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Total factor productivity and the measurement of technological change

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  • Richard Lipsey
  • Kenneth Carlaw

Abstract

TFP is interpreted in the literature in different, mutually contradictory ways. Changes in TFP are shown to measure not technological change, only the super-normal returns to investing in such change - returns that exceed the full opportunity cost of the activity. Thus, in the limit, technological change can proceed with unchanged TFP. Measuring the effects of technological change instead requires counterfactual estimates. Reasons why changes in TFP are imperfect measures of super normal returns are also studied - reasons connected with the timing of output responses, the treatment of R&D in the national accounts, the omission of resource inputs, and two types of aggregation.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Lipsey & Kenneth Carlaw, 2004. "Total factor productivity and the measurement of technological change," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1118-1150, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:37:y:2004:i:4:p:1118-1150
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ceyhun Elgin & Selman Çakır, 2015. "Technological progress and scientific indicators: a panel data analysis," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(3), pages 263-281, April.
    2. Tian, Xu & Yu, Xiaohua, 2012. "The Enigmas of TFP in China: A meta-analysis," China Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 396-414.
    3. Jonathan Temple & Ludger Wößmann, 2006. "Dualism and cross-country growth regressions," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 187-228, September.
    4. Timo Boppart & Peter Klenow & Huiyu Li & Antonin Bergeaud & Philippe Aghion, 2017. "Missing Growth from Creative Destruction," 2017 Meeting Papers 759, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Florina Popa, 2015. "Total Factor Productivity - Influence Factor Of The Economic Growth Potential. Practical Application," Studies and Scientific Researches. Economics Edition, "Vasile Alecsandri" University of Bacau, Faculty of Economic Sciences, issue 21.
    6. repec:rfe:zbefri:v:34:y:2016:i:2:p:271-308 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Miroslav Verbič & Boris Majcen & Olga Ivanova & Mitja Čok, 2011. "R&D and Economic Growth in Slovenia: A Dynamic General Equilibrium Approach with Endogenous Growth," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 58(1), pages 67-89, March.
    8. Bazhanov, A., 2011. "The Dependence of the Potential Sustainability of a Resource Economy on the Initial State: a Comparison of Models Using the Example of Russian Oil Extraction," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 12, pages 77-100.
    9. Alexander Murray, 2016. "Partial versus Total Factor Productivity: Assessing Resource Use in Natural Resource Industries in Canada," CSLS Research Reports 2016-20, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    10. Szalavetz, Andrea, 2011. "Innovációvezérelt növekedés?
      [Innovation-driven growth?]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(5), pages 460-476.
    11. Bazhanov, Andrei, 2011. "Зависимость Долгосрочного Роста Ресурсной Экономики От Начального Состояния: Сравнение Моделей На Примере Российской Нефтедобычи
      [The dependence of the potential sustainability of a resource econom
      ," MPRA Paper 35888, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Guoqing Zhao & Zhongyuan Zhang, 2011. "Does method selection matter? A new look at FDI and human capital in Chinese high-tech industries," Frontiers of Economics in China, Springer;Higher Education Press, vol. 6(1), pages 36-54, March.
    13. Anwar, Sajid & Nguyen, Lan Phi, 2014. "Is foreign direct investment productive? A case study of the regions of Vietnam," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(7), pages 1376-1387.
    14. Les T. Oxley & Kenneth I. Carlaw, 2004. "ICT Diffusion and Economic Growth in New Zealand," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 167, Econometric Society.
    15. Carlaw, Kenneth I. & Oxley, Les, 2008. "Resolving the productivity paradox," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 313-318.
    16. Bazhanov, Andrei & Belyaev, Alexander, 2009. "Адекватность Закрытой Модели Для Российской Экономики В Задаче Сравнительного Анализа Энергетической Стратегии России
      [Adequacy of a closed model for Russian economy in the problem of comparative a
      ," MPRA Paper 15109, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Tomáš Volek & Martina Novotná, 2015. "Gross Value Added and Total Factor Productivity In Czech Sectors," Contemporary Economics, University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, vol. 9(1), April.
    18. Daniel Nepelski & Giuditta de Prato, 2014. "Identifying European Poles of Excellence: The Methodology," JRC Working Papers JRC85356, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    19. Kenneth Carlaw & Richard Lipsey, 2011. "Sustained endogenous growth driven by structured and evolving general purpose technologies," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 563-593, October.
    20. Frederic Sautet, 2010. "The Competitive Market is a Process of Entrepreneurial Discovery," Chapters,in: Handbook on Contemporary Austrian Economics, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    21. Sawami Matsushita & Abu Siddique & Margaret Giles, 2006. "Education and Economic Growth: A Case Study of Australia," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 06-15, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    22. Carlaw, Kenneth & Easton, Brian & Grimes, Arthur & Mare, David & Sautet, Frederic, 2008. "Ways of Thinking About Economic Growth: Papers from MED's Growth Seminar Series," Occasional Papers 08/7, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.

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