Between 1989-1995 and 1995-2001, while the increase in hourly labor productivity accelerates in the United States and Canada, it will increase in other G7 countries as well.
The study carried out on the G7 countries makes it possible to show the differences in growth and the contributions of labor and capital factors by activating a homogeneous set of prices.
So, he can see the differences in productivity growth between the United States on the one hand and European countries, Canada and Japan on the other. It shows that it is mainly related to the contribution of non-ICT investments.
Indeed, in all countries, a very strong momentum in the contribution of ICT was observed over the period 1980-2001 (although there are significant differences between countries).
In contrast, the contribution of non-ICT capital accumulation accelerated only in the United States.
In addition, the contribution of job quality to hourly productivity growth slowed between 1989-1995 and 1995-2001. It developed in roughly a similar fashion in all countries.
Finally, it shows that total factor productivity (TFP) has accelerated sharply in the ICT producing sector (in all G7 countries). In all countries except Canada, the TFP growth rate in the ICT producing sector exceeds that of other sectors.
There is debate about the nature of TFP, which can be seen as a remnant or a reflection of technological progress.
In addition, there are strong economic assumptions on which growth accounting is based, and inevitable weaknesses in the data used, on the other. The results highlight its more or less approximate nature.
For example, is it really reliable to cross-reference employment composition by gender, age, and qualifications when constructing a labor quality index?
Finally, there are investments in research and development in standard growth accounting approaches.
Efficiency, Innovation and ICT in Old and New Europe
The productivity of Central and Eastern European countries seems to be converging towards European Union countries. Much of this convergence, however, can be attributed to the improvement in labor productivity with the disappearance of legacy production.
The authors compare the evolution of labor productivity in sectors that produce and use ICT and other industries.
Compared to EU countries, ICT usage activities in Central and Eastern European countries contribute more to productivity gains.
For the authors, this observation characterizes the first stage in the convergence process where they achieve rapid productivity gains.
This phenomenon should see its effects wear off with the end of economic restructuring in these countries.
It is necessary to consolidate these gains in the second phase of catching up with the EU. Further improvements need to be made, particularly in services, in terms of workforce training and restructuring within companies. This will accelerate productivity gains.
The Ministry of Finance, while discussing this issue, contributes entirely from an accounting point of view. We can definitely say that the growth of Central and Eastern European countries is higher. ICT contributes positively to this growth.
What is less certain is whether ICT today contributes more to growth in Central and Eastern Europe than growth in EU15 countries. Some results show the opposite.
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In this sense, productivity gains in Central and Eastern European countries essentially need to be restructured. ICT does not seem to make a positive contribution to reducing the productivity gaps between the two regions.
Therefore, the question of the technological specialization of these countries remains open: the countries of Central and Eastern Europe currently look more like Greece than Ireland. This suggests that the time it takes for these countries to catch up could be as long as thirty years.