Labor Productivity and Economic Growth

Self-Check Questions

Are there other ways in which we can measure productivity besides the amount produced per hour of work?

Hint:

Yes. Since productivity is output per unit of input, we can measure productivity using GDP (output) per worker (input).

Assume there are two countries: South Korea and the United States. South Korea grows at 4% and the United States grows at 1%. For the sake of simplicity, assume they both start from the same fictional income level, $10,000. What will the incomes of the United States and South Korea be in 20 years? By how many multiples will each country’s income grow in 20 years?

Hint:

In 20 years the United States will have an income of 10,000 × (1 + 0.01)20 = $12,201.90, and South Korea will have an income of 10,000 × (1 + 0.04)20 = $21,911.23. South Korea has grown by a multiple of 2.1 and the United States by a multiple of 1.2.