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Recent trends and structural breaks in the US and EU15 labour productivity growth

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  • Laure Turner
  • Herve Boulhol

Abstract

This article examines shifts in labour productivity growth in the US and in Europe between 1970 and 2007 based on econometric tests of structural breaks. Additionally, it makes use of time-series-based projections of labour productivity growth up to 2009 in order to detect breaks depending on confidence intervals of the projections. The identification of structural breaks in the US labour productivity growth is far from obvious. A statistically significant break is found in the late 1990s only if at least the 97.5th percentile of forecasts materializes in the future, which means that despite a clear pick up in productivity growth in the second half of the 1990s, the size of the hump is not large enough compared with past variations to make this change a statistically significant break. However, a significant break point is detected in the mid-1990s for the difference in labour productivity growth between the US and the EU15, even when controlling for the convergence of Europe towards the US productivity levels that has contributed to higher European performance in the early catch up phase. Finally, within Europe, the accumulation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capital seems to be related to differences in the shifts in structural labour productivity growth across countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Laure Turner & Herve Boulhol, 2011. "Recent trends and structural breaks in the US and EU15 labour productivity growth," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(30), pages 4769-4784.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:30:p:4769-4784
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2010.498356
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert J. Gordon, 2004. "Five Puzzles in the Behavior of Productivity, Investment, and Innovation," NBER Working Papers 10660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Robert J. Gordon & Ian Dew-Becker, 2005. "Why did Europe’s productivity catch-up sputter out? a tale of tigers and tortoises," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    3. Kevin J. Stiroh, 2002. "Information Technology and the U.S. Productivity Revival: What Do the Industry Data Say?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1559-1576, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. João Sousa Andrade & António Portugal Duarte, 2012. "The Importance of a Good Indicator for Global Exciess Demand," Book Chapters, Institute of Economic Sciences.
    2. Philipp Wegmueller, 2015. "International Evidence on Time-Variation in Trend Labor Productivity Growth," Diskussionsschriften dp1602, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.

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