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Total factor productivity growth in East Asia: A critical survey

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  • Jesus Felipe

Abstract

This article surveys the recent empirical literature on total factor productivity (TFP) growth in East Asia, and the debate about the sources of growth in the region. It is concluded that: (i) the main merit of this literature is that it has helped focus the attention of scholars on the growth process of East Asia; (ii) the theoretical problems underlying the notion of TFP are so significant that the whole concept should be seriously questioned; (Hi) the TFP growth estimates for the region vary significantly, even for the same country and time period; and (iv) research on growth in East Asia based on the estimation of TFP growth is an activity subject to decreasing returns. If we are to advance in understanding how East Asia grew during the last 30 years we need new avenues of research.

Suggested Citation

  • Jesus Felipe, 1999. "Total factor productivity growth in East Asia: A critical survey," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 1-41.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:35:y:1999:i:4:p:1-41
    DOI: 10.1080/00220389908422579
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    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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