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Mind the gap! International comparisons of productivity in services and goods production

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  • Robert Inklaar
  • Marcel P. Timmer
  • Bart van Ark

Abstract

In this paper, we make a comparison of industry output, inputs and productivity growth and levels between seven advanced economies (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, UK and U.S.). Our industry-level growth accounts go up to 2003, and make use of input data on labour quantity (hours) and quality (schooling levels), and distinguish between six different types of capital assets (including three ICT assets). The comparison of levels relies on multilateral, industry-specific purchasing power parities (PPPs) for output and inputs, within a consistent input-output framework for the year 1997. Our results show that differences in productivity growth and levels can mainly be traced to market services, not to goods-producing industries. Some of the strong productivity growth in market services in Anglo-Saxon countries may be related to relatively low productivity levels compared to the U.S. In contrast, services productivity levels in continental European countries were on par with the U.S. in 1997, but growth in Europe was much weaker since then. In terms of factor input use, the U.S. is very different from all other countries, mostly because of its more intensive use of ICT capital.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University in its series Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series with number d06-175.

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Date of creation: Jul 2006
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Handle: RePEc:hst:hstdps:d06-175

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References

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  1. Robert Inklaar & Marcel Timmer, 2007. "International Comparisons of Industry Output, Inputs and Productivity Levels: Methodology and New Results," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 343-363.
  2. Nicoletti, Giuseppe & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2003. "Regulation, productivity, and growth : OECD evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2944, The World Bank.
  3. Brynjolfsson, Erik & Hitt, Lorin M., 2004. "Computing Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence," Working papers 4210-01, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  4. Laurits R. Christensen & Dianne Cummings & Dale Jorgenson, 1980. "Economic Growth, 1947-73;An International Comparison," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Measurement, pages 595-698 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Susanto Basu & John Fernald, 2007. "Information and Communications Technology as a General-Purpose Technology: Evidence from US Industry Data," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8, pages 146-173, 05.
  6. Theo Eicher & Oliver Röhn, 2007. "Sources of the German Productivity Demise – Tracing the Effects of Industry-Level ICT Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1896, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Inklaar, Robert & Mahony, Mary O' & Timmer, Marcel, 2003. "ICT and Europe's productivity performance industry-level growth account comparisons with the United States," GGDC Research Memorandum 200368, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  8. van Ark, Bart, 1998. "Productivity," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 171-174, June.
  9. Robert J. Gordon, 2004. "Why was Europe Left at the Station When America's Productivity Locomotive Departed?," NBER Working Papers 10661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Timmer, Marcel & Inklaar, Robert, 2005. "Productivity differentials in the U.S. and EU distributive trade sector: statistical myth or reality," GGDC Research Memorandum 200576, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  11. van Ark, Bart & Inklaar, Robert, 2006. "Catching up or getting stuck? Europe's troubles to exploit ICT's productivity potential," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-79, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  12. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2002. "Information technology and productivity: where are we now and where are we going?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q3, pages 15-44.
  13. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000. "The resurgence of growth in the late 1990s: is information technology the story?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Francesco Daveri, 2004. "Delayed IT Usage: Is it really the drag on Europe's productivity?," Working Papers 267, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  15. Someshwar Rao & Andrew Sharpe & Jeremy Smith, 2005. "An Analysis of the Labour Productivity Growth Slowdown in Canada since 2000," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 10, pages 3-23, Spring.
  16. Dirk Pilat, 1996. "Labour Productivity Levels in OECD Countries: Estimates for Manufacturing and Selected Service Sectors," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 169, OECD Publishing.
  17. Mary O'Mahony & Michela Vecchi, 2005. "Quantifying the Impact of ICT Capital on Output Growth: A Heterogeneous Dynamic Panel Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(288), pages 615-633, November.
  18. Ark, Bart van & Inklaar, Robert & McGuckin, Robert H., 2003. "ICT and productivity in Europe and the United States," CCSO Working Papers 200311, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Mc Morrow, Kieran & Röger, Werner & Turrini, Alessandro, 2010. "Determinants of TFP growth: A close look at industries driving the EU-US TFP gap," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 165-180, August.
  2. Mas, Matilde & Quesada, Javier & Robledo, Juan Carlos, 2007. "Las nuevas tecnologías y la competitividad industrial
    [New technologies and industrial competiveness]
    ," MPRA Paper 15826, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2007.
  3. Paul Schreyer, 2007. "International Comparisons of Levels of Capital Input and Multi-Factor Productivity," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8, pages 237-254, 05.
  4. Dankbaar, Ben & Vissers, Geert, 2009. "Of knowledge and work," MPIfG Working Paper 09/16, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
  5. Henry van der Wiel & Harold Creusen & George van Leeuwen & Eugene van der Pijll, 2008. "Cross your border and look around," DEGIT Conference Papers c013_005, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  6. Francois, Joseph & Hoekman, Bernard, 2009. "Services Trade and Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 7616, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Marcel P. Timmer & Robert Inklaar & Mary O'Mahony & Bart van Ark, 2011. "Productivity and Economic Growth in Europe: A Comparative Industry Perspective," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 21, pages 3-23, Spring.
  8. Robert Inklaar & Marcel P. Timmer, 2007. "Of Yeast and Mushrooms: Patterns of Industry-Level Productivity Growth," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8, pages 174-187, 05.
  9. Thierry Tressel, 2008. "Does Technological Diffusion Explain Australia's Productivity Performance?," IMF Working Papers 08/4, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Kyoji Fukao & Tsutomu Miyagawa & Miho Takizawa, 2007. "Productivity Growth and Resource Reallocation in Japan," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d07-224, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  11. McMorrow, Kieran & Röger, Werner & Turrini, Alessandro Antonio, 2009. "The EU-US total factor productivity gap : An industry-level perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 7237, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 2008. "Information and communications technology as a general purpose technology: evidence from U.S. industry data," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 1-15.
  13. Hoekman, Bernard & Mattoo, Aaditya, 2008. "Services trade and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4461, The World Bank.
  14. Luc Soete, 2007. "From Industrial to Innovation Policy," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 273-284, December.
  15. Bart van Ark & Charles R. Hulten, 2007. "Innovation, Intangibles and Economic Growth: Towards A Comprehensive Accounting of the Knowledge Economy," Economics Program Working Papers 07-02, The Conference Board, Economics Program.
  16. Pamfili Antipa & Marie-Elisabeth de la Serve, 2010. "International Comparisons of Industry-based Productivity Levels in the Financial and Business Service Sectors," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 19, pages 66-81, Spring.
  17. Huang, Chien-Yu & Ji, Lei, 2013. "Knowledge-intensive business services and economic growth with endogenous market structure," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PA), pages 95-106.

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