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The Size and Growth of the “Unexplained Residual” in OECD Countries

Jean K. Thisen (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 1 September 1990



The hypothesis that the growth in total GNP can also be explained by other factors than the growth in total inputs (capital and labour) and their respective productivities is analysed by the use of 1960‐1985 OECD country data. The OLS estimations of the models of embodied and disembodied technical change in both capital services as measured by the R&D expenditures and labour productivity as measured by investment expenditures in education and health showed very significant results. However, despite the inclusion of these expenditures in the aggregate production function, GNP growth has not been fully exhausted in all OECD countries. Indeed, the unexplained residual which was computed for these countries turned out to be of non‐negligible magnitude and growth. The assumed non‐factor sources of growth containing the unexplained residual which may not be associated by the movement along a production function would include non‐quantifiable political, social and institutional forces which, in some cases, might interact to speed or adversely delay growth unless they remain stable or improved.



Thisen, J.K. (1990), "The Size and Growth of the “Unexplained Residual” in OECD Countries", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 17 No. 9, pp. 41-54.




Copyright © 1990, MCB UP Limited

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