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The Productivity of Nations

  • Robert E. Hall
  • Charles I. Jones

Output per worker varies enormously across countries. Why? Our analysis shows that differences in governmental, cultural, and natural infrastructure are important sources of this variation. According to our results, a high-productivity country (i) has institutions that favor production over diversion, (ii) is open to international trade, (iii) has at least some private ownership, (iv) speaks an international language, and (v) is located in a temperate latitude far from the equator. A favorable infrastructure helps a country both by stimulating the accumulation of human and physical capital and by raising its total factor productivity.

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Paper provided by Stanford University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 96012.

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Handle: RePEc:wop:stanec:96012
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  1. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  2. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 1996. "Trade in ideas Patenting and productivity in the OECD," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 251-278, May.
  3. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
  4. Kornai, Janos, 1992. "The Socialist System: The Political Economy of Communism," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198287766, July.
  5. repec:oup:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:3:p:681-712 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Robert J. Barro, 1996. "Determinants of Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Empirical Study," NBER Working Papers 5698, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Endogenous Technological Change," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S71-102, October.
  8. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1993. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 4313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  11. repec:oup:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:2:p:407-43 is not listed on IDEAS
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  13. Ljungqvist, Lars & Sargent, Thomas J., 1995. "The Swedish unemployment experience," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 1043-1070, May.
  14. repec:oup:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:2:p:503-30 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Star, Spencer & Hall, Robert E, 1976. "An Approximate Divisia Index of Total Factor Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 257-63, March.
  16. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  17. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  18. Daron Acemoglu, 1993. "Reward Structures and the Allocation of Talent," CEP Discussion Papers dp0143, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  19. Jeffrey A. Frankel & David Romer, 1996. "Trade and Growth: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 5476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. repec:oup:qjecon:v:107:y:1992:i:2:p:407-37 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. repec:oup:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:4:p:1127-70 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Krueger, Anne O, 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 291-303, June.
  23. Herschel I. Grossman & Minseong Kim, 1996. "Inequality, Predation and Welfare," NBER Working Papers 5704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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