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Disaggregate Productivity Comparisons: Sectoral Convergence in OECD Countries

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  • Johannes Van Biesebroeck

Abstract

International comparisons of productivity have used exchange rates or purchasing power parity (PPP) to make output comparable across countries. While aggregate PPP holds well in the long run, sectoral deviations are very persistent. It raises the need for a currency conversion factor at the same level of aggregation as the output that is compared. Mapping prices from household expenditure surveys into the industrial classification of sectors and adjusting for taxes and international trade, I obtain an expenditure-based sector-specific PPP. Using detailed price data for 1985, 1990, 1993, and 1996, I test whether the sectoral PPPs adequately capture differential changes in relative prices between countries. For agriculture and the majority of industrial sectors, but not for most service sectors, sectoral PPP is preferred over aggregate PPP. Using the most appropriate conversion factor for each industry, productivity convergence is found to be taking place in all but a few industries for a group of 14 OECD countries. The results are robust to the base year used for the currency conversion.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2007. "Disaggregate Productivity Comparisons: Sectoral Convergence in OECD Countries," Working Papers tecipa-290, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-290
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Renaud Bourlès & Gilbert Cette & Jimmy Lopez & Jacques Mairesse & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2013. "Do Product Market Regulations In Upstream Sectors Curb Productivity Growth? Panel Data Evidence For OECD Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(5), pages 1750-1768, December.
    2. Robert Inklaar & Marcel P. Timmer, 2014. "The Relative Price of Services," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(4), pages 727-746, December.
    3. Sasso, Simone & Ritzen, Jo, 2016. "Sectoral Cognitive Skills, R&D, and Productivity: A Cross-Country Cross-Sector Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 10457, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. repec:dgr:rugggd:gd-124 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2009. "Disaggregate productivity comparisons: sectoral convergence in OECD countries," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 63-79, October.
    6. Simone Salotti & Carmine Trecroci, 2012. "Even worse than you thought: The effects of government debt on investment and productivity," EcoMod2012 4200, EcoMod.
    7. Murat Ungor, 2017. "Productivity Growth and Labor Reallocation: Latin America versus East Asia," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 24, pages 25-42, March.
    8. repec:dgr:rugggd:gd-118 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Simone Salotti & Carmine Trecroci, 2016. "The Impact of Government Debt, Expenditure and Taxes on Aggregate Investment and Productivity Growth," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(330), pages 356-384, April.
    10. Dijk, Michiel van, 2013. "Productivity growth at the sectoral level: measurement and projections," Proceedings Issues, 2013: Productivity and Its Impacts on Global Trade, June 2-4, 2013. Seville, Spain 152268, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    11. Vries, Gaaitzen J. de & Los, Bart & Castellacci, Fulvio, 2010. "Sectoral Productivity Trends:Convergence Islands in Oceans of Divergence," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-118, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
    12. Maciej Grodzicki, 2013. "Productivity Convergence in Manufacturing in the European Union: The Role of Economic Structure," Research in Economics and Business: Central and Eastern Europe, Tallinn School of Economics and Business Administration, Tallinn University of Technology, vol. 5(2).
    13. Simone Salotti & Carmine Trecroci, 2012. "Even Worse than You thought: The Impact of Public Debt on Aggregate Investment and Productivity," DEGIT Conference Papers c017_020, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    14. Bruno Bracalente & Cristiano Perugini, 2010. "The components of regional disparities in Europe," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 44(3), pages 621-645, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    PPP; sectoral comparison; base year;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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