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An Empirical Analysis of Australian Labour Productivity


  • Abbas Valadkhani


This study presents a model capturing sources of Australian aggregate labour productivity using annual time series data from 1970 to 2001. Labour productivity, or real output per hour worked, in this model is determined by real net capital stock in information technology and telecommunications (ITT), real net capital stock in the non-ITT sector, trade openness, human capital, the wage rate, international competitiveness, and the union membership rate. Given the lack of long and consistent time series data, multivariate cointegration techniques are inappropriate as the cointegration results will be sensitive to the lag length, the inclusion or exclusion of the intercept term or a trend in the cointegration equation and/or the vector autoregression (VAR) specification. Therefore, the Engle-Granger representation theorem and the Hausman weak exogeneity test have been employed to determine the short and long-term drivers of Australian productivity. Empirical estimates indicate that, in the long-term, policies aimed at promoting various types of investment, trade openness, international competitiveness, and the use of wage as an stimulant in a decentralised wage negotiation system, will improve labour productivity. In the short term, all the above variables except for human capital and labour reforms, which both need more time to evolve, determine productivity performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Abbas Valadkhani, 2002. "An Empirical Analysis of Australian Labour Productivity," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 110, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:qut:dpaper:110

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Otto, Glenn & Voss, Graham M, 1994. "Public Capital and Private Sector Productivity," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 70(209), pages 121-132, June.
    2. Hausman, Jerry, 2015. "Specification tests in econometrics," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 38(2), pages 112-134.
    3. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
    4. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1994. "Sources of economic growth," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-46, June.
    5. Dean Parham & Paul Roberts & Haishun Sun, 2001. "Information Technology and Australia’s Productivity Surge," Development and Comp Systems 0110006, EconWPA.
    6. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Is public expenditure productive?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 177-200, March.
    7. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1991. "Equipment Investment and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 445-502.
    8. Hurn, A S & Muscatelli, V A, 1992. "Testing Superexogeneity: The Demand for Broad Money in the UK," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(4), pages 543-556, November.
    9. Greenstein, Shane M & Spiller, Pablo T, 1995. "Modern Telecommunications Infrastructure and Economic Activity: An Empirical Investigation," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(4), pages 647-665.
    10. Alessandra Colecchia & Paul Schreyer, 2001. "ICT Investment and Economic Growth in the 1990s: Is the United States a Unique Case? A Comparative Study of Nine OECD Countries," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2001/7, OECD Publishing.
    11. Swan, Trevor W, 2002. "Economic Growth," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 78(243), pages 375-380, December.
    12. Jakob Madsen & Richard Damania, 2001. "Labour Demand and Wage-induced Innovations: Evidence from the OECD countries," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 323-334.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sakiru Adebola Solarin, 2016. "Sources of labour productivity: a panel investigation of the role of military expenditure," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 849-865, March.
    2. Valadkhani Abbas, 2005. "Sources of Iranian Labour Productivity," Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, De Gruyter, vol. 3(3), pages 32-47, December.
    3. Valadkhani, Abbas, 2006. "Labour Productivity in Iran," Economics Working Papers wp06-13, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    4. Ben Dolman & Lan Lu & Jyoti Rahman, 2006. "Understanding productivity trends," Economic Roundup, The Treasury, Australian Government, issue 1, pages 35-52, March.
    5. Samuel Jebaraj Benjamin & M. Srikamaladevi Marathamuthu & Saravanan Muthaiyah & Murali Raman, 2011. "Affordability of private tertiary education: a Malaysian study," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(4), pages 382-406, March.
    6. repec:eee:ecanpo:v:55:y:2017:i:c:p:14-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Kathleen Goffey & Andrew Worthington, 2002. "Motor Vehicle Usage Patterns in Australia: A Comparative Analysis of Driver, Vehicle & Purpose Characteristics for Household & Freight Travel," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 117, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.

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