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Climbing the technology ladder too fast? : an international comparison of productivity in South and East-Asian manufacturing, 1963-1993

  • Timmer, Marcel P.

    (Groningen University)

This paper provides a star comparison of manufacturing productivity levels in China, India, Indonesia, South Korea and Taiwan with the US as the reference country for the period 1963-1993. South Korea and Taiwan showed prolonged catch up in labour productivity with the US, whereas the other countries had long periods of relative stagnation. This is reflected in relative performance of seven detailed manufacturing branches. Physical capital per hour worked in the Asian countries is still well below the US level and there are abundant opportunities for further capital intensification. Relative total factor productivity levels in South-Korean and Taiwanese manufacturing are much lower than in the US in all manufacturing branches. The same is true for India and Indonesia compared to South Korea and Taiwan. Hence, late industrializers do not automatically benefit from the increasing global pool of technologies.

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File URL: http://irs.ub.rug.nl/ppn/241132975
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Paper provided by University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research in its series CCSO Working Papers with number 199919.

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Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dgr:rugccs:199919
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  1. repec:fth:harver:1510 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Szirmai, Adam & Ruoen, Ren, 1995. "China's Manufacturing Performance in Comparative Perspective, 1980-1992," GGDC Research Memorandum 199520, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  4. Young, Alwyn, 1995. "The Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth Experience," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 641-80, August.
  5. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Comparing Apples to Oranges: Productivity Convergence and Measurement across Industries and Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1216-38, December.
  6. Nelson, Richard R, 1973. "Recent Exercises in Growth Accounting: New Understanding or Dead End?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 462-68, June.
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