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Mind the Gap! International Comparisons of Productivity in Services and Goods Production

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  • Inklaar Robert

    (University of Groningen and The Conference Board,Groningen, Holland)

  • Timmer Marcel P.

    (University of Groningen and The Conference Board,Groningen, Holland)

  • Ark Bart van

    (University of Groningen and The Conference Board,Groningen, Holland)

Abstract

In this paper, we make a comparison of industry output, inputs and productivity growth and levels between seven advanced economies (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States). Our industry-level growth accounts make use of input data on labour quantity (hours) and composition (schooling levels), and distinguish between six different types of capital assets (including three information and communication technology (ICT) assets). The comparisons of levels rely on industry-specific purchasing power parities (PPPs) for output and inputs, within a consistent input-output framework for the year 1997. Our results show that differences in productivity growth and levels can be mainly traced to market services, not to goods-producing industries. Part of the strong productivity growth in market services in Anglo-Saxon countries, such as in Australia and Canada, may be related to relatively low productivity levels compared with the United States. In contrast, services productivity levels in continental European countries were on par with the United States in 1997, but growth in Europe was much weaker since then. In terms of factor input use, the United States is very different from all other countries, mostly because of the more intensive use of ICT capital in the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Inklaar Robert & Timmer Marcel P. & Ark Bart van, 2007. "Mind the Gap! International Comparisons of Productivity in Services and Goods Production," German Economic Review, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2), pages 281-307, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:germec:v:8:y:2007:i:2:p:281-307
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0475.2007.00408.x
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    Cited by:

    1. Dale Jorgenson & Mun Ho & Jon Samuels & Kevin Stiroh, 2007. "Industry Origins of the American Productivity Resurgence," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 229-252.
    2. Gordon, Robert J & Sayed, Hassan, 2019. "The Industry Anatomy of the Transatlantic Productivity Growth Slowdown," CEPR Discussion Papers 13751, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Neil Foster-McGregor & Johannes Pöschl, 2016. "Productivity effects of knowledge transfers through labour mobility," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 169-184, December.
    4. Joseph Francois & Bernard Hoekman, 2010. "Services Trade and Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(3), pages 642-692, September.
    5. Robert J. Gordon & Hassan Sayed, 2019. "The Industry Anatomy of the Transatlantic Productivity Growth Slowdown," NBER Working Papers 25703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Pamfili Antipa & Marie-Elisabeth de la Serve, 2010. "International Comparisons of Industry-based Productivity Levels in the Financial and Business Service Sectors," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 19, pages 66-81, Spring.
    7. Mr. Thierry Tressel, 2008. "Does Technological Diffusion Explain Australia’s Productivity Performance?," IMF Working Papers 2008/004, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Federico Inchausti-Sintes, 2020. "A tourism growth model," Tourism Economics, , vol. 26(5), pages 746-763, August.
    9. Henry van der Wiel & Harold Creusen & George van Leeuwen & Eugene van der Pijll, 2008. "Cross your border and look around," DEGIT Conference Papers c013_005, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    10. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 2008. "Information and communications technology as a general purpose technology: evidence from U.S. industry data," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 1-15.
    11. Peter Bauer & Igor Fedotenkov & Aurelien Genty & Issam Hallak & Peter Harasztosi & David Martinez Turegano & David Nguyen & Nadir Preziosi & Ana Rincon-Aznar & Miguel Sanchez Martinez, 2020. "Productivity in Europe: Trends and drivers in a service-based economy," JRC Working Papers JRC119785, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    12. Kyoji Fukao, 2013. "Explaining Japan's Unproductive Two Decades," Asian Economic Policy Review, Japan Center for Economic Research, vol. 8(2), pages 193-213, December.
    13. Robert J. Gordon & Hassan Sayed, 2020. "Transatlantic Technologies: The Role of ICT in the Evolution of U.S. and European Productivity Growth," NBER Working Papers 27425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Mas, Matilde & Quesada, Javier & Robledo, Juan Carlos, 2007. "Las nuevas tecnologías y la competitividad industrial [New technologies and industrial competiveness]," MPRA Paper 15826, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2007.
    15. Kyoji Fukao & Tsutomu Miyagawa & Miho Takizawa, 2007. "Productivity Growth and Resource Reallocation in Japan," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d07-224, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    16. Luc Soete, 2007. "From Industrial to Innovation Policy," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 273-284, December.
    17. Bart van Ark & Mary O'Mahoney & Marcel P. Timmer, 2008. "The Productivity Gap between Europe and the United States: Trends and Causes," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 25-44, Winter.
    18. Dankbaar, Ben & Vissers, Geert, 2009. "Of knowledge and work," MPIfG Working Paper 09/16, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies.
    19. Marcel P. Timmer & Robert Inklaar & Mary O'Mahony & Bart van Ark, 2011. "Productivity and Economic Growth in Europe: A Comparative Industry Perspective," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 21, pages 3-23, Spring.
    20. Paul Schreyer, 2007. "International Comparisons of Levels of Capital Input and Multi-Factor Productivity," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8, pages 237-254, May.
    21. Bart van Ark & Charles R. Hulten, 2007. "Innovation, Intangibles and Economic Growth: Towards A Comprehensive Accounting of the Knowledge Economy," Economics Program Working Papers 07-02, The Conference Board, Economics Program.

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