Productivity in Emerging-Market Economies: Slowdown or Stagnation?

Working Paper
18-12
October 2018

This paper analyzes productivity growth trends in emerging-market economies vis-à-vis advanced economies, both in the recent global productivity slowdown and from a long-term perspective. While incomes have converged in most countries in the last three decades, total factor productivity has diverged. Periods of high productivity growth coincide with episodes of output accelerations, while during normal times productivity growth is modest. Most recently, the correlation between productivity growth in emerging markets and advanced economies has increased. The author analyzes potential factors explaining this increase, which presumably is due to the slowdown in trade and microeconomic factors that underlie technology diffusion. He concludes with a discussion of the long-term challenges and opportunities facing emerging-market economies in a low productivity environment.

Data Disclosure: 

The data underlying this analysis are available here.