Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 2 No. 4 (Fall 1988)


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Productivity and Postwar U.S. Economic Growth

Article Citation

Jorgenson, Dale W. 1988. "Productivity and Postwar U.S. Economic Growth." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2(4): 23-41.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.2.4.23


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the sources of postwar U.S. economic growth. The findings presented here allocate more than three-fourths of U.S. economic growth during the period 1948-1979 to growth of capital and labor inputs and less than one-fourth to productivity growth. To provide additional insight into the sources of U.S. economic growth, this paper then analyzes the sources of growth for individual industrial sectors. The final objective of this paper is to complete the explanation of the slowdown in U.S. economic growth that took place after 1973. For this purpose we examine econometric models for individual industrial sectors that make the rate of productivity growth for each sector into an endogenous variable. In addition, these models incorporate inputs of energy and materials along with inputs of capital and labor. The models show that higher energy prices are important in explaining the slowdown in U.S. economic growth.

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Jorgenson, Dale W. (Unlisted)

JEL Classifications

226: Productivity and Growth: Theory and Data
825: Productivity Studies: Labor, Capital, and Total Factor


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