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Productivity Growth In Service Industries: Are The Transatlantic Differences Measurement-Driven?

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  • Jochen Hartwig

Abstract

Since the mid-nineties, U.S. labor productivity outgrows its European counterpart by a wide margin. van Ark et al. (2003 ) have found three service industries where productivity growth has accelerated in the U.S., but not in Europe, to account for most of the difference. These three industries are wholesale and retail trade, and trade in financial securities. However, since measurement methods differ on both sides of the Atlantic, Europe's shortfall in productivity growth could be a statistical artifact. This paper tries to answer the question whether this is indeed the case by quantifying the extent to which the U.S. growth rates in trade and banking are pulled upward by measurement methods that are unusual in Europe. In addition, some observations are offered on whether the recent upswing in productivity growth in the U.S. services sector has cured "Baumol's Cost Disease." Copyright 2008 The Author. Journal compilation 2008 International Association for Research in Income and Wealth Published.

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  • Jochen Hartwig, 2008. "Productivity Growth In Service Industries: Are The Transatlantic Differences Measurement-Driven?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(3), pages 494-505, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:54:y:2008:i:3:p:494-505
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    Cited by:

    1. ITO Keiko, 2011. "Entry of Foreign Multinational Firms and Productivity Growth of Domestic Firms: The case of Japanese firms," Discussion papers 11063, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    2. Hartwig, Jochen, 2015. "Structural change, aggregate demand and employment dynamics in the OECD, 1970–2010," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 36-45.
    3. Fulvio Castellacci, 2010. "Structural Change And The Growth Of Industrial Sectors: Empirical Test Of A Gpt Model," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 56(3), pages 449-482, September.
    4. Jochen Hartwig, 2008. "Has Health Capital Formation Cured 'Baumol's Disease'? - Panel Granger Causality Evidence for OECD Countries," KOF Working papers 08-206, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    5. Hiroshi Nishi, 2016. "Sources and Consequences of Productivity Growth Dynamics: Is Japan Suffering from Baumol's Diseases?," Discussion papers e-16-003, Graduate School of Economics , Kyoto University.
    6. Liang-Chuan Wu & Ivan Shih, 2014. "The product development process of an enterprise from an SSME perspective," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 8(1), pages 29-50, March.
    7. Robert Inklaar & Marcel P. Timmer & Bart van Ark, 2008. "Data for Productivity Measurement in Market Services: An International Comparison," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 16, pages 72-81, Spring.
    8. Jochen Kurt Hartwig, 2010. "Baumol's Diseases," KOF Working papers 10-250, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    9. Andrés Maroto-Sanchez, 2010. "Growth and productivity in the service sector: The state of the art," Working Papers 07/10, Instituto Universitario de Análisis Económico y Social.

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