DP305 | Measurement Issues, the Productivity Slowdown and the Explosion of Computer Power

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One of the starkest differences between the recent economic performance of the US and of Europe, in addition to faster job creation in the US, is its slower productivity growth. This paper begins with data showing that US productivity growth has been essentially zero since 1973 outside of manufacturing. In contrast, productivity growth in US manufacturing has revived since 1979, and over the period 1979-87 has actually been more rapid than during the 1948-73 'golden age'.