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Knowledge, Technology and Economic Growth: Recent Evidence from OECD Countries


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  • Andrea Bassanini
  • Stefano Scarpetta
  • Ignazio Visco


In this paper we present an international comparison of growth trends in the OECD countries, with a special attention to developments in labour productivity - allowing for human capital accumulation – and multifactor productivity (MFP) - allowing for changes in the composition of fixed capital. An attempt is also made to identify both the embodied (in particular in ICT equipment) and disembodied components of technical progress. The possible relation between improvements in MFP and the accumulation of knowledge (as proxied by R&D expenditures) is discussed, and some tentative policy considerations are advanced, mainly with reference to general framework conditions that might have a bearing in fostering technological changes. The main conclusions are that some “traditional” factors lay behind the disparities in growth patterns across the OECD countries. In particular, they refer to the ability of countries to employ their labour force. There also seem to be some new factors behind ... Dans cette étude nous présentons une comparaison internationale des performances en matière de croissance dans les pays de l’OCDE. Une attention est tout particulièrement donnée à la productivité du travail, en tenant compte de l’accroissement du capital humain, et à la productivité multifactorielle (PMF), en tenant compte des changements dans la composition et la qualité du capital physique. L’étude essaye d’identifier la part du progrès technique qui est incorporée dans le capital physique et la part qui ne l’est pas. Le lien potentiel entre les améliorations de la productivité multifactorielle et l’accumulation des connaissances (mesurée de manière approchée par les dépenses en R-D) est aussi examiné, et certaines considérations d’ordre politique sont proposées, concernant surtout les conditions cadre générales qui peuvent améliorer le progrès technique. L’étude suggère que des facteurs traditionels sont à l’origine des disparités entre les taux de croissance des pays de l’OCDE. En ...

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 259.

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Date of creation: 13 Oct 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:259-en

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Keywords: investment; economic growth; productivity; general purpose technologies; technologie à utilisation générique; croissance économique; productivité; investissement;

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