The total factor productivity debate : determinants of economic growth in east Asia

K. Y., Edward CHEN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

113 Citations (Scopus)


This survey article examines the recent studies of technological change or total factor productivity (TFP) as a source of growth in East Asian economies. The major objective of the paper is to show that in the end the importance of technological change in economic growth depends largely on how TFP is defined and measured. The conclusions drawn by Alwyn Young and Paul Krugman are based too much upon the assumption that all technological change is TFP. Section II reviews the conceptual and empirical literature on this subject since the 1950s. Section III surveys the TFP studies of East Asian economies, with particular reference to the recent claims that TFP is generally insignificant. Section IV discusses the prospects for East Asian economic growth and dispels the pessimism of such authors as Young and Krugman.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-38
Number of pages21
JournalAsian-Pacific Economic Literature
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1997

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