Measures of technical change and structural change in services in the usa: Was there a resurgence of productivity growth in services?

Edward N. Wolff

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Traditional measures of productivity growth show very low gains made by most service industries since 1980s in the USA. However, other indices of ‘technological activity’, such as computerization, education, and occupational change, show that service industries were more technologically active than goods producers over this period. I first distinguish among three types of services: standardized like communications, customized like recreation, and hybrid like retailing. Using output, employment, and capital stock data for 43 industries over 1960–2000, I find that in terms of productivity standardized services behave like goods producers, customized services have had virtually zero productivity growth, and hybrid services fall in between. These results show up in historical data as well as in econometric analysis.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)368-395
    Number of pages28
    JournalMetroeconomica
    Volume58
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 2007

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Economics and Econometrics

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