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The slowdown in US productivity growth - what explains it and will it persist?

Author

Listed:
  • Ursel Baumann

    () (European Central Bank)

  • Melina Vasardani

    (Bank of Greece)

Abstract

The US recovery following the Great Recession has been marked by persistent low growth. At the same time, productivity growth has consistently disappointed in the aftermath of the last recession. This has raised doubts about the long-term growth prospects of the US economy and led to worries about secular stagnation. This paper contributes to the debate by empirically revising the main determinants of labour productivity growth over the period 1999-2013 for a panel of US states, focusing on capital deepening, R&D spending, the sectoral composition, financial factors and business dynamism. We find that more than half of the slowdown in productivity growth in the period 2011-13 relative to its sample average is due to a decline in the rate of capital deepening. The other major factor explaining the recent weakness in productivity growth - more closely related to TFP - is the slowdown in business dynamism experienced by the US economy. By contrast, financial factors appear to have become supportive of productivity growth in that period.

Suggested Citation

  • Ursel Baumann & Melina Vasardani, 2016. "The slowdown in US productivity growth - what explains it and will it persist?," Working Papers 215, Bank of Greece.
  • Handle: RePEc:bog:wpaper:215
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labour productivity; Total factor productivity; Potential output; Business dynamism.;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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