Distribution Trade Sector Output and Productivity Performance: A Case Study of Singapore and Hong Kong 2001-2008
This paper employs the industry of origin approach to compare value added and productivity of Singapore and Hong Kong's Distribution Trade Sector for the period 2001-2008. The direct comparison between these two economies was motivated by the statements of the Singapore government: Its services sector, especially in Retail Trade, lags behind Hong Kong's productivity levels. The results show that since 2005, Singapore's Distribution performance in terms of labour productivity was below Hong Kong's level, which was largely due to poor performance in its Retail Trade sector arising from an influx of foreign workers. Results from total factor productivity (TFP) between these two economies also suggest that Hong Kong's better performance (since 2005) was largely due to its ability to employ more educated and trained workers with limited use of capital. The results suggest that polices that worked in Hong Kong may not work for Singapore because its population is more diverse which poses a challenge to policy-makers in raising its productivity level.
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