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Productivity in New Zealand 1988-2002 - WP 03/06

Publication Details

  • Productivity in New Zealand 1988-2002
  • Published: Jun 2003
  • Status: Current
  • Authors: Black, Melleny; Guy, Melody; McLellan, Nathan
  • JEL Classification: C43; O47
  • Hard copy: Available in HTML and PDF formats only.

Productivity in New Zealand 1988 to 2002

New Zealand Treasury Working Paper 03/06

Published June 2003

Authors: Melleny Black, Melody Guy and Nathan McLellan


This paper reports new aggregate and industry productivity series for the New Zealand economy for the period 1988 to 2002. These productivity series are intended for ongoing monitoring of New Zealand’s productivity performance and for use in further analyses investigating the evolution, sources and determinants of New Zealand’s productivity growth. Productivity series are constructed using index number techniques and industry data sourced from Statistics New Zealand. Throughout, comparisons are made with the productivity estimates reported in Diewert and Lawrence’s (1999), Measuring New Zealand’s Productivity. Industry data are also used to construct productivity series that are comparable with the market sector productivity series published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The comparison between Australia and New Zealand shows that market sector multifactor productivity has been similar in both countries over the full sample period. Since 1994 average labour productivity growth has been higher in Australia, which reflects the relatively lower rate of physical capital accumulation in New Zealand after 1993. On the other hand, New Zealand’s capital productivity growth has been higher than Australia’s capital productivity growth since 1994, reflecting the relatively higher growth in hours worked in New Zealand.


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Table of Contents

List of Tables

List of Figures

1 Introduction

2 Index number methodology

3 Data

4 New Zealand’s productivity performance

5 Australia and New Zealand productivity

6 Conclusions


Appendix 1 – Industry productivity database

Appendix 2 – Market sector New Zealand productivity series

twp03-06.pdf (262 KB) pp. 1–37

List of Tables

List of Figures


We would like to thank Bob Buckle, Kevin Fox, John Janssen, Denis Lawrence, Peter Mawson and Grant Scobie for helpful discussion and suggestions in the initial stages of this research project. We would also like to thank Ken Fletcher, John Morris and Nick Treadgold from Statistics New Zealand for invaluable discussions and the provision of data. We are grateful to Nargis Bharucha, Mark Blackmore, Bob Buckle, Ken Carlaw, Iris Claus, John Creedy, Paul Dalziel, John Janssen, Struan Little, Peter Mawson, Grant Scobie, Kam Szeto and Bruce White for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper. Comments from participants at seminars held at Statistics New Zealand, the New Zealand Treasury and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand are greatly acknowledged.


The views expressed in this Working Paper are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the New Zealand Treasury. The paper is presented not as policy, but with a view to inform and stimulate wider debate.

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