Total Factor Productivity Revisited: A Dual Approach to Development Accounting
AbstractThis paper tackles a number of issues that are central to cross-country comparisons of productivity. We develop a “dual” method to compare levels of total factor productivity (TFP) across nations that relies on factor price data rather than the data on stocks of factors required by standard “primal” estimates. Consistent with the development accounting literature based on primal estimates, we find that TFP accounts for the bulk of differences in income per worker across countries. However, we also find that there are significant differences between TFP series calculated using the two different approaches. We trace the reason for this divergence to inconsistencies between the data on user costs of capital and physical stocks of capital. In addition, we establish that the standard Cobb-Douglas methodology of assuming a constant capital share of one-third for all countries is a very good approximation to a more general formulation under which countries have different aggregate production functions which do not require a constant elasticity of substitution between factors.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics in its series EPRU Working Paper Series with number 04-07.
Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision:
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TFP; development accounting; dual approach; Cobb-Douglas hypothesis;
Other versions of this item:
- Shekhar Aiyar & Carl-Johan Dalgaard, 2005. "Total Factor Productivity Revisited: A Dual Approach to Development Accounting," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 52(1), pages 82-102, April.
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
- O57 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-05-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2004-05-16 (Development)
- NEP-EFF-2004-06-02 (Efficiency & Productivity)
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