Skip to Content
 Close search

Major developments and challenges for ABS productivity statistics

Conference presentation

The conference presentation, Major developments and challenges for ABS productivity statistics, was presented by Carl Obst from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, at the Productivity Perspectives 2004 conference.


The extensive developments in Australia's national accounts over the last ten years have impacted both directly and indirectly on the ABS‘ productivity statistics. Other ABS research on productivity related matters in the last 4-5 years has also contributed actively to the general understanding of productivity issues in Australia. This presentation highlights some of the key aspects of these developments and outlines the challenges ahead.

One of the major developments concerns the measurement of human capital. Since 2000, the ABS has been working on developing estimates of Australia’s human capital. In May 2004, the ABS released experimental estimates of the value of the stock of human capital, and the construction of an experimental human capital accumulation account is being finalised. Results show that there has been a significant increase in the value of human capital in Australia over the last 20 years, characterised by sharply rising shares of total human capital attributable to more educated workers. However, the human capital accumulation account demonstrates that, although investment in post-school education and on-the-job training is growing at increasing rates, the ratio of human capital depreciation (due to the ageing population) to gross human capital formation is accelerating rapidly.

Other developments and challenges to be discussed include:

  • the development of quality adjusted measures of labour input;
  • the measurement of capital services
  • changes to the asset boundary; and
  • the development of output measures for non-market sectors of the economy

Associated material

Major developments and challenges for ABS productivity statistics
Slide Presentation PDF 0.2 MB
Slide Presentation PPT 0.2 MB

Measuring Human Capital Formation for Australia: A Lifetime Labour Income Approach
Related Paper PDF 0.5 MB
Related Paper RTF 1.2 MB

Measuring the Stock of Human Capital for Australia - ABS Working Paper No. 2004/1
PDF 0.9 MB

Printed copies

This publication is only available online.

Publications feedback

We value your comments about this publication and encourage you to provide feedback.

Submit publications feedback