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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. Gilles Mourre, 2006. "Did the pattern of aggregate employment growth change in the euro area in the late 1990s?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(15), pages 1783-1807.
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    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Raquel Ortega‐Argilés & Mariacristina Piva & Lesley Potters & Marco Vivarelli, 2010. "Is Corporate R&D Investment In High‐Tech Sectors More Effective?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(3), pages 353-365, July.
    2. João Sousa Andrade & António Portugal Duarte, 2012. "The Importance of a Good Indicator for Global Exciess Demand," Book Chapters, Institute of Economic Sciences.
    3. Raquel Ortega-Argilés & Mariacristina Piva & Marco Vivarelli, 2014. "The transatlantic productivity gap: Is R&D the main culprit?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1342-1371, November.
    4. Bergeaud, A. & Cette, G. & Lecat, R., 2015. "Productivity trends from 1890 to 2012 in advanced countries," Rue de la Banque, Banque de France, issue 07, June..
    5. Glocker, Christian & Wegmueller, Philipp, 2018. "International evidence of time-variation in trend labor productivity growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 115-119.
    6. Menzie D. Chinn & Laurent Ferrara & Valérie Mignon, 2013. "Post-recession US Employment through the Lens of a Non-linear Okun's law," NBER Working Papers 19047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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