Économie et Statistique n° 474 - 2014Long run per capita GDP - Nursing care insurance - Retirement span and life expectancy - Measures of spatial concentration
Long-run per-capita gross domestic product in France and the advanced countries: the role of productivity and labour
Over the period 1890-2012, per-capita gross domestic product grew sharply in the advanced countries, mainly due to the increase in total factor productivity (TFP) and capital intensity. This progress, which in France, for example, corresponded to a level of GDP multiplied by nine by the end of the period, was not regular: it underwent sharp fluctuations caused by global shocks, the effects of which were not necessarily identical from one country to the next. The country hierarchies of per-capita GDP, in which the United States was first for a large part of the 20th century, were influenced by TFP and capital intensity, but also by deviations in the employment rate and mean working times. From the mid-1970s onwards a sharp contrast in the contribution of labour emerged between the Anglo-Saxon countries, particularly the USA, and the other countries, particularly in Europe. From the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, this contribution declined in the latter countries in comparison with the USA, thereby contributing to a drop in the relative level of GDP per capita. This trend was partly reversed in the mid-1990s, due in particular to the increase in the employment rate among older workers. Over the period as a whole, per-capita GDP rose in France in the same proportions as in the recomposed Eurozone. But the French position deteriorated in comparison with the Eurozone between the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s owing to a relative fall in the employment rate. Since the mid-1990s the French situation in relation to the Eurozone as a whole has been stable as a result of a relative drop in per-capita GDP in Italy, offsetting a relative increase in Germany. Differentials with Germany are largely the consequence of different employment-rate dynamics.