Manufacturing Performance in Indonesia, South Korea and Taiwan before and after the Crisis. An international Perspective, 1980-2000
This paper analyses developments of comparative output and productivity levels in 17 manufacturing industries in Taiwan, South Korea and Indonesia compared to the United States for the period 1980-2000. In order to express value added in a common currency, unit value ratios are developed for the benchmark year 1997. The study provides an update and extension of the benchmark studies for 1987 of Taiwan (Timmer, 1998), South Korea (Pilat, 1994) and Indonesia (Szirmai, 1994). In addition, comparisons of unit labour cost are made. It is shown that the Asian financial crisis has led to a quick restructuring process in South Korea which maintained its catch-up trend with the US during the 1990s. The level of value added per hour worked in 2000 is 35% of the US. On the other hand, performance in Taiwanese manufacturing dwindled in the 1990s and it has almost lost it productivitylead over South Korea. In 2000, labour productivity was 40% of the US level. Catching up in Indonesia started to take off at the end of the 1980s but this process has been dramatically reversed in the aftermath of the 1997 financial crisis. It has barely recovered to pre-1997 levels and growth relies heavily on export industries with little productivity growth. In 2000, value added per hour worked in the medium and large scale industry is still below 10 % of the US level.
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