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Cross-country Conversion Factors for Sectoral Productivity Comparisons

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  • Johannes Van Biesebroeck

Abstract

International comparisons of the level of labor or total factor productivity have used exchange rates or purchasing power parity (PPP) to make output and capital comparable across countries. Recent evidence suggests that aggregate PPP holds rather well in the long run, making it a good basis for comparison. At the same time, sectoral deviations from PPP are very persistent, raising the need for disaggregate price measures to make disaggregate productivity comparisons. Sectoral differences in the importance of nontradables make it even more important to work with sectoral prices when country-comparisons are made at the sectoral level. Mapping prices from household expenditure surveys into the industrial classification of sectors and adjusting for taxes and international trade, I obtain a sector-specific PPP measure. The few previous studies that used sectoral prices only had conversion factors available for a single year. With price data for 1985, 1990, 1993, and 1996, I am the first to test whether the constructed conversion factors adequately capture differential changes in relative prices between countries. For some industries--Agriculture, Mining, and less sophisticated manufacturing sectors--the indices prove adequate. For most other industries, aggregate PPP is a superior currency conversion factor.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2004. "Cross-country Conversion Factors for Sectoral Productivity Comparisons," NBER Working Papers 10279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10279 Note: PR
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Renaud Bourlès & Gilbert Cette & Jimmy Lopez & Jacques Mairesse & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2013. "Do Product Market Regulations In Upstream Sectors Curb Productivity Growth? Panel Data Evidence For OECD Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1750-1768, December.
    2. Robert Inklaar & Marcel P. Timmer, 2014. "The Relative Price of Services," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(4), pages 727-746, December.
    3. Sasso, Simone & Ritzen, Jo, 2016. "Sectoral Cognitive Skills, R&D, and Productivity: A Cross-Country Cross-Sector Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 10457, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. repec:dgr:rugggd:gd-124 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2009. "Disaggregate productivity comparisons: sectoral convergence in OECD countries," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 63-79, October.
    6. Simone Salotti & Carmine Trecroci, 2012. "Even worse than you thought: The effects of government debt on investment and productivity," EcoMod2012 4200, EcoMod.
    7. Murat Ungor, 2017. "Productivity Growth and Labor Reallocation: Latin America versus East Asia," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 24, pages 25-42, March.
    8. repec:dgr:rugggd:gd-118 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Simone Salotti & Carmine Trecroci, 2016. "The Impact of Government Debt, Expenditure and Taxes on Aggregate Investment and Productivity Growth," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(330), pages 356-384, April.
    10. Dijk, Michiel van, 2013. "Productivity growth at the sectoral level: measurement and projections," Proceedings Issues, 2013: Productivity and Its Impacts on Global Trade, June 2-4, 2013. Seville, Spain 152268, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    11. Vries, Gaaitzen J. de & Los, Bart & Castellacci, Fulvio, 2010. "Sectoral Productivity Trends:Convergence Islands in Oceans of Divergence," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-118, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
    12. Maciej Grodzicki, 2013. "Productivity Convergence in Manufacturing in the European Union: The Role of Economic Structure," Research in Economics and Business: Central and Eastern Europe, Tallinn School of Economics and Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology, vol. 5(2).
    13. Simone Salotti & Carmine Trecroci, 2012. "Even Worse than You thought: The Impact of Public Debt on Aggregate Investment and Productivity," DEGIT Conference Papers c017_020, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    14. Bruno Bracalente & Cristiano Perugini, 2010. "The components of regional disparities in Europe," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 44(3), pages 621-645, June.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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