software as capital

Rakesh Bhandari bhandari at phoenix.Princeton.EDU
Sun Aug 29 18:27:12 PDT 1999

>I do not know where the figure of a 2% improvement in bank productivity
>comes from...
>This is one reason I expressed skepticism about the 2%/year bank
>productivity figure. The other reason is that I know that the government
>DOES NOT PUBLISH productivity figures for the service sector, only for the
>manufacturing sector and the business sector as a whole (manufacturing +
>services), so one wonders where the figure came from. WHY the government
>considers the overall business sector figure to be meaningful enough to
>publish, when it incorporates service sector numbers that are so
>unreliable they're considered unpublishable, is anyone's guess.


Castells unfortunately does not seem to give a full reference for the BLS number he cites:

"For instance in the US in the 1990s the banking industry, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, increased its productivity by about 2% a year. But this calculation seems an underestiamte, because growth in real ouptu in banking and other financial services is assumed equal to the increase in hours worked bin the industry, and therefore labor productivity is eliminated by assumption." Here Castells cites the Council of Economic Advisers (1995). Economic Report to the President of teh United States. Transmitted to the Congress, February 1995, Washington DC: Govt Printing Office, pp. 95-127 Perhaps the BLS is quoted herein.

I am quoting Castells, The Rise of the Network Society (1996). p. 75

Another fascinating Berkeley work on the information age seems to be Gene Rochlin's Trapped in The Net. Hmmm.

Yours, Rakesh

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list