Productivity Growth in the Nordic Countries
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Productivity Growth in the Nordic Countries

An Appraisal of Analysis, Data and Methodological Information

Even small increases in a country's growth rate can result in large changes in living standards over just one generation. This key insight, which often seems to be forgotten by policymakers, is an important reason why the field of economic growth continues to be a large research field. This report provides an overview of the development of labor productivity in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) since the early 1980s. It also examines if data are consistent with predictions of traditional theories of growth. The analysis shows, for example, that the real wage per employee is positively related to the level of labor productivity - a finding suggesting that changes in relative standards of living have been driven by parallel changes in relative productivity.

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Author(s):
Nordic Council of Ministers

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The work reported in this section focuses on relative labor productivity in the Nordic countries from the early 1980s. Hence at the most direct level, this section illustrates how the Nordic countries have performed relative to one another throughout this period, in particular in terms of real valueadded output per hours worked. In addition, this section tries to see to what extent changes in relative productivity have been passed on into changes in relative real wages. The principal focus is on productivity in the business sector. However, exactly the same information as shown in this section is also available for the goods, services, and manufacturing sector (see Appendix B).