The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
A growth accounting exercise is conducted for 88 countries for 1960-94 to examine the source of cross-country differences in total factor productivity (TFP) levels. Two differences distinguish this analysis from that of the related literature. First, the critical technology parameter—the share of physical capital in real output—is econometrically estimated and the usual assumption of identical technology across regions is relaxed. Second, while the few studies on the determinants of cross-country differences in TFP have focused on growth rates of real output this analysis is on levels. Recent theoretical as well as empirical arguments point to the level of TFP as the more relevant variable to explain.