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Measuring Productivity: theory and British practice

Author

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  • Nicholas Oulton

    () (Centre For Macroeconomics
    London School of Economics
    NIESR
    ESCoE)

Abstract

This paper lays out the basic theory behind productivity measurement, whether at the level of the country, region, industry or firm. The theory is illustrated using recent data from UK official publications. Productivity growth over time and differences in productivity levels between countries or regions at a point in time are both covered. Labour productivity and multi-factor productivity (MFP) are discussed. In the case of MFP special attention is paid to the measurement of capital inputs. Wherever possible, an accompanying spreadsheet supplies data from recent publications by the United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics so that readers can reproduce official estimates or even employ alternative assumptions to produce their own estimates. Limitations in the underlying theory are highlighted as are empirical difficulties in implementing the theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas Oulton, 2020. "Measuring Productivity: theory and British practice," Discussion Papers 2002, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
  • Handle: RePEc:cfm:wpaper:2002
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General

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