Service Sector Productivity Comparisons: Lessons for Measurement

Edited by Martin Neil Baily and Eric Zitzewitz

in New Developments in Productivity Analysis

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2001 | ISBN: 9780226360621
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226360645 | DOI:
Service Sector Productivity Comparisons: Lessons for Measurement

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Starting with an international comparison of service sector productivity published in 1992, a series of projects have been initiated by the McKinsey Global Institute and carried out in collaboration with McKinsey & Company offices worldwide and a number of academic economists. Although the emphasis of these projects has been to measure and explain productivity by industry by country for a range of service sector and goods-producing industries, another important concern has been with employment creation and the extent to which productivity increases will cause or alleviate unemployment. This chapter asks whether the results of these international comparisons cast any light on the problem of service sector output measurement. It presents case studies of five service industries: retail banking, public transport, telecom, retailing, and airlines. It describes the measurement of output and the main explanations for the resulting cross-country productivity differences. A commentary is also included at the end of the chapter.

Keywords: service sector; service industries; McKinsey Global Institute; employment; output measurement; retail banking; public transport; telecom; retailing; airlines

Chapter.  17638 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Econometrics and Mathematical Economics

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