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BPEA Article

Productivity Levels in Germany Japan, and the United States: Differences and Causes

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Abstract

THIS PAPER EXPLORES the comparative productivity performance in manufacturing of three countries-Germany, Japan, and the United States since 1950. The productivity level estimates are based on the industry of origin approach, making use of detailed information from censuses of manufactures for each country. Comparative measures of sectoral productivity levels have a vast array of applications in, for example, the study of structural change, technological progress, comparative advantage, and competitiveness and in the analysis of catch-up and convergence.

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