Has Switzerland Really Been Marked by Low Productivity Growth? Hours Worked and Labor Productivity in Switzerland in a Long‐Run Perspective

20 Pages Posted: 14 May 2015

See all articles by Michael Siegenthaler

Michael Siegenthaler

ETH Zürich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute

Date Written: June 2015

Abstract

This paper shows that previous work has understated Switzerland's performance in terms of labor productivity growth. First, available data on hours worked are incoherent and overestimate growth in hours worked. The paper therefore establishes a consistent series of total hours worked and its components covering 1950–2010, showing that Swiss labor inputs actually were stable from 1964 to 2007. Second, long‐term improvements in Switzerland's Terms of Trade indicate that quality improvements in Swiss exports might not be fully mirrored in growth of GDP and, hence, productivity growth.

Keywords: hours worked, labor productivity, measurement of productivity, working time

JEL Classification: J22, N34, O47

Suggested Citation

Siegenthaler, Michael, Has Switzerland Really Been Marked by Low Productivity Growth? Hours Worked and Labor Productivity in Switzerland in a Long‐Run Perspective (June 2015). Review of Income and Wealth, Vol. 61, Issue 2, pp. 353-372, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2605263 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/roiw.12120

Michael Siegenthaler (Contact Author)

ETH Zürich - KOF Swiss Economic Institute ( email )

Zurich
Switzerland

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