Productivity differentials in the U.S. and EU distributive trade sector: statistical myth or reality
In this paper we asses whether productivity growth differentials between the U.S. and Europe in the distributive trade sector are real or mainly a statistical myth. New estimates of retail trade productivity are constructed, taking into account purchase prices of goods sold. We also adjust U.S. wholesale productivity growth for the upward bias due to the use of constant-quality prices of ICT-goods sales. We find that multifactor productivity growth in the U.S. has been higher than in Europe after 1995, but that this lead is smaller than suggested by national accounts based estimates. This finding is robust for various productivity measurement models.
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