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Comparisons of real output in manufacturing


Author Info

  • van Ark, Bart
  • Maddison, Angus


This study is concerned with the conceptual and measurement problems which arise in comparisons of levels of per capita output and productivity in different countries. The author stresses the reliance of standarized valuations of the different elements of output rather than official exchange rates when making comparisons. Two approaches are noted; (1) the expenditure approach and (2) the production approach. The production approach, discussed here, looks at the industry of origin and provides a basis for growth accounting, comparative structural analysis, studies of technological performance, and work on labor productivity and total factor productivity. This approach provides a sounder base for constructing relative indicators of productivity. It also reveals trade protection policies and their incidence on different sectors of the economy. The approach shows which data are anomalous and which analytically useful in industrial census. It also shows how new insights might be gained by exploiting some official sources which often remain untapped by international agencies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5.

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Date of creation: 30 Apr 1988
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5

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Keywords: Environmental Economics&Policies; Access to Markets; Markets and Market Access; Economic Theory&Research; Banks&Banking Reform;


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Cited by:
  1. Yamfwa, F. & Szirmai, A.S. & Chibwe Lamba, 2002. "Zambian Manufacturing Performance in Comparative Perspective," Working Papers, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies 02.21, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
  2. Lee, Boon & Shepherd, William, 2002. "Comparative Analysis of Transport and Communications Korea and Australia," MPRA Paper 10412, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Timmer, Marcel P., 1999. "Climbing the Technology Ladder Too Fast? An International Comparison of Productivity in South and East- Asian Manufacturing, 1963-1993," Working Papers, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies 99.2, Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies.
  4. Yuan, Tangjun & Fukao, Kyoji & Wu, Harry X., 2010. "Comparative output and labor productivity in manufacturing between China, Japan, Korea and the United States for ca. 1935 - A production-side PPP approach," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 325-346, July.
  5. Michaël Freudenberg & Deniz Ünal-Kesenci, 1994. "French and German Productivity Levels in Manufacturing: A Comparison Based on the Industry-of-Origin Method," Working Papers 1994-10, CEPII research center.
  6. Tanguay, Marc & Baldwin, John R. & Wong, Fanny & Maynard, Jean-Pierre & Yan, Beiling, 2005. "Comparaison des niveaux de productivite au Canada et aux Etats-Unis : etude de certains aspects de la mesure," Serie de documents de recherche sur l'analyse economique (AE) 2005028f, Statistics Canada, Direction des etudes analytiques.
  7. Szirmai, Adam & Ruoen, Ren, 2000. "Comparative performance in Chinese manufacturing, 1980-1992," China Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 16-53.
  8. Lee, Boon L. & Rao, D.S. Prasada & Shepherd, William, 2007. "Comparisons of real output and productivity of Chinese and Indian manufacturing, 1980-2002," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 378-416, September.
  9. Boon Lee & William Shepherd, 2000. "Output and Productivity Comparisons of the Transport and Communication Sectors of South Korea and Australia, 1990 to 1998," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology 081, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.


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