Does Technological Diffusion Explain Australia's Productivity Performance?

Does Technological Diffusion Explain Australia's Productivity Performance?

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This paper analyzes the impact of product and labor market policies on technological diffusion and multi-factor productivity (MFP) in a panel of industries in 15 OECD countries over the period 1980 to 2003, with a special focus on Australia. We use a simple convergence empirical framework to show that, on average, convergence of MFP within industries across countries has slowed-down in the 1990s. In contrast, Australian industries have significantly caught-up with industry productivity best practices over the past 16 years, and have benefited from the diffusion of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). We show that reforms of both the labor and product markets since the early 1990s can explain Australia's productivity performance and adoption of ICTs.In 1991, under the Keating government, bargaining agreements on employment conditions were decentralized at the enterprise ... The 1993 reforms expanded and accelerated the use of enterprise bargaining, while in 1996, the Coalition Government furthered the decentralization process by ... Australia stands out among OECD countries as a country with a flexible labor market characterized by a low level of ... 17 The relationship is log-linear for a Cobb-Douglas production function.

Title:Does Technological Diffusion Explain Australia's Productivity Performance?
Author: Thierry Tressel
Publisher:International Monetary Fund - 2008

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