New Economic and Socio-Economic Approaches
Edited by Jean Gadrey and Faïz Gallouj
Chapter 4: Capital Stock and Productivity in French Transport: An International Comparison
4. Capital stock and productivity in French transport: an international comparison Bernard Chane Kune and Nanno Mulder1 INTRODUCTION The efficiency of service providers is often approximated by labour productivity. This partial measure is seen as a proxy of overall efficiency as services are supposed to use relatively little capital. However, in many services such as transport, capital is a major production factor. To judge the overall efficiency of these services, labour productivity measures should therefore be complemented by measures of capital and total factor productivity (TFP). For France, it has not been possible to estimate capital productivity and TFP at the sectoral level of transport as no capital input estimates have been available. This chapter aims to fill this gap by providing new detailed estimates of capital input in French transport from 1970 onwards. These data are used in combination with series on output and labour input to estimate productivity. Finally, the French performance is compared with that of Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. In contrast to many other studies on productivity, the contribution of capital to production is not measured by the value of the stock of assets but by the volume of services rendered by this stock (also referred to as the Jorgenson approach). Capital services are measured by the product of the volume of capital, approximated by the net capital stock, times its user cost. The latter is estimated by the sum of depreciation, the real interest rate and capital gains. We measured the...
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