Sectoral productivity in the United States: recent developments and the role of IT
This paper introduces new estimates of recent productivity developments in the United States, using an appropriate theoretical framework for aggregating industry MFP to sectors and the total economy. Our work sheds light on the sources of the continued strong performance of U.S. productivity since 2000. We find that the major sectoral players in the late 1990s pickup were not contributors to the more recent surge in productivity. Rather, striking gains in MFP in the finance and business service sector, a resurgence in MFP growth in the industrial sector, and an end to drops elsewhere more than account for the aggregate acceleration in productivity in recent years. Further, some evidence is found for a link between IT intensity and the recent productivity acceleration.
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