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Revisiting Solow’s Decomposition of Economic and Productivity Growth


  • Tung Liu

    () (Department of Economics, Ball State University)

  • Kui-Wai Li

    () (City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR)


By relaxing the two assumptions of constant returns to scale and perfect competition in the product market used by Solow (1957), this paper identifies a new decomposition of economic and productivity growth. The sources of economic growth are; adjusted economies of scales effect, weighted sum of input growth, and technical progress. The sources of productivity growth are; adjusted economies of scale effect and technical progress. The weight used for the input growth is the cost share of each input.

Suggested Citation

  • Tung Liu & Kui-Wai Li, 2008. "Revisiting Solow’s Decomposition of Economic and Productivity Growth," Working Papers 200805, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:bsu:wpaper:200805

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    2. D. W. Jorgenson & Z. Griliches, 1967. "The Explanation of Productivity Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 249-283.
    3. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    4. Hanoch, Giora, 1975. "The Elasticity of Scale and the Shape of Average Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 492-497, June.
    5. Paul W. Bauer, 1988. "Decomposing TFP growth in the presence of cost inefficiency, nonconstant returns to scale, and technological progress," Working Paper 8813, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    6. Azzeddine Azzam & Rigoberto Lopez & Elena Lopez, 2004. "Imperfect Competition and Total Factor Productivity Growth," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 173-184, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Liu, Tung & Li, Kui-Wai, 2012. "Analyzing China's productivity growth: Evidence from manufacturing industries," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 531-551.

    More about this item


    Solow; Growth decomposition; Total factor productivity; Returns to scale;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • 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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