MPDD Working Paper on Productive capacities in Asia and the Pacific

Working paper31 Aug 2011

The paper provides quantitative estimates of the productive capacities of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region and their evolution in the past 25 years. It updates the results for 2009 presented in the ESCAP’s Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2011 and details the methodology used to create the productive capacity index. It finds that, except from the region’s developed countries and emerging developing economies, the majority of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region have productive capacities that are below the world’s average. This paper also shows that has been very difficult for countries to improve their productive capacities when they start from lower levels. It also finds that while there has been convergence in productive capacity amongst countries that were initially above the average, countries that two decades ago had below average productive capacity have lagged further behind, which suggests increasing overall divergence.