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Productivity differences across OECD countries, 1970–2000: the world technology frontier revisited


  • Growiec, Jakub


We re-estimate the World Technology Frontier (WTF) non-parametrically, using the Data Envelopment Analysis method, with a dataset covering both OECD country-level and US state-level data on GDP per worker and the stocks of physical capital, unskilled labor, and skilled labor. The WTF 2000 is found to be spanned by a few US states such as Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Nevada, Utah, and Washington, while the USA as a whole falls markedly behind these leader states. The auxilliary use of US state-level data adds extra precision to cross-country growth and levels accounting exercises. We also calculate the "appropriate technology vs. efficiency" decomposition, disentangling dynamic shifts of the WTF from movements along the WTF. Our results indicate that previous estimates of the WTF might have been downward biased and previous estimates of technical efficiency might have been upward biased.

Suggested Citation

  • Growiec, Jakub, 2008. "Productivity differences across OECD countries, 1970–2000: the world technology frontier revisited," MPRA Paper 11605, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11605

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Caselli, Francesco, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 679-741 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jakub Growiec, 2013. "On the measurement of technological progress across countries," Bank i Kredyt, Narodowy Bank Polski, vol. 44(5), pages 467-504.
    2. Jakub Growiec & Lukasz Marc & Dorota Pelle, 2009. "Decomposing productivity growth in OECD countries: domestic R&D vs. international technology diffusion," IBS Working Papers 1/2009, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    3. Jan Witajewski-Baltvilks, 2016. "Catching up in Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland," Bank i Kredyt, Narodowy Bank Polski, vol. 47(4), pages 319-340.
    4. Herbert Dawid & Simon Gemkow & Philipp Harting & Michael Neugart, 2012. "Labor market integration policies and the convergence of regions: the role of skills and technology diffusion," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 543-562, July.

    More about this item


    world technology frontier; decomposition; country-level data; US state-level data; development accounting; growth accounting;

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

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