This paper estimates productivity growth in Malaysian manufacturing over the period 1983-1999. Malmquist productivity Indices (MPIs) have been computed using non parametric Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) type linear programming, which show productivity growth sourced from efficiency change and growth in technology. Unlike previous studies, this study identifies the Malaysian manufacturing industries at the five digit breakdown of Malaysian Standard Industrial Classification (MSIC) thereby revealing more industry specific efficiency and technical growth patterns. Results indicate that two third of the industries (76 out of total 114 categories) experienced average annual productivity improvement ranging from 0.1% to 7.8% over the sampled period. Average annual technical progress was recorded by 95 industry categories while technical efficiency improvement was achieved by 53 industries. Overall yearly average indicated relatively low productivity growth from the mid 1990’s onwards caused by either efficiency decline or technical regress. Summary results for industries reveal that some of the high rates of productivity growth have been recorded in glass and glass products (7.3%), Petroleum and coal (7.2%), industrial chemicals (4.9%) contributed from both efficiency improvement and technical progress ranging from 0.8% to 5.4% and from 1.7% to 4.1%, respectively. These results are expected to have some implications for ongoing and future strategic policy reform in Malaysian manufacturing generating a more sustainable growth for specific industry categories.
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