This paper presents a new panel data set with annual time series of value added and persons employed for ten sectors of the economy. The database allows for consistent comparisons of output, employment and productivity trends in developing countries in Asia and Latin America during the period 1950-2005. It is based on an in-depth country-by-country study of available statistics to ensure consistency over time, across countries and across variables. Compared to the World Bank World Development Indicators, it offers more sectoral detail in the services sector, and longer and consistent time-series, in particular for employment. The new data set can be useful for a wide range of studies into the patterns and determinants of economic growth. In an illustrative analysis we identify accelerantions and decelerations in economic growht and perform a sectoral decomposition analysis. We find that accelerations in aggregate growth are mainly explained by productivity increases within sectors, not by reallocation of employment to more productive sectors. Challenging conventional wisdom, productivity improvements in market services appear to be more important than productivity growth in manufacturing.
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