Can Australia Match US Productivity Performance?
The Productivity Commission released a Staff Working Paper ‘Can Australia Match US Productivity Performance?’ (by Ben Dolman, Dean Parham and Simon Zheng) in March 2007. The paper considers whether it is feasible for Australia to match the US level of productivity. While other countries have caught up with — and even surpassed — US productivity, Australia’s catch-up has been comparatively modest and patchy. International comparisons of productivity are useful, but also have hazards. Countries’ productivity levels can vary for reasons apart from technology and efficiency. It is more meaningful to compare performance at the industry level. Some Australian industries have kept pace with their US counterparts at the productivity frontier. Other industries appear to have maintained sizeable gaps or even fallen further behind US productivity levels, in particular in manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, utilities, communications and finance. The paper considers the extent to which geography, settlement and education have constrained, and will continue to constrain, Australia’s ability to catch up in these industries and overall. The paper concludes that Australia is well placed to keep pace with resurgent US productivity growth. It is feasible for Australia to do even better and to catch up to some extent on US productivity — although it will not be automatic and may require further policy and institutional change. But the level of US productivity should not be regarded as a target which Australia can realistically achieve over coming decades. The views expressed in this paper are those of the staff involved and do not necessarily reflect those of the Productivity Commission.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2007|
|Publication status:||Published by the Productivity Commission, Australia.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Level 28, 35 Collins St, Melbourne Victoria 3000|
Phone: 61 3 9653 2100
Fax: 61 3 9653 2199
Web page: http://www.pc.gov.au/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Andrea Bassanini & Stefano Scarpetta, 2001. "Does Human Capital Matter for Growth in OECD Countries?: Evidence from Pooled Mean-Group Estimates," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 282, OECD Publishing.
- Dean Parham, 2004. "Sources of Australia's Productivity Revival," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(249), pages 239-257, 06.
- Goldin, Claudia, 1998.
"America's Graduation from High School: The Evolution and Spread of Secondary Schooling in the Twentieth Century,"
The Journal of Economic History,
Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(02), pages 345-374, June.
- Goldin, Claudia, 1998. "America's Graduation from High School: The Evolution and Spread of Secondary Schooling in the Twentieth Century," Scholarly Articles 2664307, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Redding, Stephen & Venables, Anthony J., 2004. "Economic geography and international inequality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
- Redding, Stephen J. & Venables, Anthony J, 2000. "Economic Geography and International Inequality," CEPR Discussion Papers 2568, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Stephen Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "Economic Geography and International Inequality," International Trade 0103003, EconWPA.
- Stephen Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "Economic Geography and International Inequality," CEP Discussion Papers dp0495, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Stephen Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "Economic geography and international inequality," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3714, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Allen, Steven G, 1985. "Why Construction Industry Productivity Is Declining," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 661-669, November.
- Steven G. Allen, 1985. "Why Construction Industry Productivity is Declining," NBER Working Papers 1555, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Blum, Bernardo S. & Goldfarb, Avi, 2006. "Does the internet defy the law of gravity?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 384-405, December.
- Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
- Ciccone, Antonio & Hall, Robert E, 1996. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 54-70, March.
- Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1993. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 4313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1995. "Productivity and the density of economic activity," Economics Working Papers 120, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
- Dollar, David & Wolff, Edward N, 1988. "Convergence of Industry Labor Productivity among Advanced Economies, 1963-1982," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(4), pages 549-558, November.
- Dollar, David & Wolff, Edward N., 1988. "Convergence Of Industry Labor Productivity Among Advanced Economies: 1963-1982," Working Papers 88-19, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Friedman, Milton, 1992. "Do Old Fallacies Ever Die?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 2129-2132, December.
- Andrew Sharpe, 2001. "Productivity Trends in the Construction Sector in Canada: A Case of Lagging Technical Progress," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 3, pages 52-68, Fall.
- De Long, J Bradford, 1988. "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1138-1154, December.
- J. Bradford De Long, "undated". "Productivity Growth, Convergence, and Welfare: Comment," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _129, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
- repec:dgr:rugggd:gd-83 is not listed on IDEAS
- Bell, Linda A. & Freeman, Richard B., 2001. "The incentive for working hard: explaining hours worked differences in the US and Germany," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 181-202, May.
- Linda A. Bell & Richard B. Freeman, 2000. "The Incentive for Working Hard: Explaining Hours Worked Differences in the U.S. and Germany," NBER Working Papers 8051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Miller, Paul W & Mulvey, Charles & Martin, Nick, 1995. "What Do Twins Studies Reveal about the Economic Returns to Education? A Comparison of Australian and U.S. Findings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 586-599, June.
- Stefano Scarpetta & Thierry Tressel, 2002. "Productivity and Convergence in a Panel of OECD Industries: Do Regulations and Institutions Matter?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 342, OECD Publishing.
- Timmer, Marcel & Ypma, Gerard & van Ark, Bart van, 2007. "PPPs for Industry Output: A New Dataset for International Comparisons," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-82, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
- Broadberry, Stephen N., 1998. "How Did the United States and Germany Overtake Britian? A Sectoral Analysis of Comparative Productivity Levels, 1870–1990," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(02), pages 375-407, June.
- Phelps Edmund S., 2006. "Understanding the Great Changes in the World: Gaining Ground and Losing Ground since World War II," Capitalism and Society, De Gruyter, vol. 1(2), pages 1-25, September.
- Timmer, Marcel P. & Ypma, Gerard, 2006. "Productivity Levels in Distributive Trades: A New ICOP Dataset for OECD Countries," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-83, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
- Quah, Danny, 1993. " Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 427-443, December.
- Quah, Danny, 1993. "Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," CEPR Discussion Papers 820, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Lant Pritchett, 1997. "Divergence, Big Time," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 3-17, Summer.
- Pritchett, Lant, 1995. "Divergence, big time," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1522, The World Bank.
- Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Comparing Apples to Oranges: Productivity Convergence and Measurement across Industries and Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1216-1238, December.
- Bryn Battersby, 2007. "Does distance matter?: The effect of geographic isolation on productivity levels," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2006(1), pages 205-225.
- Gilbert Cette, 2005. "Are Productivity Levels Higher in Some European Countries than in the United States?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 10, pages 59-68, Spring.
- Paul Conway & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2006. "Product Market Regulation in the Non-Manufacturing Sectors of OECD Countries: Measurement and Highlights," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 530, OECD Publishing.
- Belorgey, Nicolas & Lecat, Remy & Maury, Tristan-Pierre, 2006. "Determinants of productivity per employee: An empirical estimation using panel data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 153-157, May.
- Belorgey, N. & Lecat, R. & Maury, P-M., 2004. "Determinants of Productivity per Employee: an Empirical Estimation Using Panel Data," Working papers 110, Banque de France.