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Measuring New Zealand’s Productivity


Author Info

  • Erwin Diewert
  • Denis Lawrence


This report was prepared for the Department of Labour, Reserve Bank of New Zealand and Treasury by Dr Denis Lawrence (Tasman Asia Pacific) and Professor Erwin Diewert (University of British Columbia) under contract. The authors examine New Zealand’s market sector productivity performance using two databases. One has been prepared by the authors and contains a large number of input and output variables for the period 1972 to 1998. The second database involves data provided to the authors by officials and allows estimates to be prepared for 20 individual market sectors over the period 1978 to 1998. The authors provide estimates of New Zealand’s total factor, labour and capital productivity, using an index number based methodology. They carry out many sensitivity tests relating to different input, output and functional form specifications. Labour input specifications are found to be important. The results are compared with Australian and OECD estimates and tested for structural breaks over time. Other recent New Zealand contributions to productivity literature are reviewed and statistical measurement problems are discussed. The data and techniques used are fully documented.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by New Zealand Treasury in its series Treasury Working Paper Series with number 99/05.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nzt:nztwps:99/05

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Postal: New Zealand Treasury, PO Box 3724, Wellington, New Zealand
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Cited by:
  1. Iris Claus, 2003. "Changes in New Zealand's Production Structure: An Input Output Analysis," Treasury Working Paper Series, New Zealand Treasury 03/01, New Zealand Treasury.
  2. Iris Claus, 1999. "Estimating potential output for New Zealand: a structural VAR approach," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2000/03, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  3. NZ Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation Inc, 1999. "The Privatisation of New Zealand Rail," Treasury Working Paper Series, New Zealand Treasury 99/10, New Zealand Treasury.
  4. Megan Claridge & Sarah Box, 2000. "Economic Integration, Sovereignty and Identity: New Zealand in the Global Economy," Treasury Working Paper Series, New Zealand Treasury 00/22, New Zealand Treasury.
  5. Julia Hall & Grant Scobie, 2005. "Capital Shallowness: A Problem for New Zealand?," Treasury Working Paper Series, New Zealand Treasury 05/05, New Zealand Treasury.
  6. Panayiotis P. Athanasoglou & Evangelia A. Georgiou & Christos C. Staikouras, 2008. "Assessing Output and Productivity Growth in the Banking Industry," Working Papers, Bank of Greece 92, Bank of Greece.
  7. Engelbrecht, Hans-Jurgen & Xayavong, Vilaphonh, 2006. "ICT intensity and New Zealand's productivity malaise: Is the glass half empty or half full?," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 24-42, March.
  8. Iris Claus, 2000. "Is the output gap a useful indicator of inflation?," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2000/05, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  9. James Rossiter, 2005. "Measurement Bias in the Canadian Consumer Price Index," Working Papers, Bank of Canada 05-39, Bank of Canada.
  10. Paul Dalziel, 2002. "New Zealand's Economic Reforms: An assessment," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(1), pages 31-46.
  11. Matthew D Shapiro, 2003. "Has the rate of economic growth changed? Evidence and lessons for public policy," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2003/07, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  12. John Creedy & Grant M Scobie, 2002. "Population Ageing and Social Expenditure in New Zealand: Stochastic Projections," Treasury Working Paper Series, New Zealand Treasury 02/28, New Zealand Treasury.
  13. Aaron Drew, 2007. "New Zealand's productivity performance and prospects," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 70, March.
  14. Feng, Guohua & Serletis, Apostolos, 2008. "Productivity trends in U.S. manufacturing: Evidence from the NQ and AIM cost functions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 142(1), pages 281-311, January.
  15. Chandan Sharma & Sanjay Sehgal, 2010. "Impact of infrastructure on output, productivity and efficiency: Evidence from the Indian manufacturing industry," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 3(2), pages 100-121, October.
  16. Engelbrecht, Hans-Jurgen & Xayavong, Vilaphonh, 2004. "Information And Communication Technology And New Zealand'S Productivity Malaise: An Industry-Level Study," Discussion Papers, Massey University, Department of Applied and International Economics 23698, Massey University, Department of Applied and International Economics.
  17. Kevin J Fox, 2005. "Returns to Scale, Technical Progress and Total Factor Productivity Growth in New Zealand Industries," Treasury Working Paper Series, New Zealand Treasury 05/04, New Zealand Treasury.
  18. W A Razzak, 2004. "Towards Building A New Consensus About New Zealand’s Productivity," GE, Growth, Math methods, EconWPA 0405002, EconWPA.
  19. Zofío, José Luis & Prieto, Angel, 2005. "Return to Dollar, Generalized Distance Function and the Fisher Productivity Index," Working Papers in Economic Theory, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History) 2005/01, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
  20. Paul Conway & Adrian Orr, 2000. "The process of economic growth in New Zealand," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 63, March.


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