Factor Accumulation Story: Any Unfinished Business?
We construct a new measure of knowledge capital as an aggregate production factor in the sense of Lucas and employ it in a standard growth and variance accounting exercise. We base this new measure on the available data on educational attainment using the empirically confirmed relationship between the level of education and productivity growth. Decomposing the post war growth record we find that most of the growth in income per worker has been explicable in terms of factor accumulation. Overall, the scope for technology residual remained negligible, although there are important differences among various country groups. Unlike the results on growth accounting, explaining the variation in the average growth performance of the individual countries through the variation in the rates of growth of the production factors still leaves a substantial part of the variation unexplained. Yet, this part is significantly smaller than what other studies have ascribed to the variation of the technology residual. Lastly, we also demonstrate how the new measure of knowledge stock may be used to test theoretical predictions regarding the recent convergence experience in the EU periphery. The good fit of the theory can be interpreted as an indication that the theory provides a reasonable candidate explanation for total factor productivity growth.
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