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Alternative Methods for Measuring Productivity Growth

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  • William D. Nordhaus

Abstract

The present study is a contribution to the theory of the measurement of productivity growth. First, it examines the welfare-theoretic basis for measuring productivity growth and shows that the ideal welfare-theoretic measure is a chain index of productivity growth rates of different sectors which uses current output weights. Second, it lays out a technique for decomposing productivity growth which separates aggregate productivity growth into three factors -- the pure productivity effect, the effect of changing shares, and the effect of different productivity levels. Finally, it shows how to apply the theoretically correct measure of productivity growth and indicates which of the three different components should be included in a welfare-oriented measure of productivity growth. The study concludes that none of the measures generally used to measure productivity growth is consistent with the theoretically correct measure.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8095.

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Date of creation: Jan 2001
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8095

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Cited by:
  1. Kieran Mc Morrow & Werner Roeger, 2001. "Potential Output: Measurement Methods, "New" Economy Influences and Scenarios for 2001-2010 - A comparison of the EU-15 and the US," European Economy - Economic Papers 150, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  2. Chandra, Vandana & Osorio Rodarte, Israel, 2009. "Options for Income-Enhancing Diversification in Burkina Faso," MPRA Paper 20928, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Ricardo de Avillez, 2012. "Sectoral Contributions to Labour Productivity Growth in Canada: Does the Choice of Decomposition Formula Matter?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 24, pages 97-117, Fall.
  4. Diagne, Youssoupha S & Fall, Alsim, 2007. "Impact des infrastructures publiques sur la productivité des entreprises au Sénégal
    [Impact of public infrastructures on firms productivity in Senegal]
    ," MPRA Paper 54809, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Giulia Felice, 2003. "Dinamica strutturale e occupazione nei servizi," Department of Economics Working Papers 0304, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  6. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G., 2002. "Aggregate productivity and aggregate technology," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 963-991, June.
  7. Slevin, Geraldine, 2002. "Is There a "New Economy" in Ireland?," Research Technical Papers 3/RT/02, Central Bank of Ireland.
  8. Saraswat, Deepak, 2008. "Towards a sustainable Growth story: A critical analysis of the fundamentals," MPRA Paper 12306, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. C�cile Denis & Kieran Mc Morrow & Werner R�ger, 2002. "Production function approach to calculating potential growth and output gaps - estimates for the EU Member States and the US," European Economy - Economic Papers 176, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  10. Ralph Kozlow, 2000. "International Accounts Data Needs: Plans, Progress, and Priorities," BEA Papers 0009, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  11. C�cile Denis & Daniel Grenouilleau & Kieran Mc Morrow & Werner R�ger, 2006. "Calculating potential growth rates and output gaps - A revised production function approach," European Economy - Economic Papers 247, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  12. Hélène Baudchon & Olivier Brossard, 2003. "Definitions and Measures of ICT Impact on Growth: What is Really at Stake?," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2003-01, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  13. Paola Caselli & Francesco Paternò, 2001. "ICT accumulation and productivity growth in the United States: an analysis based on industry data," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 419, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  14. Montes-Rojas, Gabriel & Santamaria, Mauricio, 2007. "Sources of productivity growth: Evidence from the Mexican manufacturing sector," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 263-278, December.

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