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Explaining a productive decade

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  • Stephen D. Oliner
  • Daniel E. Sichel.
  • Kevin J. Stiroh

Abstract

This paper analyzes the sources of U.S. productivity growth in recent years using both aggregate and industry-level data. We confirm the central role for information technology (IT) in the productivity revival during 1995-2000 and show that IT played a significant, though smaller, role after 2000. Productivity growth after 2000 appears to have been boosted by industry restructuring and cost cutting in response to profit pressures, an unlikely source of future strength. In addition, the incorporation of intangible capital into the growth accounting framework takes some of the luster off the performance of labor productivity since 2000 and makes the gain during 1995-2000 look larger than in the official data. Finally, we examine the outlook for trend growth in labor productivity; our estimate, though subject to much uncertainty, is centered at 2-1/4 percent a year, faster than the lackluster pace that prevailed before 1995 but somewhat slower than the 1995-2006 average.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2007-63.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2007-63

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Keywords: Industrial productivity ; Information technology;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. repec:dgr:unumer:2012050 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Nicholas Oulton, 2010. "Long term implications of the ICT revolution: applying the lessons of growth theory and growth accounting," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 49303, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel. & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2007. "Explaining a productive decade," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-63, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Janet L. Yellen, 2007. "The U.S. economy and monetary policy," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue dec7.
  5. Andrew Figura & William Wascher, 2008. "The causes and consequences of economic restructuring: evidence from the early 21st century," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2008-41, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Nicholas Crafts, 2010. "Cliometrics and technological change: a survey," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(5), pages 1127-1147.
  7. Choi, Changkyu & Hoon Yi, Myung, 2009. "The effect of the Internet on economic growth: Evidence from cross-country panel data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 39-41, October.
  8. Taylor, John B., 2008. "A review of the productivity resurgence," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 619-626.
  9. Hyunbae Chun & Jung-Wook Kim & Randall Morck, 2011. "Varying Heterogeneity among U.S. Firms: Facts and Implications," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 1034-1052, August.

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