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Measuring productivity growth in Asia: do market imperfections matter?

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  • John G. Fernald
  • Brent Neiman

Abstract

Recent research reports contradictory estimates of productivity growth for the newly industrialized economies (NIEs) of Asia. In particular, estimates using real factor prices find relatively rapid TFP growth; estimates using quantities of inputs and output find relatively low TFP growth. The difference is particularly notable for Singapore, where the difference is about 2-1/4 percentage-points per year. We show that about 2/3 of that difference reflects differences in estimated capital payments. We argue that these differences reflect economically interesting imperfections in output and capital markets, including sizeable economic profits in Singapore and government-directed credit. We derive a measure of technology growth, corrected for the imperfections that we quantify.

Suggested Citation

  • John G. Fernald & Brent Neiman, 2003. "Measuring productivity growth in Asia: do market imperfections matter?," Working Paper Series WP-03-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-03-15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. S.M. Thangavelu & Toh Mun Heng, 2005. "Bilateral “WTO-Plus†Free Trade Agreements : The WTO Trade Policy Review of Singapore 2004," Trade Working Papers 22590, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    2. Jesus Felipe & J. S. L. Mccombie, 2007. "On the Rental Price of Capital and the Profit Rate: The Perils and Pitfalls of Total Factor Productivity Growth," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 317-345.
    3. Bigsten, Arne & Durevall, Dick, 2004. "Kenya’s Development Path and Factor Prices 1964-2000," Working Papers in Economics 142, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    4. Hyeok Jeong & Robert Townsend, 2007. "Sources of TFP growth: occupational choice and financial deepening," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 32(1), pages 179-221, July.

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    Keywords

    Asia; Economic conditions; Productivity;

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