuele Millemaci & Ferdinando Ofria, 2014. "Kaldor-Verdoorn's law and increasing returns to scale: A comparison across developed countries," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 41(1), pages 140 - 162, January.
  5. Neil Dias Karunaratne, 2013. "The mining boom, productivity conundrum and monetary policy design to combat resource curse effects in Australia," Discussion Papers Series 504, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  6. Szirmai, Adam & Verspagen, Bart, 2011. "Manufacturing and Economic Growth in Developing Countries, 1950-2005," MERIT Working Papers 069, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  7. Lavopa, Alejandro & Szirmai, Adam, 2012. "Industrialization, employment and poverty," MERIT Working Papers 081, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  8. Tregenna, Fiona, 2011. "Manufacturing Productivity, Deindustrialization, and Reindustrialization," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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