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On Productivity Measurement and Interpretation: Some Insights on Italy in the European Context

Roberta de Santis () and Valeria Ferroni

LEQS – LSE 'Europe in Question' Discussion Paper Series from European Institute, LSE

Abstract: Over the period 1995–2016, the Italian performance in terms of productivity was poor in historical terms and in comparison with its main international partners. This issue goes beyond Italy, with declining productivity growth observed, from the second half of the nineties, in several other advanced economies. Possible explanations for the slowdown include factors such as lower capital investment by firms, decreased competition, excessive regulation, and capital misallocation. The diffuse slowing rates of measured productivity growth has also raised questions on whether GDP and output current compilation methods are adequate (i.e. the mis-measurement hypothesis). The “ICT revolution” has created new ways of exchanging and providing goods and services as result of increased connectivity. These developments challenge the way economic activity is traditionally measured. There are also measurement problems associated with estimating output and input volumes especially related to the quality of price indexes for some products and services. These problems have an impact on productivity estimates and might impair international comparability. In this paper, we intend to investigate what the core problems in productivity measurement and interpretation are in the European context, with a specific focus on Italy

Keywords: Productivity; GDP; mismeasurement; prices; digitalization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-eff and nep-ict
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