The Productivity Story, Continued
By Arnold Kling
I put together a simple table of productivity performance over the last forty years.
The table helps to demonstrate what Brad DeLong is talking about. The 17 percent productivity growth from the first quarter of 2000 to the first quarter of 2004 stands head and shoulders above the growth rate for any comparable period. In fact, it is better than any eight-year period since 1976. In the first 13 quarters of the Bush Administration, the basic determinant of our standard of living increased by almost as much as during the entire 32 quarters of the Clinton Administration.
As far as I know, President Bush has not claimed credit for the phenomenal productivity growth that has occurred during his Administration. Nor should he…Productivity growth in any given Presidential term is affected much more by private sector trends and by policies of previous Administrations than it is by current policies.
For Discussion. In 1987, Robert Solow quipped that “computers are everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” Economists call this the Solow Paradox. Does the recent good news on productivity spell the end of the Solow Paradox?