A glimpse on sectoral convergence of productivity levels
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper examines the presence of sectoral convergence of labor productivity between 14 OECD countries. Using the OECD International Sectoral Data Base (ISDB), the paper looks at the developments within 12 distinct sectors during the period 1970-1995. The change of the coefficients of variance suggests that there is strong sectoral convergence within most service sectors while the evidence of convergence for Manufacturing as well as for Communication is rather weak. These findings are in line with most studies undertaken on this subject so far. It is concluded that economic theories at hand to explain growth and convergence (or divergence respectively) are of different importance for the sectors concerned. While models of the New Growth Theory seemed to be useful to explain growth mechanisms within Manufacturing and Communication, traditional models seemed to apply to most other sectors.
Structural change, specialization patterns, and the productivity gap between Central and Eastern Europe and the European Union
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
The transition countries of Central East Europe exhibit significantly lower productivity levels than that of the average of the 15 European Union countries. Since the outset of transition, however, this gap has clearly narrowed.
Next to technological and organisational factors it is sectoral structures which play an important role for the development and level of national productivities: in most transition economies, structural change clearly contributed positively to productivity growth. Poland is an exception here, no significant effect of structural change between sectors and industrial branches on the growth of the national productivity level could be found. The low intensity of structural adjustment in Poland in particular in the agricultural sector corresponds with a decisive role played by the sectoral pattern of specialisation within the European division of labour as determinant of the productivity gap. Hungary and to some degree also Slovenia, the country with the lowest productivity gap, exhibit similar results. Only in the cases of the Czech Republic and Slovakia remain negligible the explanatory powers of respective patterns of specialisation as productivity determinants.
Revenue Implications of Trade Liberalization
IMF Occasional Papers, No. 180,
In recent decades many countries have dismantled trade barriers and opened their economies to international competition. Trade liberalization is seen to promote economic efficiency, international competitiveness, and an expansion of trade, perhaps especially in imperfectly competitive markets. Yet despite this progress in trade liberalization, as evidenced by the conclusion of the Uruguay Round in 1994 and the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995, trade barriers are still widespread. Some economies and some sectors (e.g., agriculture in many industrial countries) remain relatively insulated from the global economy by a variety of nontariff and tariff barriers, even as import substitution continues to lose ground as a strategy for economic development.
Causes of the growing wage-income gap in the USA: Current aspects in research and the political discussion
IWH Discussion Papers,
Data sets from OECD countries and especially the US indicate growing inequalities in income and thus stimulate research with respect to this topic. In this paper the basic arguments and results of several studies with an economic and a sociological background are compared and discussed. It concentrates a) on the theory of Kuznets and its modifications, b) on the “technology vs. trade” controversy, and c) on panel studies which allow an analysis of income mobility. Finally the research questions are dealt with if Germany will show similar degrees of income inequality as in the US in the years to come and if the two countries differ in their political tolerance towards income inequality.