Are Productivity Levels Higher in Some European Countries than in the United States?
AbstractEstimates produced by the OECD indicate that labour productivity levels are higher in a number of European countries than in the United States, implying that Europe and not the United States is the world technological leader. The author argues that a structural measure of labour productivity, closer to a measure of technical efficiency, would take into account the much lower employment rates and hours of work in Europe. Low employment rates reflect the exclusion of certain low-porductivity groups such as the young and older workers from the labour force. Shorter average hours of work mean that workers experience less fatigue and are more focused when on the job. Consequently, the author argues that there are diminshing returns to the employment rate and hours of work in terms of productivity and that once these effects are taken into account, the United States reemerges as the world technology leader as manifested by labour productivity levels.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Centre for the Study of Living Standards in its journal International Productivity Monitor.
Volume (Year): 10 (2005)
Issue (Month): (Spring)
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O32 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
- L80 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - General
- M53 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Personnel Economics - - - Training
- M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
- O51 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
- O52 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
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- Bourlès, R. & Cette, G., 2005.
"A comparison of Structural Productivity Levels in the Major Industrialised Countries,"
133, Banque de France.
- Renaud Bourlès & Gilbert Cette, 2005. "A comparison of structural productivity levels in the major industrialised countries," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2005(2), pages 75-108.
- Bourlès, Renaud & Cette, Gilbert, 2005. "A comparison of structural productivity levels in the major industrialised countries," MPRA Paper 7330, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Andrew Sharpe, 2006.
"Lessons for Canada from International Productivity Experience,"
CSLS Research Reports
2006-02, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
- Andrew Sharpe, 2007. "Lessons for Canada from International Productivity Experience," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 14, pages 20-37, Spring.
- Bourlès, R. & Cette, G., 2006.
"Trends in "structural" productivity levels in the major industrialized countries,"
156, Banque de France.
- Bourles, Renaud & Cette, Gilbert, 2007. "Trends in "structural" productivity levels in the major industrialized countries," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 151-156, April.
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