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Economic Restructuring and Total Factor Productivity Growth: Tunisia Over the Period 1983-2001


  • Sofiane Ghali
  • Pierre Mohnen


In this paper we aim to measure and decompose the growth of frontier total factor productivity (TFP) in Tunisia over the period 1983-2001. We define frontier TFP growth as the shift of the economy's production frontier, which we obtain by solving for each year a linear program, a sort of aggregate DEA analysis. We then decompose this aggregate frontier TFP growth into changes in technology, terms of trade, efficiency and resource utilization. We can also attribute frontier TFP growth to its main beneficiaries: labor, decomposed into five types, capital, decomposed into two types, and the allowable trade deficit. We find that frontier TFP grew by about 1% a year after the introduction of the structural adjustment program of 1987. Labor, in particular unskilled labor, was the main beneficiary of frontier TFP growth. The Solow residual reflecting technological change was the main driver of frontier TFP growth. The terms of trade were not favorable to Tunisia. After 1992, while the Tunisian efficiency frontier moved outwards, the country moved away from its efficiency frontier. Cet article mesure et décompose la croissance de la productivité totale des facteurs (PTF) potentielle en Tunisie sur la période 1983 à 2001. La croissance de la PTF potentielle est définie comme le déplacement de la frontière d'efficience de l'économie, qui est déterminée chaque année à partir d'un programme de programmation linéaire, un genre d'analyse DEA macroéconomique. Cette croissance de la PFT potentielle est décomposée de deux façons : une fois en termes de sources de la croissance, à savoir le changement technologique, les variations de taux de change, les changements d'efficience et utilisation des ressources ; et une fois en termes de bénéficiaires de cette croissance, à savoir le travail, décomposé en cinq types, le capital, décomposé en deux types, et le déficit permis de la balance commerciale. Nous trouvons que la PTF potentielle a cru de 1 % par an après l'introduction du programme d'ajustement structurel de 1987. La croissance de la PTF potentielle est surtout due au résidu de Solow, qui capte le progrès technologique, et a surtout bénéficié au travail non-qualifié. Les termes de l'échange ne furent pas favorables à la Tunisie. Après 1992, la frontière d'efficience s'est déplacée vers l'extérieur, mais la Tunisie s'est distancée de sa frontière d'efficience.

Suggested Citation

  • Sofiane Ghali & Pierre Mohnen, 2010. "Economic Restructuring and Total Factor Productivity Growth: Tunisia Over the Period 1983-2001," CIRANO Working Papers 2010s-26, CIRANO.
  • Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2010s-26

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Sofiane Ghali & Habib Zitouna & Zouhour Karray & Slim Driss, 2013. "Trade, Transaction Costs and TFP: Evidence from Tunisia and Egypt," Working Papers 807, Economic Research Forum, revised Dec 2013.

    More about this item


    Total factor productivity growth; input-output; frontier analysis; Tunisia; Croissance de la productivité totale des facteurs; tableaux entrée-sortie; frontière d'efficience; Tunisie;

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa

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