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Measuring the Miracle: Market Imperfections and Asia's Growth Experience

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  • John Fernald

    () (Research Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

  • Brent Neiman

Abstract

A clear understanding of the rapid development of the newly industrialized economies (NIEs) of Asia remains elusive, with disputes over the roles of technology growth, capital accumulation, and international trade and investment. Most notably, alternative approaches to growth accounting yield contradictory results: Estimates using quantities of inputs and output (the primal approach) find slow TFP growth, whereas estimates using real factor prices (the dual approach) find relatively rapid TFP growth. Further, the growth accounting studies report constant or increasing labor shares in most of the NIEs, inconsistent with theories emphasizing the importance of international trade in Asia’s development. We reconcile these apparent contradictions by taking account of economically interesting imperfections in output and capital markets, such as sizeable economic profits and government-directed credit. In Singapore, where the growth accounting disparity is largest, these market imperfections essentially fostered a two-sector economy in which some firms, part of a “favored†sector, received preferential treatment and reaped economic profits. We describe the dynamics of this two-sector framework and derive measures of technology growth, corrected for the imperfections that we quantify. We then discuss implications for broader disputes about Asian development

Suggested Citation

  • John Fernald & Brent Neiman, 2006. "Measuring the Miracle: Market Imperfections and Asia's Growth Experience," 2006 Meeting Papers 785, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed006:785
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    Cited by:

    1. Sophie Piton, 2018. "Do Unit Labor Costs Matter? A Decomposition Exercise on European Data," Working Papers 2018-07, CEPII research center.
    2. Brent Neiman, 2014. "The Global Decline of the Labor Share," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 61-103.
    3. John Fernald, 2015. "Comment on "Trends and Cycles in China's Macroeconomy"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2015, Volume 30, pages 90-100, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Rod Tyers, 2008. "Competition Policy, Corporate Saving and China's Current Account Surplus," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2008-496, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    5. Cette, Gilbert & Fernald, John & Mojon, Benoît, 2016. "The pre-Great Recession slowdown in productivity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 3-20.
    6. Chun Chang & Kaiji Chen & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2016. "Trends and Cycles in China's Macroeconomy," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 1-84.
    7. David Rezza Baqaee & Emmanuel Farhi, 2020. "Productivity and Misallocation in General Equilibrium," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(1), pages 105-163.
    8. E. Grifell-Tatjé & C. A. K. Lovell, 2019. "Dual Productivity Analysis: A Konüs/Shephard Approach," CEPA Working Papers Series WP102019, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    9. Bibhudutta Panda, 2017. "Schooling and productivity growth: evidence from a dual growth accounting application to U.S. states," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 48(2), pages 193-221, December.
    10. Gita Gopinath & Brent Neiman, 2014. "Trade Adjustment and Productivity in Large Crises," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 793-831, March.
    11. Dai, Xiaoyong & Cheng, Liwei, 2016. "Market distortions and aggregate productivity: Evidence from Chinese energy enterprises," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 304-313.
    12. Albert Bollard & Peter Klenow & Gunjam Sharma, 2013. "India's Mysterious Manufacturing Miracle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 59-85, January.
    13. Sophie Piton, 2017. "Economic Integration and the Non-tradable Sector: The European Experience," 2017 Papers ppi361, Job Market Papers.
    14. Gonzalez, Ignacio & Trivin, Pedro, 2019. "The Global Rise of Asset Prices and the Decline of the Labor Share," MPRA Paper 94587, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    17. Jesus Felipe & John McCombie, 2012. "Aggregate Production Functions and the Accounting Identity Critique: Further Reflections on Temple's Criticisms and Misunderstandings," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_718, Levy Economics Institute.
    18. Emmanuel Dhyne & Glenn Magerman & Ayumu Ken kikkawa, 2019. "Imperfect Competition in Firm-to-Firm Trade," Working Papers ECARES 2019-05, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    19. Areendam Chanda & Bibhudutta Panda, 2016. "Productivity Growth In Goods And Services Across The Heterogeneous States Of America," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(2), pages 1021-1045, April.
    20. John G. Fernald & J. Christina Wang, 2016. "Why Has the Cyclicality of Productivity Changed? What Does It Mean?," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 465-496, October.
    21. Álvaro Hernando Chaves Castro, 2017. "La productividad total de factores en el sector agropecuario en Colombia, 1961 - 2013," Revista Economía y Región, Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar, vol. 11(1), pages 89-126, June.
    22. Serena Fatica, 2017. "Measurement and Allocation of Capital Inputs With Taxes: A Sensitivity Analysis for OECD Countries," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 63(1), pages 1-29, March.
    23. C. A. K. Lovell, 2016. "Recent Developments in Productivity Analysis," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(4), pages 417-444, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Growth Accounting; Development Accounting; Asia;

    JEL classification:

    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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