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To Measure or Not To Measure Total Factor Productivity Growth?

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  • Renuka Mahadevan

Abstract

To date, the concept, measurement and interpretation of total factor productivity (TFP) growth remains highly discussed but poorly understood. This paper attempts to provide a review of these issues. First, the definition of TFP growth and the related concepts of embodied and disembodied technical change are discussed. Second, a brief overview and critique of TFP growth measuring techniques is provided. Third, the debate surrounding the accounting identity underlying the estimation of a production function for TFP growth is highlighted. Fourth, the usefulness of TFP growth is evaluated (and maintained) in the light of the criticisms hurled at this measure. Finally, some direction for future work on TFP growth is suggested.

Suggested Citation

  • Renuka Mahadevan, 2003. "To Measure or Not To Measure Total Factor Productivity Growth?," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(3), pages 365-378.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:oxdevs:v:31:y:2003:i:3:p:365-378
    DOI: 10.1080/1360081032000111742
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rok Spruk & Mitja Kovac, 2018. "Inefficient Growth," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 9(2).
    2. Md. Rabiul Islam, 2009. "R&D Intensity, Technology Transfer and Absorptive Capacity," Monash Economics Working Papers 13-09, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    3. Christian Grovermann & K. B. Umesh & Sylvain Quiédeville & B. Ganesh Kumar & Srinivasaiah S. & Simon Moakes, 2018. "The Economic Reality of Underutilised Crops for Climate Resilience, Food Security and Nutrition: Assessing Finger Millet Productivity in India," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(9), pages 1-12, August.
    4. Aamer Abu-Qarn & Suleiman Abu-Bader, 2007. "Getting Income Shares Right: A Panel Data Investigation for OECD Countries," Working Papers 0701, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
    5. Sangho Kim & Young Hoon Lee, 2006. "The productivity debate of East Asia revisited: a stochastic frontier approach," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(14), pages 1697-1706.
    6. Miroslav Verbič & Boris Majcen & Olga Ivanova & Mitja Čok, 2011. "R&D and Economic Growth in Slovenia: A Dynamic General Equilibrium Approach with Endogenous Growth," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 58(1), pages 67-89, March.
    7. Wu, Wei-Ming & Lin, Jenn-Rong, 2015. "Productivity growth, scale economies, ship size economies and technical progress for the container shipping industry in Taiwan," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 1-16.
    8. Anthony Enisan Akinlo, 2005. "Impact of Macroeconomic Factors on Total Factor Productivity in Sub-Saharan African Countries," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2005-39, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Shao, Liuguo & He, Yingying & Feng, Chao & Zhang, Shijing, 2016. "An empirical analysis of total-factor productivity in 30 sub-sub-sectors of China's nonferrous metal industry," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 264-269.
    10. 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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