Chapter 1: Productivity in the Advanced Countries: From Expansion to Crisis
Matilde Mas 1.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter provides an overview of the main results derived from the EU KLEMS project as analysed in greater detail in the following chapters. Timmer et al. (2010) offer a detailed analysis of the methodology followed and the results obtained. Thus, the two volumes can be considered complementary to each other. The main characteristics of this project have been highlighted in the Introduction. Although the starting date of the EU KLEMS database is 1970 for most of the countries, in this chapter we focus on the most recent period. The data have been extended to 2010 using information provided by The Conference Board (TCB), which follows the same methodology as EU KLEMS and is therefore consistent. The period 1995–2010 is of special interest for two reasons: first, because 1995 marks the start of the latest phase of expansion experienced by the United States and most Western European countries, interrupted abruptly by the crisis starting in 2007; second, because from 1995 onwards information is available for most of the new countries that joined the EU on 1 May 2004. Figure 1.1 offers a first overview of the trajectories followed by the European Union (EU), the US and Japan in the most recent period, 1995– 2010. Given the different institutional background of the New Member States, the EU-25 is split into two groups: EU-15 and EU-10.1 The first aspect that stands out is the marked differences among the groups of countries. The US followed a virtuous path...
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