Category: 20. Nations

Public sector productivity – TPI reports

A report by The Productivity Institute unveils urgent recommendations to raise public sector productivity through focusing on outcomes and identifying bottlenecks for improvement – but one is left wondering what individual  public sector managers would actually do tomorrow as a result – and also thinking the claimed £1.8bn benefits on offer are paltry compared with …

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Train in Vain?

An important article from the Resolution Foundation and their Economy 2030  project studying skills, tasks, and training in the UK labour market – written byNye Cominetti, Rui Costa, Andrew Eyles, Kathleen Henehan, and Sandra McNally – human capital and skills are important for improving the UK’s labour market and economic performance – they  assess how the skills needed in …

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Ditch ‘costly, restrictive’ skills list for migrants to help speed up economy

A practical common-sense solution emerges from down under and the Oz Productivity Commission – written up by Shane Wright in the Sydney Morning Herald   The skills shortage list for migrants would be ditched and businesses given the right to bring workers from overseas at higher wages under a proposal the Productivity Commission believes would …

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Computer Saturation and the Productivity Slowdown

A very interesting article follows, written by Pablo Azar and just published by Liberty Street Economics – especially as it supports the view expressed in our new book ‘Productivity Knowhow’ Revisited that “it’s the mix of resources and methods used” that determines most of productivity levels achieved, not the individual  inputs themselves – a view …

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Turning Around The Productivity Slowdown

Kweilin Ellingrud, a director of the MGI – McKinsey Global Institute – contributes good sense in an article for Forbes.com as she skims over many of the big productivity issues facing most developed economies nowadays, not just the USA   We live in a world of instant streaming, overnight delivery, and smart devices. Technological advances …

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Britain faces crises in energy and productivity

Britain faces crises in energy and productivity, both of which have been crushing people’s living standards. Anna Valero and John Van Reenen write that the endemic short-termism of the public and private sectors needs to be reversed, so that barriers to investment can be addressed. For them, the UK is in urgent need of a new economic …

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Wealth of nations via TFP?

Why are some nations rich, others poor – and what does it mean for future prosperity? Amitrajeet Batabyal, Professor of Economics at Rochester Institute of Technology, and writing for ‘The Conversation US‘, argues that TFP is not an academic construct comprising ‘magic fairy dust’, as the Bank of England once claimed, but highly significant for …

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Inflation: there’s a vital way to reduce it that everyone overlooks – raise productivity

David McMillan, Professor in Finance at the University of Stirling and writing for the WEF – World Economic Forum – offers his thoughts on the current economic situation Inflation has become one of the great issues of our times. The UK’s is the highest in the G7, weighing in at 9% a year according to the most …

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Productivity is key to “levelling up”

In an article for Prospect magazine, Adrian Pabst, a professor of politics at the University of Kent, claims  HMG’s current initiatives for ‘levelling up’ are somewhat half-hearted . Pabst is also the author of ‘The Demons of Liberal Democracy (Polity)’ and Deputy Director (Social and Political Economy) at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research The government’s White Paper sets out …

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Sunak’s economic growth philosophy

Rishi Sunak’s Mais lecture revealed a chancellor focusing hard on how to address the UK’s flagging long-term economic growth but overlooking the need for a more muscular, interventionist approach, says Giles Wilkes for the Institute of Government After last autumn’s budget, I asked “where is Rishi Sunak’s plan for growing the economy?”. In a lecture …

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Britain’s productivity has been battered by the scarcity of affordable homes in cities

Affordable housing is an important but often-overlooked factor in determining a nation’s productivity performance – the following article published by City.am and written by researcher ARIA BABU at the Entrepreneurs Network provides some much-needed publicity Londoners are feeling the squeeze. The Bank of England has forecast the biggest annual fall in living standards for at …

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A brief history of GDP

Author Peter Vanham, from the World Economic Forum, looks at GDP – Gross Domestic Product – the sum of the value of all goods and services produced in a country each year, which has become the main tool for measuring a country’s economy – and rightly emphasises its inventor’s warnings about its limitations What if …

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Productivity down under

Large extracts follow from an interesting article by Judith Sloan, a leading economist and ex Commissioner of the Australian Productivity Commission, writing in ‘The Australian‘ – she makes many good points which other ‘experts’ tend to skim over, including recognition that current productivity measurement is seriously lacking – but she then goes on to base …

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Clusters to level up UK

YahooFinance reports that the best way for the government to deliver economic growth across the UK is by creating, or building on, clusters of economic activity in different parts of the country – something the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is about to say – years ago, we strongly recommended the same in ‘Productivity Knowhow’, …

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Weak investment, innovation and management hamper UK productivity

David Milliken reports on a new research study for Reuters which claims: “Low business investment, weak management and too few commercial patents are the main factors behind Britain’s weak productivity record that has been a puzzle for policymakers for years” A study by researchers at the London School of Economics and Resolution Foundation think tank …

