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Economic Quarterly

Summer 2006

The Productivity of Nations

Margarida Duarte and Diego Restuccia

In this article, we document three remarkable facts about the distribution of output per worker (labor productivity) across countries between 1960 and 1996. First, there is a large disparity in labor productivity across countries in the world. Second, disparity has increased substantially since the mid-1980s. Third, there is substantial mobility of individual countries within the distribution of labor productivity over time. We identify and document a number of individual growth experiences, seeking to expand the set of development facts that would aid in developing theory and policies to improve economic performance in the world.

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