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Comparative productivity in market services: the distributive trades



This paper calculates relative labour productivity in the distributive trades in 1992 comparing Britain with Germany and the US. Estimates were derived for 25 sub-sectors comprising 9 sectors in wholesaling, 11 sectors in retailing and 5 sectors in hotels & catering. The US productivity lead over the UK in total distribution was of the order of 35% whereas Germany had only a slight lead over the UK of less than 10%. The US had the highest productivity levels in hotels & catering followed by retailing. Germany had a significant productivity advantage over the UK only in retailingÑproductivity levels in wholesaling and hotels & catering were similar in these two countries. At the individual sector level the UK enjoyed a productivity advantage over the US in only 3 of the 25 sectors whereas the UK led Germany in 10 sectors. The paper also shows evidence of convergence of UK productivity levels to those in the US and Germany since 1973 in 16 subsectors for which it was possible to derive consistent time series. That is, on average, productivity growth rates were highest in the UK relative to either the US or Germany over the period 1973 to 1992 in those sectors where Britain's productivity deficit was greatest in 1973.

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  • Mary O'Mahony, 1997. "Comparative productivity in market services: the distributive trades," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 109, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:nsr:niesrd:228

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. F J Breedon & M A S Joyce, 1993. "House prices, arrears and possessions: A three equation model for the UK," Bank of England working papers 14, Bank of England.
    2. Kremers, Jeroen J M & Ericsson, Neil R & Dolado, Juan J, 1992. "The Power of Cointegration Tests," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(3), pages 325-348, August.
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    6. repec:nsr:niesrd:15 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Dougherty, Ann & Van Order, Robert, 1982. "Inflation, Housing Costs, and the Consumer Price Index," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 154-164, March.
    8. MacKinnon, James G, 1992. "Model Specification Tests and Artificial Regressions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 102-146, March.
    9. Meen, Geoffrey P, 1990. "The Measurement of Rationing and the Treatment of Structural Change in the UK Mortgage Market," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(2), pages 167-187, April-Jun.
    10. Perron, Pierre, 1990. "Testing for a Unit Root in a Time Series with a Changing Mean," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(2), pages 153-162, April.
    11. Miles, David K, 1993. "House Prices, Personal Sector Wealth and Consumption: Some Conceptual and Empirical Issues," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 61(0), pages 35-59, Suppl..
    12. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
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