IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

On the Measurement of Technological Progress Across Countries

  • Growiec, Jakub

We construct 14 alternative measures of technological progress for 19 OECD countries over the period 1970--2000, distinguishing between measures of productivity gains actually obtained in a given country (TFP growth, Malmquist index) and technological progress at the world technology frontier (potential TFP growth, the "frontier shift" index). We then compare these measures according to a range of characteristics, shedding light on some of their relative weaknesses and strengths. We find that these characteristics are sensitive to the precision of estimates of the world technology frontier, and then we demonstrate that this precision can be increased substantially by allowing for imperfect substitutability between unskilled and skilled labor and using US state-level data apart from cross-country data for estimating the world technology frontier. Because none of the 14 measures dominates all others on all dimensions, we conclude that the choice of appropriate measurement method should be suited to the question addressed in each particular study.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

File URL:
File Function: revised version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 19321.

in new window

Date of creation: 14 Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19321
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Jerzmanowski, Michal, 2007. "Total factor productivity differences: Appropriate technology vs. efficiency," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(8), pages 2080-2110, November.
  2. Joaquín Maudos Villarroya & José Manuel Pastor Monsálvez & Lorenzo Serrano Martínez, 1998. "- Convergence In Oecd Countries: Technical Change, Efficiency And Productivity," Working Papers. Serie EC 1998-21, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  3. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Donénech, 2000. "Human Capital in Growth Regressions: How much Difference Does Data Quality Make?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 262, OECD Publishing.
  4. Francesco Caselli, 2005. "Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences," CEP Discussion Papers dp0667, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. León-Ledesma, Miguel A. & McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2009. "Identifying the elasticity of substitution with biased technical change," Working Paper Series 1001, European Central Bank.
  6. Ten Raa, T. & Mohnen, P., 2002. "Neoclassical growth accounting and frontier analysis : A synthesis," Other publications TiSEM b3c67537-f899-4cf5-a5cb-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  7. Psacharopoulos, George, 1993. "Returns to investment in education : a global update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1067, The World Bank.
  8. Leopold Simar & Paul Wilson, 2000. "A general methodology for bootstrapping in non-parametric frontier models," Journal of Applied Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(6), pages 779-802.
  9. Daniel J. Henderson & R. Robert Russell, 2005. "Human Capital And Convergence: A Production-Frontier Approach ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1167-1205, November.
  10. Daskovska, Alexandra & Simar, Léopold & Van Bellegem, Sébastien, 2009. "Forecasting the Malmquist Productivity Index," TSE Working Papers 09-048, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  11. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  12. Jose Zofio, 2007. "Malmquist productivity index decompositions: a unifying framework," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(18), pages 2371-2387.
  13. Bos, J.W.B. & Economidou, C. & Koetter, M. & Kolari, J.W., 2010. "Do all countries grow alike?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 113-127, January.
  14. Oleg Badunenko & Daniel J. Henderson & Valentin Zelenyuk, 2008. "Technological Change and Transition: Relative Contributions to Worldwide Growth During the 1990s," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 70(4), pages 461-492, 08.
  15. Susanto Basu & David N. Weil, 1996. "Appropriate Technology and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Pandey, Manish, 2008. "Human capital aggregation and relative wages across countries," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 1587-1601, December.
  17. Todd Schoellman & Sean Mulholland & Robert Tamura & Chad Turner, 2010. "How Important are Human Capital, Physical Capital and Total Factor Productivity for Determining State Economic Growth in the United States, 1840-2000," 2010 Meeting Papers 839, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. Caselli, Francesco & Coleman II, Wilbur John, 2000. "The World Technology Frontier," CEPR Discussion Papers 2584, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Jakub Growiec, 2012. "The World Technology Frontier: What Can We Learn from the US States?-super-," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 74(6), pages 777-807, December.
  20. Jakub Growiec & Anna Pajor & Dorota Pelle & Artur Prędki, 2011. "The shape of aggregate production functions: evidence from estimates of the World Technology Frontier," National Bank of Poland Working Papers 102, National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute.
  21. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-63, July.
  22. Growiec, Jakub, 2008. "Productivity differences across OECD countries, 1970–2000: the world technology frontier revisited," MPRA Paper 11605, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  23. Koop, Gary & Osiewalski, Jacek & Steel, Mark F J, 1999. " The Components of Output Growth: A Stochastic Frontier Analysis," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(4), pages 455-87, November.
  24. Burda, Michael C & Severgnini, Battista, 2010. "Solow Residuals without Capital Stocks," CEPR Discussion Papers 7990, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Klump, Rainer & McAdam, Peter & Willman, Alpo, 2004. "Factor substitution and factor augmenting technical progress in the US: a normalized supply-side system approach," Working Paper Series 0367, European Central Bank.
  26. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  27. Daniel Cohen & Marcelo Soto, 2001. "Growth and Human Capital: Good Data, Good Results," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 179, OECD Publishing.
  28. Fried, Harold O. & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Shelton S. (ed.), 1993. "The Measurement of Productive Efficiency: Techniques and Applications," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072181.
  29. Antras, Pol, 2004. "Is the U.S. Aggregate Production Function Cobb-Douglas? New Estimates of the Elasticity of Substitution," Scholarly Articles 3196325, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  30. Charnes, A. & Cooper, W. W. & Rhodes, E., 1978. "Measuring the efficiency of decision making units," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 2(6), pages 429-444, November.
  31. Subodh Kumar & R. Robert Russell, 2002. "Technological Change, Technological Catch-up, and Capital Deepening: Relative Contributions to Growth and Convergence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(3), pages 527-548, June.
  32. Ray, Subhash C & Desli, Evangelia, 1997. "Productivity Growth, Technical Progress, and Efficiency Change in Industrialized Countries: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1033-39, December.
  33. Fare, Rolf & Shawna Grosskopf & Mary Norris & Zhongyang Zhang, 1994. "Productivity Growth, Technical Progress, and Efficiency Change in Industrialized Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 66-83, March.
  34. Thijs Raa & Victoria Shestalova, 2011. "The Solow residual, Domar aggregation, and inefficiency: a synthesis of TFP measures," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 71-77, August.
  35. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  36. Scott Baier & Sean Mulholland & Chad Turner & Robert Tamura, 2004. "Income and education of the states of the United States: 1840–2000," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2004-31, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  37. R. D. Banker & A. Charnes & W. W. Cooper, 1984. "Some Models for Estimating Technical and Scale Inefficiencies in Data Envelopment Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(9), pages 1078-1092, September.
  38. Simar, Leopold & Wilson, Paul W., 2002. "Non-parametric tests of returns to scale," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 115-132, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:19321. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.