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Mind the gap! International Comparisons of Productivity in Services and Goods Production

  • Inklaar, Robert
  • Timmer, Marcel
  • van Ark, Bart

    (Groningen University)

In this paper, we make a comparison of industry output, inputs and productivity growth and levels between seven advanced economies (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, UK and U.S.). Our industry-level growth accounts make use of input data on labour quantity (hours) and composition (schooling levels), and distinguish between six different types of capital assets (including three ICT assets). The comparisons of levels rely on industry-specific purchasing power parities (PPPs) for output and inputs, within a consistent input-output framework for the year 1997. Our results show that differences in productivity growth and levels can mainly be traced to market services, not to goods-producing industries. Part of the strong productivity growth in market services in Anglo-Saxon countries, such as Australia and Canada, may be related to relatively low productivity levels compared to the U.S. In contrast, services productivity levels in continental European countries were on par with the U.S. in 1997, but growth in Europe was much weaker since then. In terms of factor input use, the U.S. is very different from all other countries, mostly because of the more intensive use of ICT capital in the U.S.

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File URL: http://irs.ub.rug.nl/ppn/303348402
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Paper provided by Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen in its series GGDC Research Memorandum with number GD-89.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:rugggd:gd-89
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  1. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000. "The resurgence of growth in the late 1990s: is information technology the story?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Someshwar Rao & Andrew Sharpe & Jeremy Smith, 2005. "An Analysis of the Labour Productivity Growth Slowdown in Canada since 2000," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 10, pages 3-23, Spring.
  3. Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta, 2003. "Regulation, productivity and growth: OECD evidence," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 18(36), pages 9-72, 04.
  4. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2003. "Computing Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 793-808, November.
  5. Laurits R. Christensen & Dianne Cummings & Dale Jorgenson, 1980. "Economic Growth, 1947–73: An International Comparison," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Measurement, pages 595-698 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Theo Eicher & Oliver Röhn, 2007. "Sources of the German Productivity Demise – Tracing the Effects of Industry-Level ICT Investment," CESifo Working Paper Series 1896, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2002. "Information technology and productivity: where are we now and where are we going?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q3, pages 15-44.
  8. Robert Inklaar & Marcel Timmer, 2007. "International Comparisons of Industry Output, Inputs and Productivity Levels: Methodology and New Results," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 343-363.
  9. Gordon, Robert J, 2004. "Why Was Europe Left at the Station when America's Productivity Locomotive Departed?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4416, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 2008. "Information and communications technology as a general purpose technology: evidence from U.S. industry data," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 1-15.
  11. Francesco Daveri, 2004. "Delayed IT Usage: Is it really the drag on Europe's productivity?," Working Papers 267, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  12. Ark, Bart van & Inklaar, Robert & McGuckin, Robert H., 2003. "ICT and productivity in Europe and the United States," CCSO Working Papers 200311, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
  13. Inklaar, Robert & Mahony, Mary O' & Timmer, Marcel, 2003. "ICT and Europe's productivity performance industry-level growth account comparisons with the United States," GGDC Research Memorandum 200368, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  14. Mary O'Mahony & Michela Vecchi, 2005. "Quantifying the Impact of ICT Capital on Output Growth: A Heterogeneous Dynamic Panel Approach," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(288), pages 615-633, November.
  15. Dirk Pilat, 1996. "Labour Productivity Levels in OECD Countries: Estimates for Manufacturing and Selected Service Sectors," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 169, OECD Publishing.
  16. Timmer, Marcel & Inklaar, Robert, 2005. "Productivity differentials in the U.S. and EU distributive trade sector: statistical myth or reality," GGDC Research Memorandum 200576, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  17. van Ark, Bart & Inklaar, Robert, 2006. "Catching up or getting stuck? Europe's troubles to exploit ICT's productivity potential," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-79, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  18. van Ark, Bart, 1998. "Productivity," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 171-174, June.
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