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Productivité du travail : les divergences entre pays développés sont-elles durables

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  • Clément Bosquet
  • Michel Fouquin

Abstract

Between 1950 and 1973, a process of absolute convergence was at work between the technological leader, the USA, West European countries and Japan. The catching up process between developed countries gradually vanished between 1973 and 1995. On the one hand, we had a revival of US labour productivity growth while, on the other hand most, European countries and Japan have registered a steep decline in their productivity. This paper nvestigates the source of these diverging trends. First we use an econometric test developed by Bai and Perron in order to find and measure breaks in productivity trends over the long term. It appears that although technological change played an important role in the US revival between 1995 and 2001 it is the low increase in employment between 2001 and 2007 than explains the continuing rise in productivity. The technological factor does not contribute either to explain the growth rate decline in other developed countries. Even if they were lagging behind the US in investing in these new technologies they had considerably increased their efforts. One crucial element in explaining these diverging trends is the change in the labour content of growth both in the US where it is declining and in most European countries where it increases. This article uses various data bases in order to find out the time and frequency in productivity trend breaks both at the macro-economic level and at the sectoral level. The most up to date data for 2008 tend to confirm our diagnosis of divergence.

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Paper provided by CEPII research center in its series Working Papers with number 2009-02.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cii:cepidt:2009-02

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  1. BAI, Jushan & PERRON, Pierre, 1998. "Computation and Analysis of Multiple Structural-Change Models," Cahiers de recherche, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques 9807, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  2. Maury, P-M. & Pluyaud, B., 2004. "The Breaks in per Capita Productivity Trends in a Number of Industrial Countries," Working papers, Banque de France 111, Banque de France.
  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. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-56, July.
  5. Jushan Bai, 1997. "Estimation Of A Change Point In Multiple Regression Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 551-563, November.
  6. Martin Neil Baily & Robert Z. Lawrence, 2004. "What Happened to the Great U.S. Job Machine? The Role of Trade and Electronic Offshoring," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(2), pages 211-284.
  7. Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ 9552, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  8. FUKAO Kyoji & HAMAGATA Sumio & MIYAGAWA Tsutomu & TONOGI Konomi, 2007. "Intangible Investment in Japan: Measurement and Contribution to Economic Growth," Discussion papers, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) 07034, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
  9. Hervé Boulhol & Laure Turner, 2009. "Employment-Productivity Trade-off and Labour Composition," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 698, OECD Publishing.
  10. Bai, Jushan, 1999. "Likelihood ratio tests for multiple structural changes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 299-323, August.
  11. Johanna Melka & Laurence Nayman, 2004. "TIC et productivite : une comparaison internationale," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, CEPII research center, issue 98, pages 35-57.
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