Discussion paper

DP17452 World Productivity: 1996 - 2014

We use a new growth accounting method to quantify the drivers of world total factor productivity (TFP) growth during 1996-2014 and uncover four main results. World productivity growth is volatile from year to year. This mainly reflects reallocation of labor across country-industries. The contribution of country-industry level productivity growth to world productivity is relatively constant over time. This constancy masks that the increased importance of emerging economies offset a productivity slowdown in advanced economies; after 2008, this offsetting effect dissipated and world TFP growth declined. These conclusions are robust to the inclusion of markups in the analysis.


Fernald, J, M Esfahani and B Hobijn (eds) (2022), “DP17452 World Productivity: 1996 - 2014”, CEPR Press Discussion Paper No. 17452. https://cepr.org/publications/dp17452