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Potential output growth in several industrialised countries a comparison


  • Christophe Cahn


  • Arthur Saint-Guilhem


In this paper, we present international comparisons of potential output growth among several economies -Canada, the euro area, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States- for the period 1991-2004. The main estimates rely on a structural approach where output of the whole economy is described by a Cobb-Douglas function. This framework enables us to take temporal considerations into account, depending on the assumed volatility of potential output. Moreover, this study presents two original features, in other words, the construction of consistent and homogenous capital stock series, and long-run estimates including capital-deepening effects based on a stable capital/output ratio in value terms, whereas standard estimations assume a stable ratio in volume terms. Lastly, we use univariate methods as a benchmark. Even though the final estimates are obviously sensitive to each method and the assumptions made for each of them, this paper might help to understand why some economies remained below their potential growth rate during the recent period by identifying the sources of long-run potential growth. JEL Classification: C51, E32, O11, O47
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  • Christophe Cahn & Arthur Saint-Guilhem, 2010. "Potential output growth in several industrialised countries a comparison," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 139-165, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:39:y:2010:i:1:p:139-165 DOI: 10.1007/s00181-009-0298-2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Christophe Cahn & Arthur Saint-Guilhem, 2010. "Potential output growth in several industrialised countries a comparison," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 139-165, August.
    2. Dale W. Jorgenson & Khuong Vu, 2005. "Information technology and the world economy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christophe Cahn & Arthur Saint-Guilhem, 2010. "Potential output growth in several industrialised countries a comparison," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 139-165, August.
    2. Oulton, Nicholas, 2012. "Long term implications of the ICT revolution: Applying the lessons of growth theory and growth accounting," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 1722-1736.
    3. Valérie Chouard & Daniel Fuentes Castro & Delphine Irac & Matthieu Lemoine, 2014. "Assessing the losses in euro area potential productivity due to the financial crisis," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(23), pages 2711-2720, August.
    4. Gilbert Cette & Yusuf Kocoglu & Jacques Mairesse, 2009. "Productivity Growth and Levels in France, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States in the Twentieth Century," NBER Working Papers 15577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Anderton, Robert & Aranki, Ted & Dieppe, Alistair & Elding, Catherine & Haroutunian, Stephan & Jacquinot, Pascal & Jarvis, Valerie & Labhard, Vincent & Rusinova, Desislava & Szörfi, Béla, 2014. "Potential output from a euro area perspective," Occasional Paper Series 156, European Central Bank.
    6. Gian Luigi Mazzi & Frédéric Reynès & Matthieu Lemoine & Paola Veroni, 2008. "Real Time Estimation of Potential Output and Output Gap for the Euro-Area : Comparing Production Function with Unobserved Components and SVAR Approaches," Working Papers hal-01027422, HAL.
    7. Moisa Altar & Ciprian Necula & Gabriel Bobeica, 2009. "A Robust Assessment of the Romanian Business Cycle," Advances in Economic and Financial Research - DOFIN Working Paper Series 28, Bucharest University of Economics, Center for Advanced Research in Finance and Banking - CARFIB.
    8. Mabrouk Chetouane & Matthieu Lemoine & Marie-Elisabeth de la Serve, 2011. "Impact de la crise sur la croissance potentielle. Une approche par les modèles à composantes inobservables," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(1), pages 89-112.
    9. Hjelm, Göran & Jönsson, Kristian, 2010. "In Search of a Method for Measuring the Output Gap of the Swedish Economy," Working Papers 115, National Institute of Economic Research.
    10. Moisa, Altar & Necula, Ciprian & Bobeica, Gabriel, 2010. "Estimating Potential GDP for the Romanian Economy. An Eclectic Approach," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(3), pages 5-25, September.
    11. Stefano Scalone, 2014. "Embedding Liquidity Information in Estimating Potential Output," Working Papers 20/2014, University of Verona, Department of Economics.
    12. Matthieu Lemoine & Gian Luigi Mazzi & Paola Monperrus-Veroni & Frédéric Reynes, 2010. "A new production function estimate of the euro area output gap This paper is based on a report for Eurostat: 'Real time estimation of potential output, output gap, NAIRU and Phillips curve for Euro-zo," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1-2), pages 29-53.

    More about this item


    Potential growth; Production function; Total factor productivity; Age of equipments; C51; E32; O11; O47;

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence


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