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Comparing Australian and United States productivity

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  • Jyoti Rahman

    (Treasury, Government of Australia)

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    Abstract

    Despite a series of broad and deep macroeconomic and microeconomic reforms boosting Australia's productivity growth, the level of Australia’s GDP per capita remains well below that of the United States. A continuing gap in the levels of productivity plays a central role in explaining Australia’s GDP per capita relative to the US. This paper reviews various explanations for the Australia-US productivity gap and finds that the productivity gap can at least in part be explained by a combination of: differences in human capital as represented by educational attainment; differences in product and labour market policies; and the geographic and historical context in which the Australian economy operates. Differences in physical capital per worker and industry structures do not appear to be primary explanations for the productivity gap.

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    File URL: http://archive.treasury.gov.au/documents/987/PDF/04_comparing_productivity.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Treasury, Australian Government in its journal Economic Roundup.

    Volume (Year): (2005)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 27-45

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    Handle: RePEc:tsy:journl:journl_tsy_er_2005_2_2

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    Related research

    Keywords: gross domestic product; human capital; microeconomics; productivity;

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    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Lewis Evans and Patrick Hughes, 2003. "Competition Policy in Small Distant Open Economies: Some Lessons from the Economics Literature," Treasury Working Paper Series 03/31, New Zealand Treasury.
    2. Chad Syverson, 2001. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," Working Papers 01-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    3. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
    4. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & C.J. Krizan, 2002. "The Link Between Aggregate and Micro Productivity Growth: Evidence from Retail Trade," NBER Working Papers 9120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Alan Winters, L. & Martins, Pedro M. G., 2004. "When comparative advantage is not enough: business costs in small remote economies," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(03), pages 347-383, November.
    6. Robert J. Gordon, 2004. "Why was Europe Left at the Station When America's Productivity Locomotive Departed?," NBER Working Papers 10661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Paul Conway & Véronique Janod & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2005. "Product Market Regulation in OECD Countries: 1998 to 2003," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 419, OECD Publishing.
    8. Robert Ewing & Bryn Battersby, 2005. "Measuring recent trends in Australia’s economic remoteness," Economic Roundup, Treasury, Australian Government, Treasury, Australian Government, issue 1, pages 21-31, March.
    9. Stephen Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2002. "The Economics of Isolation and Distance," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 28, pages 93-108.
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    Cited by:
    1. Gene Tunny, 2006. "Educational attainment in Australia," Economic Roundup, Treasury, Australian Government, Treasury, Australian Government, issue 2, pages 1-9, May.
    2. Ben Dolman & Lan Lu & Jyoti Rahman, 2006. "Understanding productivity trends," Economic Roundup, Treasury, Australian Government, Treasury, Australian Government, issue 1, pages 35-52, March.

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