Switzerland’s productivity puzzle: Being a leader and an underperformer

by Patrice Ollivaud, Economist, Switzerland Desk, OECD Economics Department Switzerland is among the leaders in many global rankings including on R&D, innovation, infrastructure, universities and competitiveness. It is well integrated in global value chains, specialised in some high-value-added activities and home of many large multinationals. These factors should contribute to high, and rising, labour productivity. … More Switzerland’s productivity puzzle: Being a leader and an underperformer

Zombie firms and weak productivity: what role for policy?

by Dan Andrews, Müge Adalet McGowan and Valentine Millot, Productivity Workstream, OECD Economics Department Weak productivity growth is a major problem afflicting our societies. It curbs growth in incomes and endangers the sustainability of our social security systems. An important, but often ignored, source of the productivity slowdown is the increasing prevalence of weakly productive firms … More Zombie firms and weak productivity: what role for policy?

Brighter futures or dashed expectations? The global recovery needs to deliver gains for all

By Lukas Lehner and Dorothée Rouzet, OECD Economics Department Global growth has gained momentum in 2017 and the economic recovery is moving forward, as shown in our latest Economic Outlook. Labour productivity is improving from its decade-long sluggishness. Yet, expected productivity gains still lag far behind pre-crisis norms, and will not be sufficient to set … More Brighter futures or dashed expectations? The global recovery needs to deliver gains for all

Where to get the best bang for the buck in the United Kingdom? Industrial strategy, investment and lagging regions

by Rafal Kierzenkowski, Head of UK Desk, Peter Gal, Economist, Productivity Workstream, and Gabor Fulop, Analyst at the UK Desk, OECD Economics Department The United Kingdom has large regional disparities in productivity which contribute to differences in living standards across the country, while its less productive regions also hold back overall economic performance (OECD, 2017). High … More Where to get the best bang for the buck in the United Kingdom? Industrial strategy, investment and lagging regions

How to make Belgian firms more productive

by Manav Frohde, Economist, OECD Economics Department A combination of market-based policies and a redistributive welfare state have helped Belgium achieved among the highest living standards in the OECD. While the economy remains highly productive, productivity growth has slowed  over the past two decades (Figure 1 & 2). Reinvigorating productivity growth will be necessary to … More How to make Belgian firms more productive

Four Challenges of Inclusive Growth from the OECD’s chief economist

by Catherine L. Mann, Chief Economist and Head of the Economics Department, OECD The challenge of measuring inclusiveness. A standard metric for measuring inequality is the Gini coefficient, which measures income distribution within an economy. But there are many other measures, such as distribution of income deciles, distribution of wealth, distributions of these by regions … More Four Challenges of Inclusive Growth from the OECD’s chief economist

Lifting New Zealand’s game on productivity

by Andrew Barker, New Zealand Desk, OECD Economics Department Productivity growth will be the main driver of global economic growth and prosperity over the coming decades. For New Zealand, this represents both a challenge and an opportunity, as NZ productivity is below that of leading OECD countries (Figure 1). This problem is not new, and … More Lifting New Zealand’s game on productivity

Japan needs policies to boost productivity for inclusive growth

by Randall Jones, Head of Japan Desk, OECD Economics Department Labour productivity in Japan is about a quarter below the average of the top half of OECD countries (Figure 1), which is surprising given Japan’s outstanding performance in education and skills and high level of R&D spending. As in other countries, the labour productivity gap … More Japan needs policies to boost productivity for inclusive growth

Reducing poverty durably is a key challenge in Spain

By Yosuke Jin, Spain Desk, Country Studies Branch, OECD Economics Department Poverty has risen in Spain in the wake of the crisis (Figure 1), mainly due to lack of quality jobs that provide enough hours of paid work to support decent incomes (OECD, 2017). The risk of poverty is concentrated on jobless households and households … More Reducing poverty durably is a key challenge in Spain

Structural reforms to revive growth in Europe: necessary but not sufficient

By Aida Caldera Sánchez, European Union Desk, and Nicolas Ruiz, Structural Surveillance Division, OECD Economics Department After many years characterised by output losses or quasi-stagnation, steadier growth appears to be setting in across European economies. Recent data point to an upturn in growth, the euro-area unemployment rate has finally fallen below 10%, and private-sector confidence … More Structural reforms to revive growth in Europe: necessary but not sufficient