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Messprobleme bei der Ermittlung des Wachstums der Arbeitsproduktivität – dargestellt anhand eines Vergleichs der Schweiz mit den USA

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Abstract

The paper summarises and advances arguments made earlier by staff members of the Swiss Institute for Business Cycle Research in the current debate over the reasons for growth in Switzerland being weak. It is shown that the assessment of the speed of productivity growth crucially depends on how one chooses to measure both labour input and value added. Using the most adequate measures for both variables, and concentrating on the period between 1980 and 1997, we obtain a productivity growth for Switzerland that has been significantly higher than in the U.S. Since 1997, the U.S. have outperformed Europe in general and Switzerland in particular according to a widely held view. We show this view to rely – at least in part – on statistical artefacts. Approximately 0.5 percentage points of the annual growth rates of U.S. GDP (and hence labour productivity) result from revisions to deflation methods which have been introduced in the U.S. since 1998. Switzerland, however, has not introduced such revisions (or has not extrapolated backwards their impacts on the deflators). All in all, our results should help to put into perspective public concern over Swiss growth rates being behind those of other countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich in its series KOF Working papers with number 05-100.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: May 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:05-100

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Keywords: Productivity measurement; deflation methods; statistical artifacts; USA; Switzerland;

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  1. Nadim Ahmad & François Lequiller & Pascal Marianna & Dirk Pilat & Paul Schreyer & Anita Wölfl, 2003. "Comparing Labour Productivity Growth in the OECD Area: The Role of Measurement," OECD Statistics Working Papers 2003/5, OECD Publishing.
  2. Gordon, Robert J, 2004. "Five Puzzles in the Behaviour of Productivity, Investment and Innovation," CEPR Discussion Papers 4414, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Stefano Scarpetta & Andrea Bassanini & Dirk Pilat & Paul Schreyer, 2000. "Economic Growth in the OECD Area: Recent Trends at the Aggregate and Sectoral Level," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 248, OECD Publishing.
  4. Robert J. Gordon, 2003. "Exploding Productivity Growth: Context, Causes, and Implications," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(2), pages 207-298.
  5. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, January.
  6. Jochen Hartwig & Bernd Schips, 2005. "Verzerrungen von Konsumentenpreisindices und ihr Einfluss auf das "reale" Wirtschaftswachstum- dargestellt am Beispiel der USA," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 225(4), pages 394-412, July.
  7. Paul Schreyer, 2001. "Information And Communication Technology And The Measurement Of Volume Output And Final Demand - A Five-Country Study," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(5), pages 339-376.
  8. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2000. "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 125-236.
  9. Dennis J Fixler & Marshall B Reinsdorf & Shaunda Villones, 2010. "Measuring the services of commercial banks in the NIPA," IFC Bulletins chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), The IFC's contribution to the 57th ISI Session, Durban, August 2009, volume 33, pages 346-349 Bank for International Settlements.
  10. G. Christian Ehemann & Brent R. Moulton, 2001. "Balancing the GDP Account," BEA Papers 0014, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  11. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2005. "Is Switzerland in a Great Depression?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 759-775, July.
  12. Yngve Abrahamsen & Roland Aeppli & Erdal Atukeren & Michael Graff & Christian Müller & Bernd Ships, 2005. "The Swiss Disease: Facts and Artefacts, A Reply to Kehoe and Prescott," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(3), pages 749-758, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Jochen Hartwig, 2005. "Sind unsere gesamtwirtschaftlichen Probleme überhaupt lösbar?," KOF Working papers 05-112, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  2. Jochen Hartwig, 2005. "On misusing National Accounts data for governance purposes," KOF Working papers 05-101, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.

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