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Data for Productivity Measurement in Market Services: An International Comparison

  • Robert Inklaar
  • Marcel P. Timmer
  • Bart van Ark

With market services accounting for an increasing share of GDP as well as for differences in productivity growth performance across countries, the need for accurate measures of services output is becoming ever more important. In this article we first provide an international comparative perspective on the current state of measurement practices in market services across Europe. Second, we discuss the concrete measurement issues and possibilities for improvement in retail trade and banking. Our comparison of European measurement practices shows that improvements are feasible in many countries and industries without the need for fundamental conceptual research: it mostly requires national statistical agencies to devote additional efforts and resources to this objective. This is exemplified in retail trade, where existing data can be used to yield conceptually superior output measures. But there are other industries for which more research is required. Recent progress on the conceptual challenges to measure bank output suggests new data collection efforts would be needed in most countries to improve measurement of output growth in that industry.

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Article provided by Centre for the Study of Living Standards in its journal International Productivity Monitor.

Volume (Year): 16 (2008)
Issue (Month): (Spring)
Pages: 72-81

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Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:16:y:2008:5
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  1. Jack E. Triplett & Barry P. Bosworth, 2008. "The State of Data for Services Productivity Measurement in the United States," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 16, pages 53-71, Spring.
  2. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Productivity, R&D, and the Data Constraint," NBER Chapters, in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 347-374 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gustavo Crespi & Chiara Criscuolo & Jonathan Haskel & Denise Hawkes, 2006. "Measuring and Understanding Productivity in UK Market Services," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(4), pages 560-572, Winter.
  4. Jochen Hartwig, 2008. "Productivity Growth In Service Industries: Are The Transatlantic Differences Measurement-Driven?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(3), pages 494-505, 09.
  5. Gordon, Robert J, 2004. "Why Was Europe Left at the Station when America's Productivity Locomotive Departed?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4416, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Robert Inklaar & Marcel Timmer, 2008. "Accounting for growth in retail trade: an international productivity comparison," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 23-31, February.
  7. J. Christina Wang & Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 2008. "A General-Equilibrium Asset-Pricing Approach to the Measurement of Nominal and Real Bank Output," NBER Working Papers 14616, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Marcel P. Timmer & Mary O’Mahony & Bart van Ark, 2007. "EU KLEMS Growth and Productivity Accounts: An Overview," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 14, pages 71-85, Spring.
  9. Diewert, Erwin, 2007. "Measuring Productivity in the System of National Accounts," Economics working papers diewert-07-11-16-12-39-23, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 16 Nov 2007.
  10. Dennis J Fixler & Marshall B Reinsdorf & Shaunda Villones, 2010. "Measuring the services of commercial banks in the NIPA," IFC Bulletins chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), The IFC's contribution to the 57th ISI Session, Durban, August 2009, volume 33, pages 346-349 Bank for International Settlements.
  11. Anita Wölfl, 2003. "Productivity Growth in Service Industries: An Assessment of Recent Patterns and the Role of Measurement," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2003/7, OECD Publishing.
  12. Robert Inklaar & Marcel P. Timmer & Bart van Ark, 2008. "Market services productivity across Europe and the US," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 23, pages 139-194, 01.
  13. Erwin Diewert, 2008. "What Is To Be Done for Better productivity Measurement," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 16, pages 40-52, Spring.
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