Comparative output and labor productivity in manufacturing between China, Japan, Korea and the United States for ca. 1935 - A production-side PPP approach
Following the standard industry-of-origin methodology to measure production-side purchasing power parities (PPPs), this study for the first time provides a set of unit value ratios (UVRs) of manufacturing products between China, Japan, Korea and the US, based on which it derives PPP estimates for individual manufacturing industries for these East Asian countries with the US as the benchmark for ca. 1935. The estimated PPP for total manufacturing suggests that the relative level of the producer price in China, Japan and Korea was about half to two thirds of the prevailing market exchange rates, respectively. The estimated PPPs are used to calculate comparative output and labor productivity for individual industries of these countries for ca. 1935. It shows that the size of factory manufacturing in Japan was 12 percent of the US level and in China only about one percent of the US level. In terms of comparative labor productivity, measured as PPP$ per hour worked, Japanese and Korean manufacturing was 24 and 23 percent of the US level, whereas Chinese manufacturing was only 7 percent of the US level.
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