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Why do some countries produce so much more output per worker than others? - A note

Author

Listed:
  • Boyle, Gerry

    (National University of Ireland Maynooth)

  • McQuinn, Kieran

    (Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland)

Abstract

In an important paper, Hall and Jones (1999) show that international differences in output per worker across 127 countries in 1988 are fundamentally determined by variations in, what they term, a country's ``social infrastructure''. This paper conducts a robustness check of their findings by implementing a testing framework that is radically different to their approach. Specifically, we estimate a stochastic, rather than a deterministic, production frontier and we also model the potential role of social infrastructure in explaining productivity in a single step, rather than the statistically unsatisfactory two-step method used by Hall and Jones. We obtain two important findings that are strongly supportive of Hall and Jones' results. First, the bulk of inter-country variation in output per worker is accounted for by differences in productivity. Second, social infrastructure is found to be a highly significant variable in explaining inter-country productivity differences.

Suggested Citation

  • Boyle, Gerry & McQuinn, Kieran, 2004. "Why do some countries produce so much more output per worker than others? - A note," Research Technical Papers 9/RT/04, Central Bank of Ireland.
  • Handle: RePEc:cbi:wpaper:9/rt/04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Koop, Gary & Osiewalski, Jacek & Steel, Mark F J, 1999. " The Components of Output Growth: A Stochastic Frontier Analysis," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(4), pages 455-487, November.
    3. Nigel Pain & Dawn Holland, 1998. "The Diffusion Of Innovations In Central And Eastern Europe: A Study Of The Determinants And Impact O," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 137, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    4. Jeffrey A. Frankel & David Romer, 1996. "Trade and Growth: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 5476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Koop, Gary & Osiewalski, Jacek & Steel, Mark F J, 2000. "Modeling the Sources of Output Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 18(3), pages 284-299, July.
    6. Battese, George E. & Corra, Greg S., 1977. "Estimation Of A Production Frontier Model: With Application To The Pastoral Zone Of Eastern Australia," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 21(03), December.
    7. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
    8. Battese, G E & Coelli, T J, 1995. "A Model for Technical Inefficiency Effects in a Stochastic Frontier Production Function for Panel Data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 325-332.
    9. KOOP , Gary & OSIEWALSKI, Jacek & STEEL , Mark, 1995. "Measuring the Sources of Output Growth in a Panel of Countries," CORE Discussion Papers 1995042, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    10. Meeusen, Wim & van den Broeck, Julien, 1977. "Efficiency Estimation from Cobb-Douglas Production Functions with Composed Error," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 435-444, June.
    11. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Krishna G. Iyer & Alicia N. Rambaldi & Kam Ki Tang, 2008. "Efficiency externalities of trade and alternative forms of foreign investment in OECD countries," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(6), pages 749-766.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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