Empirical Studies


Measurement of progress in productivity and international comparisons of the results had met a broad scientific interest in the first half of the sixties. Research in this field expanded rapidly. Even though empirical studies were for the post­war period restricted to very short time series and rarely included the socialist countries of Eastern Europe, production theory and econometric methods got a vigorous push from the new interest at that time and have improved con­siderably since.

Research activities of the last fifteen years have produced studies in combined factor productivities, Divisia index methods, numerous specifications of pro­duction functions, different brands of technical progress, new kinds of produc­tion models, and the like. On the other side, critical objections were raised as to the theoretical justification of many of these attempts as well as to their relevance

The international symposium “On the Measurement of Factor Productivities -~ Theoretical Problems and Empirical Results” tried to promote a broad dis­cussion of concepts, techniques, and problems of productivity measurement. This symposium was organized by the editors of the present volume on behalf of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Commission for Development Research, and took place at Schlol3 Reisensburg from June 23rd to 27th, 1974. Forty-five scholars from ten countries participated and contributed to the joint scientific effort.
This effort is for its greater part reproduced in the present volume containing the final versions of the papers and those contributions to the formal discussion considered significant by the participants. The symposium was concluded by a summarizing panel discussion to be found at the end of this volume.
The symposium has dealt with conceptual, theoretical, methodological, and data problems. It was the intention to get those who are engaged in theoretical work and those who do the empirical studies around one table. Special emphasis was laid upon country and comparative studies. It is interesting to note a certain difference in approach between the scholars coming from socialist East European countries and those coming from the West. This difference reflects distinct ob­jectives in the respective studies. In the West, research is more or less academic deriving its reputation from refinement and methodological sophistication. In the East, most work is centered around the immediate applicability in the economic planning process: relevance rather than sophistication is the primary objective. Of course, there is no a priori contradiction between the two. We think that this volume shows in many examples how difficult it is to find the adequate approach. This symposium was the second in a series sponsored by the Commission for Development Research of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The first symposium in 1973 discussed the basic environmental con­ditions for human development1. The third symposium in 1975 centered around the stability of contemporary economic systems. The treatment of conceptual and empirical problems of productivity should therefore be seen in the broader context of general development of economic systems. The interest in produc­tivity reflects the scarcity of resources as a basic developmental problem.
Finally, we should like to express our gratefulness to Prof. Dr. Hans Raupach, President of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, who advanced the symposium at all its stages. We are also deeply obliged to the Deutsche Forschungsgemein­schaft (DFG) who made possible with generous financial grants the organi­zation of the symposium and the edition of the proceedings.

Franz-Lothar Altmann,  Oldrich Kyn, Hans-Jürgen Wagener






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