Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics

, Volume 146, Issue 3, pp 577–600 | Cite as

Productivity and economic growth in Switzerland 1991–2006

  • Barbara Rudolf
  • Mathias Zurlinden
Open Access


In this paper, we analyse the sources of economic growth in Switzerland during the period 1991–2006. The results suggest that labour input and capital input contribute 0.52 pp and 0.57 pp, respectively, to the average annual GDP growth of 1.44%. The remaining 0.35 pp represent growth in multi-factor productivity which is calculated as a residual. The estimate of growth in multi-factor productivity is lower than in previous studies because our measure of labour input takes changes in labour quality into account. Changes in labour quality explain 0.39 pp of the 0.52 pp contribution from labour input.


E31 E37 


growth accounting multi-factor productivity capital services constant-quality labour 


  1. Arvanitis, Spyridon, and Thomas Bolli (2008), „Qualifikation der Arbeitskräfte, Migration und die bilateralen Abkommen mit der EU“, in: KOF Swiss Economic Institute (ed.), Auswirkungen der bilateralen Abkommen und die Schweizer Wirtschaft, Zurich, pp. 69–87.Google Scholar
  2. Basu, Susanto, John Fernald and Miles Kimball (2006), “Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?”, American Economic Review, 96, pp. 1418–1448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bolli, Thomas, and Mathias Zurlinden (2009), “Measuring Growth of Labour Quality and the Quality-Adjusted Unemployment Rate in Switzerland”, Applied Economics Quarterly, 55, pp. 121–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Diewert, W. Erwin, and Catherine J. Morrison (1986), “Adjusting Output and Productivity Indexes for Changes in the Terms of Trade”, Economic Journal, 96, pp. 659–676.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hulten, Charles R. (2000), Total Factor Productivity: A Short Biography, NBER Working Paper No. 7471.Google Scholar
  6. Jorgenson, Dale W. (1995), Productivity, Vol. 1: Postwar U.S. Economic Growth, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  7. Jorgenson, Dale W. (2005), “Accounting for Growth in the Information Age”, in: P. Aghion and S. Durlauf (eds.), Handbook of Economic Growth, Vol. 1A, Amsterdam, pp. 743–815.Google Scholar
  8. Jorgenson, Dale W., and Zvi Griliches (1967), “The Explanation of Productivity Change”, Review of Economic Studies, 34, pp. 349–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jorgenson, Dale W., and Kevin J. Stiroh (2000), “Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age”, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 1, pp. 125–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kohli, Ulrich (1993), “GNP Growth Accounting in the Open Economy: Parametric and Nonparametric Estimates for Switzerland”, Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, 129, pp. 601–615.Google Scholar
  11. Kohli, Ulrich (2004), “Real GDP, Real Domestic Income, and Terms-of-Trade Changes”, Journal of International Economics, 62, pp. 83–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (2001), OECD Manual – Measuring Productivity: Measurement of Aggregate and Industry-Level Productivity Growth, Paris.Google Scholar
  13. Oulton, Nicholas, and Sylaja Srinivasan (2003), Capital Stocks, Capital Services, and Depreciation: An Integrated Framework, Bank of England Working Paper No. 192.Google Scholar
  14. Ritzmann-Blickenstorfer, Heiner (1996), Historical Statistics of Switzerland, Zurich.Google Scholar
  15. Rudolf, Barbara, and Mathias Zurlinden (2009), “Measuring Capital Stocks and Capital Services in Switzerland”, Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics, 145, pp. 61–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Solow, Robert M. (1957), “Technical Change and the Aggregate Production Function”, Review of Economics and Statistics, 39, pp. 312–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Swiss Federal Statistical Office (SFSO) (2006a), Productivité multifactorielle — rapport méthodologique, document de travail, octobre 2006, Berne.Google Scholar
  18. Swiss Federal Statistical Office (SFSO) (2006b), Stock de capital nonfinancier — rapport méthodologique, document de travail, octobre 2006, Berne.Google Scholar
  19. Tinbergen, Jan (1957), „Zur Theorie der langfristigen Wirtschaftsentwicklung“, Welt- wirtschaftliches Archiv, 55, pp. 511–549.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Rudolf
    • 1
  • Mathias Zurlinden
    • 1
  1. 1.Swiss National BankZurichSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations