Labour Productivity in Transport and Communications: International Comparisons
We construct benchmark estimates of labour productivity covering the transport and communications sectors for the UK, Germany and the US for 1992 and 1993. The estimates are based on industry data and use physical indicators of output. In transport, UK and German productivity levels are similar though with the UK leading in air transport. The US lead is substantial, particularly in rail and trucking, even after adjusting for differences in stage length. In telecommunications the UK and Germany are again at roughly similar levels, but US productivity is twice as high. In postal services the US lead is 37% after adjusting for quality but here Germany is at only 50% of the UK level. We compare these industry-based estimates with those obtained using value added from national accounts converted at purchasing power parities and find them to be broadly similar.
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