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Productiivity Convergence among OECD Countries: The Postwar Experience

Author

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  • Edward N. Wolff

Abstract

This article by Edward N. Wolff of New York University examines trends in convergence in OECD countries toward U.S. productivity levels during the postwar period and finds strong evidence for this phenomenon up to 1990, with rapid growth in investment, education, and R&D in OECD countries accounting for the catch-up. The process of convergence seems to have ended in the 1990s, reflecting slower growth in OECD countries, a diminishing of the forces behind the convergence process given the narrowing of the productivity gap with the United States, and perhaps most important, the acceleration of productivity in the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward N. Wolff, 2000. "Productiivity Convergence among OECD Countries: The Postwar Experience," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 1, pages 17-22, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:1:y:2000:4
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    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/ipm/1/wolff-e.pdf
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    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/ipm/1/wolff-f.pdf
    File Function: version en francais, pp:17-22
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    2. Abramovitz, Moses, 1986. "Catching Up, Forging Ahead, and Falling Behind," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(02), pages 385-406, June.
    3. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "Issues in Assessing the Contribution of Research and Development to Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 17-45 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-368.
    5. Abramovitz, Moses & David, Paul A, 1973. "Reinterpreting Economic Growth: Parables and Realities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 428-439, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Sharpe, 2007. "Three Policies to Improve Productivity Growth in Canada," CSLS Research Reports 2007-05, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    OECD; United States; Productivity; Investment; Education; R&D; Convergence; Growth; Acceleration; Technology; Innovation; Trade;

    JEL classification:

    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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