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Technical change and total factor productivity growth: a study of Singapore's manufacturing industries


  • Harry Bloch
  • Sam Hak Kan Tang


The paper focuses onthe difference between the dual rate of technical change and the total factor productivity growth (TFPG). It estimates directly the dual rate of technical change from an integrated model that describes the cost structure and equilibrium condition of Singapore's manufacturing industries. It then calculates TFPG using the conventional productivity accounting approach. By showing the difference between the two measures, it is demonstrated that the non-parametric calculated TFPG cannot be interpreted wholly as a cost saving technical change since the preconditions required in the calculation of TFPG are not met. It is found that the majority of Singapore's manufacturing industries exhibit, on the one hand, substantial increasing returns to scale and, on the other hand, no significant technical change. However, the largest and fastest growing industries such as Electronic Products and Components show both significant cost-saving technical progress and decreasing returns to scale.

Suggested Citation

  • Harry Bloch & Sam Hak Kan Tang, 1999. "Technical change and total factor productivity growth: a study of Singapore's manufacturing industries," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(10), pages 697-701.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:6:y:1999:i:10:p:697-701 DOI: 10.1080/135048599352538

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. M. Landesmann & M. Pfaffermayr, 1997. "Technological competition and trade performance," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 179-196.
    8. Conlon, R M, 1992. "Determinants of Manufacturing Industry Exports: A Comparative Study of Australia, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Taiwan," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(59), pages 427-442, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Boon L Lee, 2012. "Efficiency and Productivity of Singapore's Manufacturing Sector 2001-2010: An analysis using Simar and Wilson's (2007) bootstrapped truncated approach," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 283, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    2. Chia-Hung Sun, 2005. "Productivity growth in East Asian manufacturing: a fading miracle or measurement problem?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(1), pages 1-19.

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