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Skill and Australia's Productivity Surge

Staff research paper

This paper by Paula Barnes and Sharon Kennard was released on 4 October 2002. The paper examines the changing demand for skills and the effect of increased skill on conventionally-measured productivity growth.

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The contribution of skill to Australia's productivity surge in the 1990s was overshadowed by the contributions of other factors. Whilst skills are important for long term productivity growth, growth in skill contributed only slightly to the growth in productivity between 1993-94 and 1997-98.

This is the main finding of a staff research paper, Skill and Australia's Productivity Surge, which examines the changing demand for skills and the effect of increased skill on productivity growth.

Background information

Leonora Nicol (Media, Publications and Web) 02 6240 3239 / 0417 665 443

Cover, Copyright, Contents, Preface, Abbreviations, Key points

Changing patterns of demand for and supply of skills
Skill and the productivity surge

1 The context for this study
1.1 Objectives and scope of the paper

2 Changing skill profile of employment
2.1 Changing skill profile of employment
2.2 Measurement of skill
2.3 Trends in the skill profile of employment

3 Balance between the supply of and demand for skilled labour
3.1 Trends in the demand for and supply of skilled labour in Australia
3.2 Taking account of the efficiency of skill groups
3.3 Summary

4 The influence of skill on productivity
4.1 Labour services: taking account of changes in skill composition
4.2 Influence of skill on productivity
4.3 International perspective
4.4 Assessment

A Framework for supply and demand analysis and data specification
A.1 Theoretical framework
A.2 Data specification
A.3 Results
A.4 Summary

B Accounting for skill composition change in a productivity growth framework
B.1 Incorporating different types of labour
B.2 Adjusting MFP for skill composition

C Influences on skill composition change
C.1 Methodology
C.2 Results