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Productivity gaps and capacity utilization in the manufacturing sectors of five OECD-countries, 1963–1982

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to apply some novel features in the theory of productivity indexes to the measurement of productivity gaps. It advances the proposition that one reason for the persistence of productivity gaps might be that the methodology of measuring gaps does not separate shifts of the production function due to intercountry efficiency from shifts due to intercountry differences in capacity utilization.

In this paper we calculate productivity gaps for four OECD countries relative to the U.S., adjusted for cyclical variations in capacity utilization for the period 1963–1982. The theoretical foundation of our measurement is based on a variable cost function approach with short-run fixity of capital. Without adjusting for differences in capacity utilization within the countries, productivity gaps are a mixture of differences in productivity and in capacity utilization.

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The refereeing process of this paper was handled through C. Morrison.

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Conrad, K., Unger, R. Productivity gaps and capacity utilization in the manufacturing sectors of five OECD-countries, 1963–1982. J Prod Anal 1, 101–122 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00157791

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