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Climbing the Technology Ladder Too Fast? An International Comparison of Productivity in South and East- Asian Manufacturing, 1963-1993

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  • Timmer, Marcel P.

    (ECIS, Eindhoven University of Technology)

Abstract

This paper provides a star comparison of manufacturing productivity levels in China, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Taiwan with the US as the reference country for the period 1963-1993. South Korea and Taiwan showed prolonged catch up in labour productivity with the US, whereas the other countries had long periods of relative stagnation. This is reflected in relative performance of seven detailed manufacturing branches. Physical capital per hour worked in the Asian countries is still well below the US level and there are abundant opportunities for further capital intensification. Relative total factor productivity levels in South-Korean and Taiwanese manufacturing are much lower than in the US in all manufacturing branches. The same is true for India and Indonesia compared to South Korea and Taiwan. Hence, late industrializers do not automatically benefit from the increasing global pool of technologies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies in its series Working Papers with number 99.2.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:ein:tuecis:992

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Keywords: productivity levels; South & East Asia;

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References

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  1. repec:fth:harver:1510 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Comparing Apples to Oranges: Productivity Convergence and Measurement across Industries and Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1216-38, December.
  3. Nelson, Richard R, 1973. "Recent Exercises in Growth Accounting: New Understanding or Dead End?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 462-68, June.
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  6. Young, Alwyn, 1995. "The Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth Experience," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 641-80, August.
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  8. Peter Hooper & Elizabeth Vrankovich, 1995. "International comparisons of the levels of unit labor costs in manufacturing," International Finance Discussion Papers 527, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Kim Jong-Il & Lau Lawrence J., 1994. "The Sources of Economic Growth of the East Asian Newly Industrialized Countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 235-271, September.
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  11. Nelson, Richard R. & Pack, Howard, 1998. "The Asian miracle and modern growth theory," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1881, The World Bank.
  12. Marcel Timmer, 1999. "Indonesia's Ascent on the Technology Ladder: Capital Stock and Total Factor Productivity in Indonesian Manufacturing, 1975-95," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 75-97.
  13. Timmer, Marcel P., 1996. "On the Reliability of Unit Value Ratios in International Comparisons," GGDC Research Memorandum 199631, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  14. van Ark, Bart & Maddison, Angus, 1988. "Comparisons of real output in manufacturing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Verspagen,Bart, 2000. "Growth and Structural Change: Trends, Patterns and Policy Options," Research Memorandum 015, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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