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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|18007||2005||27 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10713 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Information Economics and Policy, Volume 17, Issue 3, July 2005, Pages 275–301
This article investigates the productivity development in Sweden in the 1990s. The results show that much of the recorded Swedish surge in labor productivity was due to the spectacular growth of the Radio, television and communication equipment (RTC) industry. However, this article shows that the productivity growth of the RTC industry is very sensitive to value added price deflators. Unlike Sweden, the US uses hedonic price indexes for semiconductors and microprocessors which are important intermediate inputs in the RTC industry. Estimates based on the US intermediate input price deflators for semiconductors and microprocessors suggest that the productivity growth of the Swedish RTC industry during the 1990s is an artefact. This implies that the productivity growth of total manufacturing has also been overestimated. The results for Sweden are also interesting for other countries such as Finland, Ireland and South Korea where ICT producing industries have contributed substantially to labor productivity growth.
During the 1990s productivity research increasingly came into focus. Comparisons of productivity across countries and industries are important for evaluating economic performance. Moreover, particular attention has been paid to productivity comparisons in industries with rapid technological change and falling prices such as the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) producing industry.1 Comparing productivity in industries producing homogenous products is an easy task. For example, in the crude oil industry, output is arrived at by a mere counting of barrels of oil produced. Measuring productivity in industries where technology changes rapidly is a totally different matter. According to “Moore’s law” microprocessors are halved in price and doubled in capacity every 18 months. A computer based on the latest technology may become obsolete within a year or two. Is it then reasonable to compare productivity in industries with rapidly changing technology and prices across countries? Nordhaus (1997) argues that capturing the impact of new technologies on living standards is beyond the practical ability of official Statistical Agencies. The essential difficulty is that high-tech products consumed today may not even have existed a decade ago. Moreover, if they did, the quality of the goods that we consume today is much higher compared to the quality of “the same” goods a decade ago. The increase in productivity growth in the US economy since 1995 (see Council of Economic Advisers, 2003) has resulted in an intense debate on the impact of ICT technology on productivity in different countries. In Sweden, ICT technology created an economic boom in the late 1990s. In 2000 Stockholm was named the Internet capital of Europe by Newsweek Magazine. According to Newsweek (2000) the Stockholm phenomenon could be explained by “the looming marriage of the Internet and the third-generation mobile telephony in Europe”. Four years later, it was evident that much of the Swedish Internet era of the late 1990s was a transient hype, partly created by media. However, it has been very difficult to explain the fundamental fact that productivity growth in Swedish manufacturing and particularly in the Radio, television and communication equipment (RTC) (ISIC 32) industry increased rapidly during the 1990s. Did the increased productivity growth in manufacturing and RTC reflect some fundamental changes in the economy or was it largely a statistical illusion? Much of the recent international debate about the ICT revolution has focused on whether ICT investments have had a substantial impact on productivity across a wide range of different industries or whether only a few industries have been affected. For the US there appears to have been an early link between the ICT investments and productivity effects in industries that are using ICT intensively (Stiroh, 2002). However, there are still some skeptics such as Robert Gordon (2000), who argue that the productivity revival in the US occurred primarily within durable goods production and particularly in the ICT producing industries. Unlike the experience of the US in the late 1990s, there was little evidence of a widespread productivity increase in Swedish manufacturing (Edquist and Henrekson, 2002). Instead the Swedish ICT miracle was confined to the ICT producing industry and particularly in the RTC industry. Figures from Statistics Sweden show that for the period 1993–2001 the annual labor productivity growth in RTC was approximately 35%. Without the spectacular growth of the Swedish RTC industry the productivity growth in total manufacturing during the second half of the 1990s would have been much lower. The increasing importance of the RTC industry for the Swedish economy during the 1990s raises important questions about the problems associated with correctly measuring productivity in ICT producing industries. These problems are not only important for Sweden. Pilat and Wölfl (2004) show that Finland, Ireland and South Korea had a higher contribution of ICT producing manufacturing to aggregate productivity growth than Sweden during 1996–2002. The problems with measuring productivity in ICT producing industries will be investigated in this article by analyzing the productivity performance in the Swedish economy during the 1990s. The results show that the Swedish RTC industry was the industry that contributed most to the aggregate Swedish productivity performance in the 1990s. Since the RTC industry is characterized by rapidly changing technologies it is complicated to measure and compare productivity for this industry. Therefore, I also provide a detailed investigation of the RTC industry. An important question that will be addressed is to what extent the productivity growth in the Swedish RTC industry was affected by country specific value added price deflators? In Section 2, I present evidence of the productivity performance in the Swedish economy during the 1990s. The productivity development is investigated both from a growth and level perspective. Section 3 investigates the impact of using value added price deflators on productivity measures in the ICT-producing industry. Section 3 also compares the intermediate input and gross output price deflators for RTC in Sweden and the US. Section 4 concludes.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Sweden had one of the highest labor productivity growth rates in manufacturing and in the total economy in the OECD during the 1990s. Calculations of the productivity level in Swedish manufacturing show that Sweden caught up with levels in manufacturing for Germany and the US during the 1990s. In 1995 Sweden overtook Germany in terms of labor productivity level and continued to catch up with the US throughout the period 1995–2000. However, unlike the US, there is no evidence that the Swedish productivity growth has increased considerably in a large number of industries. Instead, a large part of the labor productivity growth during the 1990s took place in the Swedish RTC industry. During the period 1993–2001 the RTC industry accounted for nearly 20% of the labor productivity growth in all Swedish industries. Moreover, the relative importance of the intensive ICT using industry on labor productivity growth decreased during the second half of the 1990s (see Table 2). The main conclusion is that the Swedish ICT miracle took place in the ICT producing manufacturing industries and not in the ICT using industries. The productivity development in Sweden during the 1990s raises an important question about the different methods used by countries in order to accurately measure productivity in the ICT producing industries. The results show that labor productivity growth rates in the ICT producing industries are very sensitive to the choice of value added price deflators. Moreover, value added price deflators differ widely among industries and countries. The Swedish value added price deflators for RTC was considerably more negative compared to the German and US deflators throughout the period 1993–2000.25 One explanation to why value added price deflators are more negative in Sweden than in the US is that the US Statistical Agencies systematically use hedonic adjustments for semiconductors and microprocessors, while Statistics Sweden does not.26 Moreover, semiconductors and microprocessors are important inputs in the Swedish RTC industry. Calculations of the Swedish value added deflators based on the US price development for semiconductors and microprocessors, show that the productivity growth in the RTC industry becomes considerably lower. This suggests that the spectacular labor productivity growth exceeding 35% per year in 1993–2001 for the Swedish RTC industry is an illusion to a considerable extent. Moreover, the results show that it is dangerous to draw conclusions from international productivity comparisons in industries characterized by rapidly changing technology. The overestimation of labor productivity growth for Swedish RTC also has important effects for productivity growth in total manufacturing. If the recalculated value added deflators for RTC are used in order to calculate labor productivity growth rates for total manufacturing, the productivity performance is 1–2% slower in 1997–2000 than what is suggested by official data. From a policy perspective this is an important result, because it shows that the productivity growth miracle in Swedish manufacturing during the late 1990s is partly an artefact. Moreover, Sweden is not the only country where the contribution of ICT producing manufacturing to aggregate productivity growth has been high. Pilat and Wölfl (2004) show that Finland, Ireland and South Korea had a higher contribution of ICT producing manufacturing to aggregate productivity growth than Sweden during 1996–2002. Further research of the implication of measuring productivity in ICT producing industries in these countries is called for.