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The Sources of Economic Growth in OECD Countries

image of The Sources of Economic Growth in OECD Countries

Understand growth disparities between OECD countries over the past twenty years through identification and analysis of underlying factors.

Growth patterns through the 1990s and into this decade have turned received wisdom on its head. For most of the post-war period, OECD countries with relatively low GDP per capita grew faster than richer countries. Since the late 1990s, however, that pattern has broken down with the United States notably drawing further ahead of the field. This publication provides a comprehensive overview of growth drivers across the OECD and the extent to which disparities are attributable to factors like new technology and R&D, macroeconomic policy, education and training, labour market flexibility, product market competition, and barriers to business start-up and closure.

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Economic Growth: the Aggregate Evidence

This chapter presents an overview of growth performance in OECD countries over the past two decades. Special attention is given to developments in labour productivity, allowing for human capital accumulation and multi-factor productivity (MFP), allowing for changes in the composition and quality of physical capital. The chapter suggests wide (and growing) disparities in GDP per capita growth, while differences in labour productivity have remained broadly stable. Countries that have managed to improve their growth performance share some common elements: improvements in labour utilisation; a generalised enhancement of human capital; and a rapid adoption of the new information and communication technology by many industries.

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