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Estimating and Forecasting Aggregate Productivity Growth Trends in the US and Germany

Georg Erber () and Ulrich Fritsche ()

No 471, Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin from DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research

Abstract: This paper addresses the issue of estimating and forecasting productivity growth trends in the US and Germany from the perspective of a business cycle researcher who wants to use the available information in time series of aggregate labor productivity to derive a model for short- and/or long-term forecasts of labour productivity. We will use stability tests and a deterministic model with structural breaks that is estimated using the methods mentioned in Hansen (2001). The methodological approach also draws on Gordon (2003) using a Kalman filter specification. We discuss the implications of unit-root assumptions for long-term forecasts and argue in favor of a near unit-root modelling. That implies a convergence of productivity growth rates in both countries within the next 15 years.

Date: 2005
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