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Labour productivity measurement with variable returns to scale in Australia's construction industry
journal contributionposted on 2012-05-01, 00:00 authored by George Li, Chunlu LiuChunlu Liu
As an important productivity indicator, the change of labour productivity is one indispensable marker in determining the rise or fall of overall industrial performance. This study aims to address whether the labour productivity level of the Australian construction industry has, in fact, shown a huge improvement during the last few decades. This article constructs a measuring method estimating labour productivity changes based on the data envelopment analysis technique with variable returns to scale. By adopting a production frontier approach, the labour productivity index can be broken down into components attributable to efficiency change, technological progress and capital accumulation. The numerical results exemplified by a single-input and single-output system indicate that the average annual labour productivity levels of the construction industry are slowly growing in all the Australian states and territories. However, the year-on-year change in the overall labour productivity performance does not maintain a long-term increase over the period 1990-2008. The study forms the basis for further industrial productivity research. Proposals and recommendations are expected to be beneficial for making policy and strategic decisions to improve the performance of the construction industry. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.