IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this book chapter

The Measurement of Productivity for Nations

In: Handbook of Econometrics

Listed author(s):
  • Diewert, W. Erwin
  • Nakamura, Alice O.

This chapter covers the theory and methods for productivity measurement for nations. Labor, multifactor and total factor productivity measures are defined and are related to each other and to gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Their growth over time and relative counterparts are defined as well. Different conceptual meanings have been proposed for a total factor productivity growth (TFPG) index. These are easiest to understand for the case in which the index number problem is absent: a production process that involves one input and one output (a 1-1 process). It is easily seen that four common concepts of TFPG all lead to the same result in the 1-1 case. Moving on to a general N input, M output production scenario, we demonstrate that a Paasche, Laspeyres or Fisher index number formula provides a measure for all four of the concepts of TFPG introduced for the 1-1 case. This is an advantage of the Paasche-Laspeyres-Fisher family of formulas. When multiple inputs or outputs are involved, there is the problem of choosing among alternative functional forms. The axiomatic and economic approaches to index formula choice are reviewed. In addition, we briefly cover the Divisia index number approach and growth accounting, including the KLEMS (capital, labor, energy, materials and services) approach. The gross output measures of the KLEMS approach are contrasted with value added output measures such as GDP. Also, an alternative family of revenue function based productivity growth indexes proposed by Diewert, Kohli and Morrison (DKM) is outlined. The DKM approach facilitates the decomposition of productivity growth into economically meaningful components. This approach is useful, for example, for examining the effects of changes in the terms of trade on productivity growth.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

in new window

This chapter was published in:
  • J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), 2007. "Handbook of Econometrics," Handbook of Econometrics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 6, number 6a.
  • This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Econometrics with number 6a-66.
    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecochp:6a-66
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecochp:6a-66. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.