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The British Government’s approach to the economy’s productivity problem needs a rethink

 Derek du Preez, writing  for diginomica.com, claims that the British Government has a tendency to focus on sector specific issues whilst failing to recognize that productivity is an economy-wide problem that is highly interconnected It is widely acknowledged that the UK has a productivity problem. After decades of growth, the financial crisis of 2008 led …

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Low-paid migrants are no answer to labor shortages

The Wall Street Journal reports on a speech to Boris Johnson’s supporters where the U.K. prime minister talks of a new economic model but meets criticism from some traditional party backers British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would press ahead with his government’s pledge to end the influx of low-paid migrant workers despite the country’s …

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Who Will Win and Lose in the Post-Covid Economy?

A wise, balanced article on national economic options which lie immediately ahead, post pandemic – published by the HBR, written  by Philipp Carlsson-Szlezak, Paul Swartz and Martin Reeves of Boston Consulting Group As an extraordinary recovery is underway, it won’t be long before business leaders face a perennial political economy question: With wages rising and …

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Britain is running out of new ideas and it’s killing productivity

Writing in Cityam.com, Sam Dumitriu, Research Director at the Entrepreneurs Network, addresses a longer term problem with current efforts to improve national productivity – the problem being that, despite more brainworker inputs, the impact of their new-ideas is becoming more and more marginal  It is no secret that Britain is in a productivity slump (if …

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High productivity figures pre-Covid masked some underperformance

Martin Wall, writing in the Irish Times, reports that Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste (Irish Deputy PM) says the government is seeking to have a record 2.5m people in work in 2024 – he offers some ideas which other nations might consider Ireland’s high national productivity figures before the Covid crisis masked significant areas of underperformance in …

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Back to dreary normal?

Chris Dillow makes several interesting points in an article in the Investors Chronicle, finishing on a ‘slender’ positive note  The economy is returning to normal. Latest figures show that since November real GDP has risen 3.5 per cent and the number of employees by 429,000. Yes, both are still well below pre-pandemic levels, but we’re getting there. Which …

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£300 million to boost UK manufacturing productivity by 30%

Businesses with creative ideas to boost the UK’s manufacturing capacities are set to receive £300 million of joint government and industry funding according to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, UK Research and Innovation and The Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP in the announcement below – on the plus side, any such investment has to …

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Academics to boost productivity growth and level-up living standards

Here we go again – our leaders announce the supreme importance of productivity growth to the improvement and levelling up of UK living standards – then they have to be seen to be ‘doing something’ – so three years ago they set up a PLG (Productivity Leadership Group), but that has had no notable success …

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Next CBI boss finds ray of hope in coronavirus crisis

A dash of optimism from NEIL CRAVEN for the MAIL ON SUNDAY – however, given the track record of the CBI and ‘Be the Business’ summarised below and their evident failure to date to improve UK productivity, we note the lack of practical support and ideas for UK managers in the following piece- but nevertheless …

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CBI a closed-shop for McKinsey alumni?

The CBI (Confederation of British Industry) claims to be the UK’s largest employers’ group, although the IoD (Institute of Directors) might dispute this claim – they assume to be the mouthpiece for British management, forever putting their views for change to the UK government They have just announced that Tony Danker – apparently ‘a business …

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Pandemic offers a productivity boost?

 An interesting article by Chris Dillow was recently published in the Investors’ Chronicle Has the coronavirus solved the UK’s problem of stagnant labour productivity?   It’s a strange question, but one posed by Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecasts. It expects that in 2021 we’ll be producing 2.8 per cent more than we did in …

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Financial data can be ‘dangerously misleading’

This is a transcript of a second broadcast interview of UK economist Ed Smythe by the USA’s Real News Network GREGORY WILPERT: Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Gregory Wilpert, joining you from Quito, Ecuador. The Bank of England has raised interest rates in the UK for the first time in a decade. The …

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Universal Credit conflicts

In a new report, presented to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, researchers argue Universal Credit should focus on supporting people into decent and productive work where their skills and capabilities will be developed and used effectively. A ‘work first, then work more’ approach facilitated by Universal Credit, which is focused on placing conditions …

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Following the wrong stars?

  “The lacklustre level of productivity growth in the UK, commonly measured as the level of output per hour worked, has been evident ever since the financial crisis in 2008/09 and has, as of yet, shown so signs of coming to an end” So claimed an article by Eleanor Stevenson, written for Ebury Partners UK …

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The puzzle to persist?

According to Valentina Romei, writing in the Financial Times, the last decade  saw living standards in the UK grow at their slowest rate since the second world war She says: “The jobs bonanza, and the economy’s performance as a whole, was undermined by weak productivity, which grew at its slowest level in 60 years” She …

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