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Total factor productivity

About: Total factor productivity is a(n) research topic. Over the lifetime, 14016 publication(s) have been published within this topic receiving 375882 citation(s). more


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1162/003355399555954
Robert E. Hall1, Charles I. Jones1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Output per worker varies enormously across countries. Why? On an accounting basis our analysis shows that differences in physical capital and educational attainment can only partially explain the variation in output per worker—we find a large amount of variation in the level of the Solow residual across countries. At a deeper level, we document that the differences in capital accumulation, productivity, and therefore output per worker are driven by differences in institutions and government policies, which we call social infrastructure. We treat social infrastructure as endogenous, determined historically by location and other factors captured in part by language. In 1988 output per worker in the United States was more than 35 times higher than output per worker in Niger. In just over ten days the average worker in the United States produced as much as an average worker in Niger produced in an entire year. Explaining such vast differences in economic performance is one of the fundamental challenges of economics. Analysis based on an aggregate production function provides some insight into these differences, an approach taken by Mankiw, Romer, and Weil [1992] and Dougherty and Jorgenson [1996], among others. Differences among countries can be attributed to differences in human capital, physical capital, and productivity. Building on their analysis, our results suggest that differences in each element of the production function are important. In particular, however, our results emphasize the key role played by productivity. For example, consider the 35-fold difference in output per worker between the United States and Niger. Different capital intensities in the two countries contributed a factor of 1.5 to the income differences, while different levels of educational attainment contributed a factor of 3.1. The remaining difference—a factor of 7.7—remains as the productivity residual. * A previous version of this paper was circulated under the title ‘‘The Productivity of Nations.’’ This research was supported by the Center for Economic Policy Research at Stanford and by the National Science Foundation under grants SBR-9410039 (Hall) and SBR-9510916 (Jones) and is part of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s program on Economic Fluctuations and Growth. We thank Bobby Sinclair for excellent research assistance and colleagues too numerous to list for an outpouring of helpful commentary. Data used in the paper are available online from,chadj. more

Topics: Total factor productivity (61%), Physical capital (59%), Solow residual (59%) more

6,155 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/0304-3932(89)90047-0
David Alan Aschauer1Institutions (1)
Abstract: This paper considers the relationship between aggregate productivity and stock and flow government-spending variables. The empirical results indicate that (i) the nonmilitary public capital stock is dramatically more important in determining productivity than is either the flow of nonmilitary or military spending, (ii) military capital bears little relation to productivity, and (iii) a ‘core’ infrastructure of streets, highways, airports, mass transit, sewers, water systems, etc. has most explanatory power for productivity. The paper also suggests an important role for the net public capital stock in the ‘productivity slowdown’ of the last fifteen years. more

Topics: Public capital (64%), Total factor productivity (63%), Stock and flow (59%) more

4,984 Citations

Open accessPosted Content
Abstract: Investment in research and development (R&D) affects a country's total factor productivity. Recently new theories of economic growth have emphasized this link and have also identified a number of channels through which a country's R&D affects total factor productivity of its trade partners. Following these theoretical developments we estimate the effects of a country's R&D capital stock and the R&D capital stocks of its trade partners on the country's total factor productivity. We find large effects of both domestic and foreign R&D capital stocks on total factor productivity. The foreign R&D capital stocks have particularly large effects on the smaller countries in our sample (that consists of 22 countries). Moreover, we find that about one-quarter of the worldwide benefits of investment in R&D in the seven largest economies are appropriated by their trade partners. more

3,717 Citations

Journal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/0304-3932(94)90047-7
Jess Benhabib1, Mark M. Spiegel1Institutions (1)
Abstract: Using cross-country estimates of physical and human capital stocks, we run the growth accounting regressions implied by a CobbPDouglas aggregate production function. Our results indicate that human capital enters insignificantly in explaining per capita growth rates. We next specify an alternative model in which the growth rate of total factor productivity depends on a nation’s human capital stock level. Tests of this specification do indicate a positive role for human capital. more

Topics: Physical capital (73%), Capital intensity (68%), Capital deepening (67%) more

3,613 Citations

Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/0014-2921(94)00100-E
Abstract: A model is presented based on recent theories of economic growth that treat commercially oriented innovation efforts as a major engine of technological progress. We study the extent to which a country’s total factor productivity depends not only on domestic R&D capital but also on foreign R&D capital. Our estimates indicate that foreign R&D has beneficial effects on domestic productivity, and that these are stronger the more open an economy is to foreign trade. Moreover, the estimated rates of return on R&D are very high, both in terms of domestic output and international spillovers. more

Topics: Total factor productivity (70%), Productivity (63%), Capital (economics) (56%) more

3,203 Citations

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Topic's top 5 most impactful authors

Kyoji Fukao

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23 papers, 2.4K citations

Richard Harris

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John G. Fernald

21 papers, 1.8K citations

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