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International comparison of the sources of productivity slowdown 1973-1982

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  • Helliwell, John F.
  • Sturm, Peter H.
  • Salou, Gerard

Abstract

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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Suggested Citation

  • Helliwell, John F. & Sturm, Peter H. & Salou, Gerard, 1985. "International comparison of the sources of productivity slowdown 1973-1982," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 157-191.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:28:y:1985:i:1-2:p:157-191
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John F. Helliwell, 1984. "Stagflation and Productivity Decline in Canada, 1974-82," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 17(2), pages 191-216, May.
    2. Paolo Sylos-Labini, 1984. "Factors Affecting Changes in Productivity," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 6(2), pages 161-179, January.
    3. Christensen, L. R. & Cummings, D. & Jorgenson, D. W., 1981. "Relative productivity levels, 1947-1973 : An international comparison," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 61-94.
    4. Nordhaus, William D., 1982. "Economic policy in the face of declining productivity growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 131-157.
    5. Michael Bruno, 1984. "Raw Materials, Profits, and the Productivity Slowdown," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(1), pages 1-29.
    6. Denison, Edward F, 1983. "The Interruption of Productivity Growth in the United States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(369), pages 56-77, March.
    7. Lindbeck, Assar, 1983. "The Recent Slowdowns of Productivity Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(369), pages 13-34, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. John F. Helliwell & Alan Chung, 1991. "Macroeconomic Convergence: International Transmission of Growth and Technical Progress," NBER Chapters,in: International Economic Transactions: Issues in Measurement and Empirical Research, pages 388-436 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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