Outsourcing of Services and the Productivity Recovery in U.S. Manufacturing in the 1980s and 1990s

T. Ten Raa, E.N. Wolff

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Abstract

Manufacturing productivity growth recovered during the 1980s and 1990s, while other sectors, particularly services, did not. In the same period U.S. manufacturing has engaged in the "outsourcing" or "contracting-out" of service functions. Has the recovery of manufacturing been accomplished by industrial reorganization - sloughing off sluggish services - rather than technical progress? We analyze this question by reducing service inputs to their constituent elements of material inputs. Service productivity growth is thus imputed to the goods sectors, reducing the recovery of manufacturing productivity growth in the 1980s by one fifth. The recovery lasted through the 1990s, when high productivity performers in manufacturing have been relatively successful at outsourcing sluggish services.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherMacroeconomics
Number of pages27
Volume2000-32
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper
Volume2000-32

Keywords

  • Measurement of Economic Growth
  • Aggregate Productivity

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    Ten Raa, T., & Wolff, E. N. (2000). Outsourcing of Services and the Productivity Recovery in U.S. Manufacturing in the 1980s and 1990s. (CentER Discussion Paper; Vol. 2000-32). Macroeconomics.