Productivity and Institutions

Gylfi Zoega

Abstract


Differences in productivity account for differences in output per capita between countries as well as changes in output and the standard of living for each country over long periods of time. During the first industrial revolution, one could already see the emergence of two groups of countries: the high- and the low-GDP per capita countries. The list of countries belonging to the highproductivity group has not changed much over the past century. Differences in institutions separate the two clubs. The high-productivity group is, amongst many other differences, characterized by less corruption, a better legal system, superior enforcement of contracts, a lower cost of starting a business and lower tariffs. Historical output series for Britain going back to the mid-19th century show that productivity has increased greatly and improved the standard of living.

Keywords


Productivity; institutions; growth; corporatism.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13177/irpa.a.2015.11.2.13

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