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An Economic Approach to the Measurement of Productivity Growth Using Differences Instead of Ratios

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  • Diewert, Erwin
  • Mizobuchi, Hideyuki

Abstract

Traditional index number theory decomposes a value ratio into the product of a price index times a quantity index. Growth accounting is based on this traditional approach to index number theory. This paper takes an alternative approach which decomposes a value difference into the sum of a price difference plus a quantity difference. We apply this new exact difference methodology in order to decompose the growth of a new measure of labour productivity into additive explanatory factors. This new measure of labour productivity takes into account changes in the terms of trade. We apply our methodology to investigate the growth in living standards per unit of labour for the Japanese economy over the years 1955-2004. The paper also introduces a new flexible functional form for a GDP function that is based on the normalized quadratic functional form pioneered by Diewert and Wales.

Suggested Citation

  • Diewert, Erwin & Mizobuchi, Hideyuki, 2009. "An Economic Approach to the Measurement of Productivity Growth Using Differences Instead of Ratios," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2009-2, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 09 Jan 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:bricol:erwin_diewert-2009-2
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    File URL: http://www.econ.ubc.ca/diewert/dp0903.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert B. Archibald, 1977. "On the Theory of Industrial Price Measurement Output Price Indexes," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 6, number 1, pages 57-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Diewert, Walter E & Wales, Terence J, 1987. "Flexible Functional Forms and Global Curvature Conditions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 43-68, January.
    3. Ulrich Kohli, 2006. "Real GDP, Real GDI and Trading Gains: Canada, 1981-2005," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 13, pages 46-56, Fall.
    4. Lau, Lawrence J., 1976. "A characterization of the normalized restricted profit function," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 131-163, February.
    5. Diewert, W. E., 1973. "Functional forms for profit and transformation functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 284-316, June.
    6. W. Diewert & Alice Nakamura, 2003. "Index Number Concepts, Measures and Decompositions of Productivity Growth," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 127-159, April.
    7. Bert Balk, 2003. "The Residual: On Monitoring and Benchmarking Firms, Industries, and Economies with Respect to Productivity," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, pages 5-47.
    8. Diewert, W. E. & Wales, T. J., 1988. "A normalized quadratic semiflexible functional form," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 327-342, March.
    9. Ulrich Kohli, 2004. "An Implicit Törnqvist Index of Real GDP," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 337-353, May.
    10. Kevin Fox & Ulrich Kohli, 1998. "GDP growth, terms-of-trade effects, and total factor productivity," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 87-110.
    11. Diewert, W E & Wales, T J, 1988. "Normalized Quadratic Systems of Consumer Demand Functions," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 6(3), pages 303-312, July.
    12. D. W. Jorgenson & Z. Griliches, 1967. "The Explanation of Productivity Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 249-283.
    13. Diewert, W E & Wales, T J, 1992. "Quadratic Spline Models for Producer's Supply and Demand Functions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(3), pages 705-722, August.
    14. Ulrich R. Kohli, 1978. "A Gross National Product Function and the Derived Demand for Imports and Supply of Exports," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 11(2), pages 167-182, May.
    15. Samuelson, Paul A & Swamy, S, 1974. "Invariant Economic Index Numbers and Canonical Duality: Survey and Synthesis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 566-593, September.
    16. Kohli, Ulrich, 2003. "Growth accounting in the open economy: international comparisons," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 417-435.
    17. F. M. Fisher & K. Shell, 1970. "The Pure Theory of the National-Output Deflator," Working papers 59, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    18. Chambers, Robert G, 2001. "Consumer's Surplus As an Exact and Superlative Cardinal Welfare Indicator," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(1), pages 105-119, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Flexible functional form; producer theory; Japanese economic growth; difference approach; Bennet indicators; labour productivity; exact index numbers;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • 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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