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Productivity Growth and Convergence: Revisiting Kumar and Russell (2002)

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Abstract

In this paper, we first investigate the replicability of the seminal work of Kumar and Russell (The American Economic Review, 2002) on productivity growth and convergence. We then compare Kumar and Russell’s results with estimates obtained using alternative approaches that allow for statistical noise (e.g., measurement error) in the data. When statistical noise is accounted for, some of the conclusions found in their study are confirmed and some are not. In particular, capital deepening still remains as the key factor driving the transformation of the distribution of labor productivity from a unimodal distribution into a bimodal distribution with a higher mean. However, we cannot confirm that capital deepening contributes to world convergence. We find instead statistical evidence that indicates efficiency change is a key driver of world convergence.

Suggested Citation

  • Kelly D.T.Trinh & Valentin Zelenyuk, 2015. "Productivity Growth and Convergence: Revisiting Kumar and Russell (2002)," CEPA Working Papers Series WP112015, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  • Handle: RePEc:qld:uqcepa:109
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    File URL: https://economics.uq.edu.au/files/5085/WP112015.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pagan,Adrian & Ullah,Aman, 1999. "Nonparametric Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521355643.
    2. 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 1033-1039, December.
    3. Pang Du & Christopher F. Parmeter & Jeffrey S. Racine, 2012. "Nonparametric Kernel Regression with Multiple Predictors and Multiple Shape Constraints," Department of Economics Working Papers 2012-08, McMaster University.
    4. Byeong Park & Léopold Simar & Valentin Zelenyuk, 2015. "Categorical data in local maximum likelihood: theory and applications to productivity analysis," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 199-214, April.
    5. Meeusen, Wim & van den Broeck, Julien, 1977. "Efficiency Estimation from Cobb-Douglas Production Functions with Composed Error," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 435-444, June.
    6. Léopold Simar & Valentin Zelenyuk, 2011. "Stochastic FDH/DEA estimators for frontier analysis," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 1-20, August.
    7. Battese, George E. & Coelli, Tim J., 1988. "Prediction of firm-level technical efficiencies with a generalized frontier production function and panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 387-399, July.
    8. 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, August.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Kumbhakar, Subal C. & Park, Byeong U. & Simar, Leopold & Tsionas, Efthymios G., 2007. "Nonparametric stochastic frontiers: A local maximum likelihood approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 1-27, March.
    12. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
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    Keywords

    DEA; Stochastic DEA; Local Likelihood Estimator; Productivity Growth; Convergence;

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C44 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Operations Research; Statistical Decision Theory

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