Accounting for Productivity Growth: Schumpeterian versus Semi-Endogenous Explanations
Johannes Fedderke and Yang Liu
Last Modified Date:
2021-05-28, 12:13 PM
Publications > Working Papers
This paper examines the nature and sources of productivity growth in South African manufacturing sectors, from an international comparative perspective. On panel data estimations, we find that the evidence tends to support Schumpeterian explanations of productivity growth for a panel of countries including both developed and developing countries, and a panel of South African manufacturing sectors. By contrast, semi-endogenous productivity growth is supported for a panel of OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) manufacturing sectors. However, we also report evidence that suggests that sectors are not homogeneous. For this reason time series evidence may be more reliable than panel data. Time series evidence for South Africa suggests that prospects for the sustained productivity growth associated with Schumpeterian innovation processes, is restricted to a narrow set of sectors, strongly associated with the chemicals and related sectors, machinery and transport equipment, and basic iron and steel sectors. Semi-endogenous growth finds much weaker support. For the OECD manufacturing sectors, both semi-endogenous and Schumpeterian growth finds support, with semi-endogenous growth more prevalentthan for South African manufacturing. The sustained productivity growth associated with Schumpeterian growth frameworks is relatively rare everywhere.