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Productivity and U.S. Economic Growth

1st Edition, Volume 169 - May 1, 1988

Authors: Dale Jorgenson, F.M. Gollop, B. Fraumeni

Language: English
eBook ISBN:
9 7 8 - 1 - 4 8 3 2 - 9 5 8 7 - 9

Between 1948 and 1979, economic activity in the United States increased almost twice as much as over the entire preceding course of American history. The traditional explanation of… Read more

Productivity and U.S. Economic Growth

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Between 1948 and 1979, economic activity in the United States increased almost twice as much as over the entire preceding course of American history. The traditional explanation of this remarkable development emphasizes productivity growth. In the most sophisticated study to date of the factors currently affecting economic growth, the authors of this book show that capital formation is far more important, with the growth of labor resources and productivity a distant second. Their conclusions rest on a far more detailed empirical base than any ever assembled in studies of economic growth. For example, the authors distinguish among 81,600 types of labor input – broken down by age, sex, education, occupation, and industry of employment. Similarly, they disaggregate capital by industry, class of asset, and tax treatment. Their analysis of economic growth is from the ``bottom up'' rather than the ``top down'' approach used in earlier work. The new findings imply that efforts to revive U.S. economic growth must focus on increased supplies of capital and labor inputs. This is the key to more rapid growth and international competition.One of the most important features of the book is the way in which it successfully integrates the theory of producer behavior with the indexing and measurement of production growth. The authors present startling new findings showing that less than one-fourth of overall growth is attributable to advances in productivity.