Industry Origins of the American Productivity Resurgence


Jorgenson, Dale, Mun S Ho, Jon D Samuels, and Kevin J Stiroh. “Industry Origins of the American Productivity Resurgence.” Economic Systems Research 19, no. 3 (2007): 229-252.


This paper analyzes the industry origins of the American growth resurgence by examining output, input, and productivity growth of 85 component industries for the period 1960 to 2005. We use this detailed industry data to examine trends in particular industry groups such as those that produce information technology (IT) or use IT most intensively and to perform a ‘bottom-up’ comparison of alternative aggregation methodologies. The data show that while labor productivity growth was strong throughout the full period after 1995, there were important differences between 1995–2000 and 2000–2005. The period 1995–2000, for example, was marked by strong growth in labor input so aggregate output was robust, while labor input and output growth both declined substantially after 2000. IT remained an important source of both capital deepening and total factor productivity growth after 2000, but the contributions were not as large as during the technology boom of the late 1990s. We also show that the production possibility frontier, which recognizes differences in output prices across industries, remains the most appropriate methodology for aggregating industry data.

Last updated on 10/23/2013