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1997

International Competitiveness: Labor Productivity Leadership and Convergence Among 14 OECD Countries

From 1970 through 1991, the United States led other OECD countries in overall labor productivity, a key measure of national competitiveness. During this period, labor productivity in these countries converged, both towards the mean OECD labor productivity and the U.S. level of labor productivity. This suggests living standards among the OECD countries are becoming more alike. In the latter half of the period, the rate of convergence slowed.

Re-examining the Cost-of-Living Index and the Biases of Price Indices

The U.S. CPI is based on the Laspeyres price index, an index type that has an upward "substitution bias." Thus, the CPI tends to overstate increases in the cost of living. To address this bias, the Advisory Commission to Study the Consumer Price Index recommended adopting for the CPI a "superlative" price index, e.g., the Fisher or Tornqvist indices.

Structural Change in the U.S. Banking Industry: The Role of Information Technology

Commercial bank investment in information technology (IT) equipment has grown rapidly, from $104 million in 1960 to more than $10 billion in 1994. These investments in “hard” technologies (computer hardware, software, telecommunications equipment, etc.) have been accompanied by increases in "soft" technologies, for example, complex financial innovations that were infeasible on a large scale without IT hardware.

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