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Public Enterprise Revisited

A Closer Look at the 1954–79 UK Labour Productivity Record

Chrisafis H. Iordanoglou

The book compares the 1954–79 labour productivity record of 5 expanding public sector industries to that of 24 expanding, capital intensive, mass-production industries in the British private sector. The author shows that the public sector industries’ labour productivity growth was significantly faster than that of the private sector industries. Strikingly, he also finds that the state-owned industries were narrowing their productivity gap with their US counterparts at a significantly faster rate than the private sector industries. Dr Iordanoglou concludes that it is possible that public ownership had – in the historical period investigated – a long-term positive effect on these industries.
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Appendix C: Measurement of the employment indices

Chrisafis H. Iordanoglou


INTRODUCTION The employment indices have been estimated with two objectives in mind: 1. 2. To make sure that for each individual link the employment indices are consistent in scope and coverage with the corresponding output indices. To ensure that the definitions and methods used in estimating the successive employment indices are as comparable over time as the available data allow. This appendix is divided into three parts. Part I specifies the employment concept that my indices are intended to measure. Part II deals with the problems relating to the measurement of the changes in the numbers of people employed (the employee-years indices). Part III is concerned with the adjustments that are needed to take into account changes in the hours worked and convert the employee-years indices into employee-hours ones. PART I CONCEPTS AND DEFINITIONS First of all we must define the employment concept we are aiming to measure. Several questions, as to which is the appropriate concept, arise. I.1 Questions Related to the Different Types of Labour The total labour force of any industry is, of course, far from homogeneous. The way to take into account this lack of homogeneity is to produce employment indices by weighting each different type of labour by its share in the total wage bill. Alternatively, we may use the average earnings of each type of labour relative to the earnings of, say, unskilled workers to convert the different labour qualities into homogeneous equivalent units of unskilled 419 420 Public enterprise revisited...

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