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Measuring Multifactor Productivity Growth


  • Anita Wölfl

    (CEPII, Paris)

  • Dana Hajkova

    (Czech National Bank)


This paper quantifies and examines the contribution of capital, labour and multifactor productivity (MFP) to GDP growth and analyses the role of measurement of capital and labour inputs for the MFP estimate, using a comprehensive growth accounting exercise for 14 OECD countries. For most OECD countries, the strongest contributions to GDP growth over the past decade have come from growth in total capital input and MFP. This is to some extent related to an increasing role of information and telecommunication technologies in economic growth, particularly over the 1995-2003 period. The importance of measurement issues varies substantially with the type of measurement issue being considered. Substantial differences are observed between employment and hours worked based MFP growth rates. Also, the respective weights with which capital and labour enter the growth accounting equation, and thus, the assumptions concerning the efficiency of production and competition in product markets, significantly influence the resulting MFP estimate. Finally, the results suggest that policy conclusions on the basis of different empirical studies should be made very carefully, in particular as regards the time period for which the respective studies have been undertaken, as well as whether actual or trended time series are being considered. Ce document évalue et examine la contribution du capital, de la main-d'oeuvre et de la productivité globale des facteurs (PGF) à la croissance du PIB, et analyse le rôle de la mesure des apports de capital et de travail dans l'estimation de la PGF, par un travail complet de quantification comptable de la croissance portant sur 14 pays de l'OCDE. Dans la plupart des cas, c'est la croissance des apports totaux de capital et celle de la PGF qui ont contribué le plus fortement à la croissance du PIB ces dix dernières années. Cette évolution est liée dans une certaine mesure au rôle de plus en plus grand des technologies de l'information et de la communication dans la croissance économique, en particulier pendant la période 1995-2003. L'importance des questions de mesure varie beaucoup en fonction de leur type. On observe des différences considérables entre les taux de croissance de la PGF fondés sur l'emploi et sur les heures travaillées. En outre, la part relative du capital et du travail dans l'équation comptable de la croissance et, par conséquent, les hypothèses concernant l'efficacité de la production et la concurrence sur les marchés de produits, influent sensiblement sur l'estimation de la PGF obtenue. Enfin, il semble qu'on ne puisse tirer de conclusions des différentes études empiriques qu'en exerçant la plus grande prudence, en particulier en vérifiant la période à laquelle ces études ont été effectuées, et en déterminant si les séries chronologiques considérées sont des séries réelles ou des séries de tendances.

Suggested Citation

  • Anita Wölfl & Dana Hajkova, 2007. "Measuring Multifactor Productivity Growth," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2007/5, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:stiaaa:2007/5-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Eickelpasch & Georg Erber, 2014. "Analyse der Ansatzpunkte der volkswirtschaftlichen Produktivitätsanalyse von wissensintensiven Dienstleistungen in der amtlichen Statistik: Endbericht; Forschungsprojekt im Auftrag des Fraunhofer-Inst," DIW Berlin: Politikberatung kompakt, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, volume 80, number pbk80.

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