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Measuring productivity growth in Asia: do market imperfections matter?

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  • John Fernald
  • Brent Neiman

Abstract

Recent research reports contradictory estimates of productivity growth for the newly industrialized economies (NIEs) of Asia. In particular, estimates using real factor prices find relatively rapid TFP growth; estimates using quantities of inputs and output find relatively low TFP growth. The difference is particularly notable for Singapore, where the difference is about 2-1/4 percentage-points per year. We show that about 2/3 of that difference reflects differences in estimated capital payments. We argue that these differences reflect economically interesting imperfections in output and capital markets, including sizeable economic profits in Singapore and government-directed credit. We derive a measure of technology growth, corrected for the imperfections that we quantify.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in its series Working Paper Series with number WP-03-15.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-03-15

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Keywords: Asia ; Economic conditions ; Productivity;

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Cited by:
  1. Jesus Felipe & John McCombie, 2012. "Aggregate Production Functions and the Accounting Identity Critique: Further Reflections on Temple's Criticisms and Misunderstandings," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_718, Levy Economics Institute.
  2. Hyeok Jeong & Robert Townsend, 2007. "Sources of TFP growth: occupational choice and financial deepening," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 179-221, July.
  3. S.M. Thangavelu & Toh Mun Heng, 2005. "Bilateral “WTO-Plus†Free Trade Agreements : The WTO Trade Policy Review of Singapore 2004," Trade Working Papers 22590, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  4. Albert Bollard & Peter Klenow & Gunjam Sharma, 2013. "India's Mysterious Manufacturing Miracle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 59-85, January.
  5. Brent Neiman, 2013. "The Global Decline of the Labor Share," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 61-103.
  6. Gita Gopinath & Brent Neiman, 2014. "Trade Adjustment and Productivity in Large Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 793-831, March.
  7. Bigsten, Arne & Durevall, Dick, 2004. "Kenya’s Development Path and Factor Prices 1964-2000," Working Papers in Economics 142, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  8. Jesus Felipe & J. S. L. McCombie, 2004. "On The Rental Price Of Capital And The Profit Rate: The Perils And Pitfalls Of Total Factor Productivity Growth," CAMA Working Papers 2004-10, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  9. Rod Tyers & Feng Lu, 2009. "Competition Policy, Corporate Saving and China's Current Account Surplus," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2009-496, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.

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