IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedmsr/242.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Needed: a theory of total factor productivity

Author

Listed:
  • Edward C. Prescott

Abstract

This paper evaluates the argument that differences in physical and intangible capital can account for the large international income differences that characterize the world economy today. The finding is that they cannot. Savings rate differences are of minor importance. What is all-important is total factor productivity. In addition, the paper presents industry evidence that total factor productivities differ across countries and time for reasons other than differences in the publicly available stock of technical knowledge. These findings lead me to conclude a theory of TFP is needed. This theory must account for differences in TFP that arise for reasons other than growth in the stock of technical knowledge.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "Needed: a theory of total factor productivity," Staff Report 242, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:242
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://minneapolisfed.org/research/common/pub_detail.cfm?pb_autonum_id=733
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://minneapolisfed.org/research/sr/sr242.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Easterly, William, 1993. "How much do distortions affect growth?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 187-212, November.
    2. Summers, Robert, 1973. "International Price Comparisons Based Upon Incomplete Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 19(1), pages 1-16, March.
    3. Jones, Charles I., 1994. "Economic growth and the relative price of capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 359-382, December.
    4. Alwyn Young, 1991. "Learning by Doing and the Dynamic Effects of International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 369-405.
    5. Stokey, Nancy L, 1988. "Learning by Doing and the Introduction of New Goods," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 701-717, August.
    6. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Kehoe, Patrick J, 1994. "Optimal Fiscal Policy in a Business Cycle Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 617-652, August.
    7. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1996. "The Poverty of Nations: A Quantitative Exploration," NBER Working Papers 5414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    9. Clark, Gregory, 1987. "Why Isn't the Whole World Developed? Lessons from the Cotton Mills," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(01), pages 141-173, March.
    10. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, "undated". "The Productivity of Nations," Working Papers 96012, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    11. Per Krusell & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 1996. "Vested Interests in a Positive Theory of Stagnation and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 301-329.
    12. Thomas J. Holmes & James A. Schmitz, 1995. "Resistance to new technology and trade between areas," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-17.
    13. Klenow, Peter J. & Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 1997. "Economic growth: A review essay," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 597-617, December.
    14. Hartwell, Robert, 1966. "Markets, Technology, and the Structure of Enterprise in the Development of the Eleventh-Century Chinese Iron and Steel Industry," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(01), pages 29-58, March.
    15. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-437.
    16. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
    17. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
    18. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
    19. Heston, Alan & Summers, Robert, 1996. "International Price and Quantity Comparisons: Potentials and Pitfalls," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 20-24, May.
    20. Hercowitz, Z., 1992. "Macroeconomic Implication of Investment-Specific Technological Change," Papers 13-92, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
    21. Diego Restuccia & Carlos Urrutia, 1999. "Public Policy, Price Distortions, and Investment Rates," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9901, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
    22. Alwyn Young, 1991. "Learning by Doing and the Dynamic Effects of International Trade," NBER Working Papers 3577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Thomas J. Holmes & James A. Schmitz, 1994. "Resistance to technology and trade between areas," Staff Report 184, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    24. Shoven, John B & Whalley, John, 1984. "Applied General-Equilibrium Models of Taxation and International Trade: An Introduction and Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 1007-1051, September.
    25. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Income distribution ; Productivity;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:242. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jannelle Ruswick). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbmnus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.