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Capital Quality Improvement and the Sources of Growth in the Euro Area

  • Plutarchos Sakellaris
  • Focco W. Vijselaar

The euro area experienced a slowdown in output and Total Factor Productivity growth in the 1990s compared to the 1980s. We ask the following questions. Is the apparent slowdown in euro area output due to a lack of proper accounting for capital quality improvement? The answer is no. Did technological change really slow down in the euro area? The answer here is mixed. The part of the technological change that is embodied in capital goods and boosts output through investment in these goods in fact accelerated in the 1990s. In contrast, disembodied technological change, which boosts output through new consumer goods or new production processes, decelerated in the 1990s more sharply than the official figures portray.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1452.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1452
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  1. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1995. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9510, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  2. Karl Whelan, 2000. "Computers, obsolescence, and productivity," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-06, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. repec:ucn:oapubs:10197/204 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Bahk, Byong-Hong & Gort, Michael, 1993. "Decomposing Learning by Doing in New Plants," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 561-83, August.
  5. Gordon, Robert J., 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226304557.
  6. Andreas Hornstein & Per Krusell, 1996. "Can Technology Improvements Cause Productivity Slowdowns?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 209-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Francesco Daveri, . "Is Growth an Information Technology Story in Europe Too?," EPRU Working Paper Series 00-12, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  8. Van Ark, Bart, 1996. "Issues in Measurement and International Comparison of Productivity - An Overview," GGDC Research Memorandum 199628, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  9. Whelan, Karl, 2002. "A Guide to U.S. Chain Aggregated NIPA Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(2), pages 217-33, June.
  10. Robert J. Gordon, 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord90-1, June.
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