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Cross-country comparisons of industry total factor productivity: theory and evidence

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  • James Harrigan

Abstract

International trade economists typically assume that TFP for each industry is the same in every country. This paper casts doubt on this hypothesis, finding large and persistent TFP differences across countries. The paper considers measurement issues in depth, and a methodology for international TFP comparisons is described. This methodology is applied to a dataset on prices, inputs, and outputs for a group of industrialized countries in the 1980s. The paper finds that the United States was the TFP leader in machinery and equipment during the 1980s, with Japan slightly behind. These results are compared to the previous literature on disaggregated TFP comparisons.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Research Paper with number 9734.

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Date of creation: 1997
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednrp:9734

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Keywords: Industrial productivity;

References

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  1. James Harrigan, 1996. "Technology, factor supplies, and international specialization: estimating the neoclassical model," Staff Reports 15, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-46, December.
  3. James Harrigan, 1998. "Estimation of cross-country differences in industry production functions," Staff Reports 36, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  4. Keith E. Maskus, 1991. "Comparing International Trade Data and Product and National Characteristics Data for the Analysis of Trade Models," NBER Chapters, in: International Economic Transactions: Issues in Measurement and Empirical Research, pages 17-60 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Diewert, W. Erwin, 1978. "Hick's Aggregation Theorem and the Existence of a Real Value Added Function," Histoy of Economic Thought Chapters, in: Fuss, Melvyn & McFadden, Daniel (ed.), Production Economics: A Dual Approach to Theory and Applications, volume 2, chapter 2 McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought.
  6. Oulton,Nicholas & O'Mahony,Mary, 1994. "Productivity and Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521453455, Fall.
  7. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R & Diewert, W Erwin, 1982. "Multilateral Comparisons of Output, Input, and Productivity Using Superlative Index Numbers," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(365), pages 73-86, March.
  8. Hooper, Peter & Larin, Kathryn A, 1989. "International Comparisons of Labor Costs in Manufacturing," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 35(4), pages 335-55, December.
  9. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "International Factor Price Differences: Leontief Was Right!," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(6), pages 961-87, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. William R. Kerr, 2013. "Heterogeneous Technology Diffusion and Ricardian Trade Patterns," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-039, Harvard Business School.
  2. James Harrigan, 2001. "Specialization and the volume of trade: do the data obey the laws?," Staff Reports 140, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Scarpetta, Stefano & Tressel, Thierry, 2004. "Boosting productivity via innovation and adoption of new technologies : any role for labor market institutions?," Social Protection Discussion Papers 29144, The World Bank.
  4. Kei-Mu Yi, 2003. "Can Vertical Specialization Explain the Growth of World Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 52-102, February.
  5. Berthold Herrendorf & Arilton Teixeira, . "How Barriers to International Trade Affect TFP," Working Papers 2167724, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
  6. James Harrigan, 1996. "Technology, factor supplies, and international specialization: estimating the neoclassical model," Staff Reports 15, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. Harrigan, James, 1999. "Estimation of cross-country differences in industry production functions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 267-293, April.
  8. Herrendorf, Berthold & Teixeira, Arilton, 2002. "How Trade Policy Affects Technology Adoption and Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3486, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Esposti, Roberto, 2008. "Why Should Regional Agricultural Productivity Growth Converge? Evidence from Italian Regions," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 43955, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  10. Morrow, Peter M., 2010. "Ricardian-Heckscher-Ohlin comparative advantage: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 137-151, November.
  11. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Marzio Galeotti & Alessandra Tucci, 2002. "Do Not Get Trapped into Crossing: Indian Firms and Foreign Markets," Development Working Papers 170, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  12. Marta Simões & Adelaide Duarte, 2007. "Education and growth: an industry-level analysis of the Portuguese manufacturing," GEMF Working Papers 2007-03, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  13. James Harrigan, 1997. "Estimation of Cross-Country Differences in Industry," NBER Working Papers 6121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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