Labor productivity champions

In our previous post, we have presented the evolution of labor productivity in three countries Australia, France and the United States in order to highlight strong differences between developed countries. Many years ago we explained these variations by the differences in the behavior of real GDP per capita. It is time to revisit our predictions, but in this post we just present the economies with the highest productivity. 

There are two estimates – dollars per hour, Ph, and dollars per employee, Pw. Figures 1 and 2 present both variables for seven larger countries. We skip Germany due to the reunification influence. Smaller economies with very high GDP, e.g. Luxemburg and Norway, are also not included. They do not drive the world’s economy.
One might find several interesting features when comparing two measures of productivity.  There are three leaders in Ph: Netherlands, France and the USA.  In the former two countries, the Ph curves have been demonstrating very fast growth rate since 1950.  Surprisingly, Japan has almost linear productivity growth with a short positive excursion between 1987 and 1993.
The US is the leader of productivity per person by a big margin. That observation should mean that people in other six countries work less hours on average. 

Figure 1. Labor productivity in dollars per hour in some developed countries between 1950 and 2011

Figure 2. Labor productivity in dollars per employee  in some developed countries between 1950 and 2011

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