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The Manufacturing Sector Did Contribute to Convergence Among the OECD Countries

This paper revisits the role of sectors in aggregate convergence. The existing evidence is inconclusive because its methodology depends sensitively on the conversion factor used to compare sectoral productivity levels across countries. This paper proposes a robust methodology -- ß-decomposition - to directly estimate how much the productivity growth in each sector and between -sector restructuring contribute to convergence. This methodology avoids the sectoral PPP-conversion-factor problem because it compares only sectoral growth rates and shares -- not levels -- across countries. The evidence suggests that productivity growth in both manufacturing and services were important in driving aggregate productivity convergence among the OECD countries. The results are robust to the choice of base year.

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Paper provided by National University of Singapore, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number wp0215.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nus:nusewp:wp0215
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  1. Martin Neil Baily & Eric J. Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger, 1996. "Labor Productivity: Structural Change and Cyclical Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 5503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Martin Neil Baily & Eric J. Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger, 1994. "Downsizing and Productivity Growth: Myth or Reality?," NBER Working Papers 4741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Andrew B. Bernard & Charles I. Jones, 2001. "Comparing Apples to Oranges: Productivity Convergence and Measurement across Industries and Countries: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1168-1169, September.
  4. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1995. "Technological Diffusion, Convergence, and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Productivity and Convergence across U.S. States and Industries," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 113-35.
  7. John Haltiwanger, 2000. "Aggregate Growth: What Have We Learned from Microeconomic Evidence?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 267, OECD Publishing.
  8. John Haltiwanger & C J Krizan & Lucia Foster, 1998. "Aggregate Productivity Growth: Lessons From Microeconomic Evidence," Working Papers 98-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Comparing Apples to Oranges: Productivity Convergence and Measurement across Industries and Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1216-38, December.
  10. Elhanan Helpman & David T. Coe, 1993. "International RandD Spillovers," IMF Working Papers 93/84, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
  12. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  13. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Productivity across Industries and Countries: Time Series Theory and Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 135-46, February.
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