Staff Discussion Notes showcase the latest policy-related analysis and research being developed by individual IMF staff members and are published to elicit comment and to encourage debate. These papers are generally brief and written in nontechnical language, and so are aimed at a broad audience interested in economic policy issues. This Web-only series replaced Staff Position Notes in January 2011
Era Dabla-Norris, Si Guo, Vikram Haksar, Minsuk Kim, Kalpana Kochhar, Kevin Wiseman, and Aleksandra Zdzienicka
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
Total factor productivity growth was stagnant or slowing in many advanced countries even prior to the crisis. This paper documents sector-level productivity patterns across advanced economies prior to the crisis and examines the role of product and labor market rigidities as well as innovation and investments in information technology and human capital in driving productivity differences across sectors and countries. Since productivity payoffs of reforms evolve over time, we also focus on large changes in the structural indicators examine their dynamic impact on productivity, employment, and output. Our results suggest that reform priorities depend on country-specific settings, including the scale of specific policy distortions and the distance from the technology frontier. Productivity gains from reforms are large and materialize predominantly in the medium term, with some important variations across industries and countries.