International comparison of the sources of productivity slowdown 1973-1982
This paper uses an integrated model of aggregate supply to analyze the post-1973 slowdown in productivity growth in the seven major OECD economies. Factor substitution, unexpected demand changes, profitability, and inventory disequilibrium all contribute to the explanation, which is based on a three-factor nested aggregate production function, including energy, and postulating Harrod-neutral disembodied technical progress. The model is first applied separately to the seven countries assuming constant (though country-specific) rates of technical progress. This model provides empirical evidence that this rate of progress has in fact slowed down for several of the faster-growing countries, even after adjusting for factor substitution and cyclical factors. The model is therefore re-estimated, and the sources of productivity decline recalculated, on the hypothesis that rates of efficiency growth in other countries are converging to those in the United States.
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