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Gross domestic product per capita in France and in advanced economies : the role of productivity and employment


  • Bergeaud, A.
  • Cette, G.
  • Lecat, R.


This issue of Rue de la Banque examines chaonges in living standards as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in 13 OECD countries, including France, between 1890 and 2012. During this period, living standards rose by a factor of 9 in France, 11 in the United States, 6 in the United Kingdom and 23 in Japan. Total factor productivity (TFP) and, to a lesser extent, capital intensity (fixed capital divided by GDP at constant prices) were the main drivers behind the rise in living standards. The employment ratio, captured by the share of the population aged 15-64 in employment, and the amount of working time also play an important role, especially when it comes to explaining why the countries that comprise the current euro area ceased to close the gap with the United States between 1970 and 1995. Despite a relative increase in employment ratios, the catch-up by the euro area’s three largest countries was interrupted again over 1995-2013 as US TFP surged on the back of advances in information and communication technologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Bergeaud, A. & Cette, G. & Lecat, R., 2015. "Gross domestic product per capita in France and in advanced economies : the role of productivity and employment," Rue de la Banque, Banque de France, issue 11, October..
  • Handle: RePEc:bfr:rueban:2015:11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cette, G., 2014. "Does ICT remain a powerful engine of growth?," Working papers 476, Banque de France.
    2. Bergeaud, A. & Cette, G. & Lecat, R., 2015. "Productivity trends from 1890 to 2012 in advanced countries," Rue de la Banque, Banque de France, issue 07, June..
    3. Antonin Bergeaud & Gilbert Cette & Rémy Lecat, 2014. "Le produit intérieur brut par habitant sur longue période en France et dans les pays avancés : le rôle de la productivité et de l’emploi," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 474(1), pages 5-34.
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