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Productivity in Australia's wholesale and retail trade


  • Alan Johnston

    (Productivity Commission)

  • Darrell Porter

    (Productivity Commission)

  • Trevor Cobbold

    (Productivity Commission)

  • Robert Dolamore

    (Productivity Commission)


Examines the productivity performance of the wholesale and retail trade sectors in light of their significant contribution to Australia’s record productivity performance in the 1990s. Fundamental changes in the nature and operations of wholesale trade, in particular, have brought marked improvements in productivity performance over the 1990s. The paper examines the main sources of the improved productivity growth in wholesale and retail trade including the adoption of productivity- enhancing and labour saving technologies, the role of increased competition as a catalyst for rationalisation, institutional reforms such as changes to industrial relations legislation, and factors specific to particular sub-industries, such as underlying demand conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Alan Johnston & Darrell Porter & Trevor Cobbold & Robert Dolamore, 2001. "Productivity in Australia's wholesale and retail trade," Development and Comp Systems 0105003, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0105003
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Edward N. Wolff, 1999. "The productivity paradox: evidence from indirect indicators of service sector productivity growth," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(2), pages 281-308, April.
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