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Measuring productivity: theory and British practice

Nicholas Oulton ()

Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE) Discussion Papers from Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE)

Abstract: This paper lays out the basic theory behind productivity measurement, whether at the level of the country, region, industry or firm. The theory is illustrated using recent data from UK official publications. Productivity growth over time and differences in productivity levels between countries or regions at a point in time are both covered. Labour productivity and multi-factor productivity (MFP) are discussed. In the case of MFP special attention is paid to the measurement of capital inputs. Wherever possible, an accompanying spreadsheet supplies data from recent publications by the United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics so that readers can reproduce official estimates or even employ alternative assumptions to produce their own estimates. Limitations in the underlying theory are highlighted as are empirical difficulties in implementing the theory.

Keywords: productivity; measurement; MFP; capital; labour (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E22 E23 E24 O47 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eff and nep-mac
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Working Paper: Measuring Productivity: theory and British practice (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Measuring productivity: theory and British practice (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Measuring productivity: theory and British practice (2020) Downloads
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