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Productivity Growth in Service Industries: An Assessment of Recent Patterns and the Role of Measurement

Listed author(s):
  • Anita Wölfl

This paper examines recent patterns in productivity growth of service industries and analyses the role of problems in measuring service productivity growth on industry and aggregate productivity growth. At the aggregate level, unbalanced growth can be observed between a dynamic manufacturing sector on one hand and a rather stagnant service sector on the other. The service sector itself is, however, composed of a set of heterogenous industries with productivity growth rates ranging from low or negative rates to growth rates exceeding those of high-growth manufacturing industries. The empirical evidence suggests that low or negative productivity growth rates in several services are linked to measurement problems. Computing constant price service output is particularly important. Potential under-estimation of service productivity growth leads eventually to an under-estimation of aggregate productivity growth, via aggregation effects and the flows of intermediate inputs. There ... Croissance de la productivité dans le secteur des services analyse des tendances actuelles et rôle de la mesure Le présent document examine les tendances de la croissance de la productivité dans les industries de services, et analyse le rôle des problèmes rencontrés pour mesurer la croissance de la productivité des services au niveau sectoriel et global. Au niveau global, on observe un déséquilibre de la croissance entre un secteur manufacturier dynamique d’un côté, et un secteur des services plutôt atone de l’autre. Le secteur des services lui-même se compose néanmoins d’un éventail d’industries hétérogènes dont la croissance de la productivité oscille entre des taux faibles ou négatifs et des taux supérieurs à ceux des industries manufacturières à forte croissance. Les données empiriques indiquent que les taux faibles ou négatifs de plusieurs domaines de services sont liés à des problèmes de mesure. La valorisation de la production de services est un point particulièrement important. La sous-estimation potentielle de la croissance de la productivité de services aboutit, en raison d’effets ...

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers with number 2003/7.

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Date of creation: 25 Jun 2003
Handle: RePEc:oec:stiaaa:2003/7-en
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