Sources of the German Productivity Demise - Tracing the Effects of Industry-Level ICT Investment

28 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2007

See all articles by Theo S. Eicher

Theo S. Eicher

University of Washington - Department of Economics

Oliver Roehn

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Economics Department (ECO); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: January 2007

Abstract

While the US experienced two successive labor productivity surges in 1995 and 2000, Germany's productivity declined dramatically during the same period. We examine the sources of Germany's productivity demise using the ifo industry growth accounting database that provides detailed industry-level investment information. While much attention has focused on the reduction in German labor hours, our data show that Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) investment in Germany was deeply lacking in the mid 1990's as compared to the US. The transition to the new economy mitigated the German productivity slowdown, but did not reverse it. After 2000, we find that a recovery in Non-ICT investment was offset by a widespread collapse in German total factor productivity. Over half of German industries (accounting for almost 50 percent of German output) experienced negative TFP growth. This second major difference between the US and German industry performance explains Germany's secular departure from the technological frontier.

Keywords: growth accounting, industry productivity analysis, information and communication technology

JEL Classification: O14, O47, L60, L80

Suggested Citation

Eicher, Theo S. and Roehn, Oliver, Sources of the German Productivity Demise - Tracing the Effects of Industry-Level ICT Investment (January 2007). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1896, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=962037 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.962037

Theo S. Eicher (Contact Author)

University of Washington - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 353330
Seattle, WA 98195-3330
United States

Oliver Roehn

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Economics Department (ECO) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, MO 63108
France

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschingerstr. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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