IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Productivity and the Welfare of Nations

  • Susanto Basu

    (Boston College
    NBER)

  • Luigi Pascali

    ()

    (Boston College)

  • Fabio Schiantarelli

    ()

    (Boston College
    IZA)

  • Luis Serven

    (World Bank)

We show how to relate the welfare of a country's infinitely-lived representative consumer to observable aggregate data. To a first order, welfare is summarized by total factor productivity and by the capital stock per capita. These variables suffice to calculate welfare changes within a country, as well as welfare differences across countries. The result holds regardless of the type of production technology and the degree of market competition. It applies to open economies as well, if total factor productivity is constructed using domestic absorption, instead of gross domestic product, as the measure of output. It also requires that total factor productivity be constructed with prices and quantities as perceived by consumers, not firms. Thus, factor shares need to be calculated using after-tax wages and rental rates and they will typically sum to less than one. These results are used to calculate welfare gaps and growth rates in a sample of developed countries with high-quality total factor productivity and capital data. Under realistic scenarios, the U.K. and Spain had the highest growth rates of welfare during the sample period 1985-2005, but the U.S. had the highest level of welfare.

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: http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC-P/wp793.pdf
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 793.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 28 Mar 2012
Date of revision: 18 Feb 2016
Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:793
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill MA 02467 USA

Phone: 617-552-3670
Fax: +1-617-552-2308
Web page: http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2007. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," NBER Working Papers 13290, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Charles Jones & Pete Klenow, 2010. "Beyond GDP? Welfare Across Countries and Time," Discussion Papers 10-001, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  3. Quah, Danny T, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 1045-55, July.
  4. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Burstein, 2010. "Innovation, firm dynamics, and international trade," Staff Report 444, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2006. "The External Wealth of Nations Mark II: Revised and Extended Estimates of Foreign Assets and Liabilities, 1970-2004," CEPR Discussion Papers 5644, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. J. N. Bhagwati & V. K. Ramaswami & T. N. Srinivasan, 1968. "Domestic Distortions, Tariffs and the Theory of Optimum Subsidy: Some Further Results," Working papers 29, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2010. "Why Have Economic Reforms in Mexico Not Generated Growth?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1005-27, December.
  8. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  9. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G., 2002. "Aggregate productivity and aggregate technology," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 963-991, June.
  10. Charles R. Hulten, 1978. "Growth Accounting with Intermediate Inputs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 45(3), pages 511-518.
  11. J Sefton & M Weale, 2005. "The Concept of Income in a General Equilibrium," NajEcon Working Paper Reviews 122247000000000844, www.najecon.org.
  12. Raj Chetty, 2009. "Sufficient Statistics for Welfare Analysis: A Bridge Between Structural and Reduced-Form Methods," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 451-488, 05.
  13. Timothy J. Kehoe & Mark J. Gibson & Kim J. Ruhl & Claustre Bajna, 2011. "Trade Liberalization, Growth, and Productivity," 2011 Meeting Papers 794, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Guido Sandleris & Mark L. J. Wright, 2014. "The Costs of Financial Crises: Resource Misallocation, Productivity, and Welfare in the 2001 Argentine Crisis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(1), pages 87-127, 01.
  15. Kohli, Ulrich, 2004. "Real GDP, real domestic income, and terms-of-trade changes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 83-106, January.
  16. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong Wha, 2013. "A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 184-198.
  17. William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1971. "Is Growth Obsolete?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 319, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    • William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1972. "Is Growth Obsolete?," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Research: Retrospect and Prospect, Volume 5, Economic Growth, pages 1-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • William D. Nordhaus & James Tobin, 1973. "Is Growth Obsolete?," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Economic and Social Performance, pages 509-564 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Peter J. Lloyd, 1977. "Two-Stage Expenditure Minimization and some Welfare Applications," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(4), pages 531-554.
  19. Mino, Kazuo, 2004. "Weitzman's rule with market distortions," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 307-329, August.
  20. Danny Quah, 1996. "Twin Peaks: Growth and Convergence in Models of Distribution Dynamics," CEP Discussion Papers dp0280, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  21. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Basu, Susanto & Pascali, Luigi & Schiantarelli, Fabio & Serven, Luis, 2010. "Productivity, welfare and reallocation : theory and firm-level evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5226, The World Bank.
  23. Basu, Susanto & Pascali, Luigi & Schiantarelli, Fabio & Serven, Luis, 2012. "Productivity and the welfare of nations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6026, The World Bank.
  24. Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare & Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," 2010 Meeting Papers 433, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  25. Kremer, Michael & Onatski, Alexei & Stock, James, 2001. "Searching for prosperity," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 275-303, December.
  26. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
  27. Rogerson, Richard & Wright, Randall, 1988. "Involuntary unemployment in economies with efficient risk sharing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 501-515.
  28. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  29. J. A. Sefton & M. R. Weale, 2006. "The Concept of Income in a General Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(1), pages 219-249.
  30. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
  31. Charles R. Hulten & Paul Schreyer, 2010. "GDP, Technical Change, and the Measurement of Net Income: the Weitzman Model Revisited," NBER Working Papers 16010, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2001. "The external wealth of nations: measures of foreign assets and liabilities for industrial and developing countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 263-294, December.
  33. Jeremy I. Bulow & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "A Theory of Dual Labor Markets with Application to Industrial Policy, Discrimination and Keynesian Unemployment," NBER Working Papers 1666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
  35. Antonio Ladrón-de-Guevara & Salvador Ortigueira & Manuel S. Santos, 1999. "A Two-Sector Model of Endogenous Growth with Leisure," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(3), pages 609-631.
  36. Serven, Luis, 1994. "Capital goods imports, the real exchange rate, and the current account," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1298, The World Bank.
  37. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald & Nicholas Oulton & Sylaja Srinivasan, 2003. "The Case of the Missing Productivity Growth: Or, Does Information Technology Explain why Productivity Accelerated in the US but not the UK?," NBER Working Papers 10010, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  38. S.K. Bhutani, 2009. "China and India," India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, , vol. 65(4), pages 383-391, October.
  39. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  40. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
  41. Asheim, Geir B, 1994. " Net National Product as an Indicator of Sustainability," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 96(2), pages 257-65.
  42. Hulten, Charles R, 1973. "Divisia Index Numbers," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 41(6), pages 1017-25, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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:boc:bocoec:793. 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: (Christopher F Baum)

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.