Abstract

In this paper we analyse labour productivity growth in 51 industries in European countries and the United States. Using shift-share techniques we identify the industries in which the U.S. is leading most strongly. With a detailed decomposition analysis we identify whether the sources of the U.S. advantage are due to faster productivity growth, higher industry productivity levels relative to the country aggregate, different employment shares or faster change in employment shares of rapidly growing industries. The results show that U.S. productivity has grown faster than in the EU because of a larger employment share in the ICT producing sector and faster productivity growth in services industries that make intensive use of ICT. Wholesale and retail trade and the financial securities industry account for most of the difference in aggregate productivity growth between the EU and the U.S. (JEL N10, O47, O57 )

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