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Interpreting Productivity Growth in the New Economy: Some Agnostic Notes

  • Erich Gundlach

The growth rate of total factor productivity seems to have increased recently, at least in the United States. Higher US productivity growth may justify higher stock market valuations than in the past and thus herald an emerging New Economy. However, the size of the estimated growth rate of total factor productivity depends on an assumption about the factor-augmenting properties of technological change. Simulations based on alternative properties of technological change produce a wide range of implied stock market valuations. As long as the rate of technological change cannot be observed directly, justifying the emergence of a New Economy with residual measures of total factor productivity growth will prove to be a futile exercise.

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1020.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1020
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  1. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2000. "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 125-236.
  2. Robert J. Barro, 1998. "Notes on Growth Accounting," NBER Working Papers 6654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David Gruen & Glenn Stevens, 2000. "Australian Macroeconomic Performances and Policies in the 1990s," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: David Gruen & Sona Shrestha (ed.), The Australian Economy in the 1990s Reserve Bank of Australia.
  4. Robert J. Barro & Paul Romer, 1993. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr93-1, July.
    • Robert J. Barro & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Growth," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number barr91-1, July.
  5. Robert J. Barro & N. Gregory Mankiw & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1994. "Capital mobility in Neoclassical models of growth," Economics Working Papers 82, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  6. Robert J. Gordon, 2000. "Does the "New Economy" Measure up to the Great Inventions of the Past?," NBER Working Papers 7833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Michael J. Boskin & Lawrence J. Lau, 2000. "Generalized Solow-Neutral Technical Progress and Postwar Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 8023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Charles R. Hulten, 2000. "Total Factor Productivity: A Short Biography," NBER Working Papers 7471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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