The Breaks in per Capita Productivity Trends in a Number of Industrial Countries
The purpose of this article is to study the trends in per capita productivity in several major industrialised countries. The analysis is first based on annual data over a long period spanning the entire 20th century for the United States, France and the United Kingdom. Productivity trends are then studied over a shorter period, using quarterly data, for the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Japan and the Netherlands. There are already a large number of studies of this kind, but they are too often focused on presenting average productivity growth rates for given periods chosen on an ad hoc basis. In this article, we use a robust statistical method to endogenously identify possible breaks in per capita productivity trends. This method, developed by Bai and Perron (1998), brings out the following salient features: – in the United States, per capita productivity growth accelerated following the trend break at the start of the 1920s, then slowed down at the end of the 1960s. This finding is in line with the “Big Wave” concept developed by Gordon (1999, 2002) to describe the trends in US productivity growth throughout the 20 th century. – French and UK productivity started catching up with that in the United States around the end of the Second World War. – Most of the countries under review recorded slower trend productivity growth in the first half of the 1970s. In the United States, this break occurred in 1966. This finding differs from that of other existing analyses, which point to 1974. – Trend productivity growth in Europe and Japan slowed in the 1990s, whereas US productivity gained momentum over the same period.
|Date of creation:||2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS|
Web page: http://www.banque-france.fr/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Christopher J. Gust & Jaime R. Marquez, 2002.
"International comparisons of productivity growth: the role of information technology and regulatory practices,"
International Finance Discussion Papers
727, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Gust, Christopher & Marquez, Jaime, 2004. "International comparisons of productivity growth: the role of information technology and regulatory practices," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 33-58, February.
- Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990.
"Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
943, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-56, July.
- Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2001.
"Productivity Growth in the 1990s: Technology, Utilization, or Adjustment?,"
NBER Working Papers
8359, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G. & Shapiro, Matthew D., 2001. "Productivity growth in the 1990s: technology, utilization, or adjustment?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 117-165, December.
- Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2001. "Productivity growth in the 1990s: technology, utilization, or adjustment," Working Paper Series WP-01-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 1998.
"Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes,"
Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 47-78, January.
- Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche 9552, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
- Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche 9552, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
- Lecat, R., 2004. "Productivité du travail des grands pays industrialisés : la fin du rattrapage des États-Unis ?," Bulletin de la Banque de France, Banque de France, issue 121, pages 47-67.
- Stephen Broadberry & Nicholas Crafts, 2003. "UK productivity performance from 1950 to 1979: a restatement of the Broadberry-Crafts view," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 56(4), pages 718-735, November.
- Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Comparing Apples to Oranges: Productivity Convergence and Measurement across Industries and Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1216-38, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:111. 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: (Michael brassart)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.