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Retrospective on the 1970s Productivity Slowdown

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  • William Nordhaus

Abstract

The present study analyzes the "productivity slowdown" of the 1970s. The study also develops a new data set -- industrial data available back to 1948 -- as well as a new set of tools for decomposing changes in productivity growth. The major result of this study is that the productivity slowdown of the 1970s has survived three decades of scrutiny, conceptual refinements, and data revisions. The slowdown was primarily centered in those sectors that were most energy-intensive, were hardest hit by the energy shocks of the 1970s, and therefore had large output declines. In a sense, the energy shocks were the earthquake, and the industries with the largest slowdown were near the epicenter of the tectonic shifts in the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • William Nordhaus, 2004. "Retrospective on the 1970s Productivity Slowdown," NBER Working Papers 10950, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10950 Note: EFG PR EEE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. John Dawson & John Seater, 2013. "Federal regulation and aggregate economic growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 137-177, June.
    2. Christophe Cahn & Arthur Saint-Guilhem, 2010. "Potential output growth in several industrialised countries a comparison," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 139-165, August.
    3. John W. Dawson & John J. Seater, 2005. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Federal Regulation," Working Papers 05-02, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    4. Ian Keay, 2008. "Resource Intensive Production and Aggregate Economic Performance," Working Papers 1176, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    5. Malley, Jim & Woitek, Ulrich, 2010. "Technology shocks and aggregate fluctuations in an estimated hybrid RBC model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1214-1232, July.
    6. Steven Trypsteen, "undated". "The Importance of a Time-Varying Variance and Cross-Country Interactions in Forecast Models," Discussion Papers 2014/15, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    7. Daechang Kang, 2010. "The Effect of Public Capital on the Productivity - An Analysis on the U.S. Highway Stock," Korean Economic Review, Korean Economic Association, vol. 26, pages 177-201.
    8. Aamer Abu-Qarn & Suleiman Abu-Bader, 2007. "Getting Income Shares Right: A Panel Data Investigation for OECD Countries," Working Papers 0701, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models

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