Industrial Productivity in Europe
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Industrial Productivity in Europe

Growth and Crisis

Edited by Matilde Mas and Robert Stehrer

This book analyzes growth at the total economy and industry level from an international perspective, providing unique cross-country comparisons. The authors focus on the EU-25 countries but also include the US, Japan and Korea. The chapters explore growth patterns from a long-run perspective, although greater attention is paid to the period of expansion from 1995–2007 and the post 2008 period of crisis. Each contribution builds on a common methodology based on a detailed database providing a high degree of disaggregation with respect to the industries and factors accounting for growth. The role played by ICT is expertly emphasized, in particular the different paths followed in the US and the EU.
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Chapter 14: The Dutch Productivity Performance: Cross Your Border and Look Around

Henry van der Wiel, Harold Creusen, George van Leeuwen and Eugene Van der Pijll


* Henry van der Wiel, Harold Creusen, George van Leeuwen and Eugene van der Pijll 14.1 INTRODUCTION Over the last decades the labour productivity lead of the Dutch economy seems to have easy come and easy gone. After World War II, the Netherlands caught up with the US, and took over the lead in the mid1970s. This is remarkable, as the US is mostly considered as the country with the most advanced technology and the highest productivity level. Since the second half of the 1990s, however, the lead of the Dutch economy as a whole over the US has gradually diminished (see also Chapter 5 in Part II Country Chapters). Comparisons at the industry level put the Dutch favourable macro position in another light. Being the best at the aggregated level does not automatically imply being the best at lower levels of aggregation all across the board. In fact, the leading position of the Dutch market sector as a whole can only be traced back to a few industries. Data from the EU KLEMS database reveal, for instance, that the Dutch transport industry is one of the world leaders in productivity levels. In contrast, many other Dutch industries, such as the telecom industry, feature productivity levels that are far below the productivity level of the global frontier: the highest attainable productivity level given the existing technologies.1 So in these industries opportunities exist to catch-up to the global frontier. Using firm-level data for 127 industries in the Netherlands, this study analyses which...

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