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The Future of Productivity

image of The Future of Productivity

This book addresses the rising productivity gap between the global frontier and other firms, and identifies a number of structural impediments constraining business start-ups, knowledge diffusion and resource allocation (such as barriers to up-scaling and relatively high rates of skill mismatch).

Analysis based on micro and industry-level data highlights the importance of reallocation-friendly policies, including well-functioning product, labour and risk capital markets, efficient judicial systems, bankruptcy laws that do not excessively penalise failure, housing policies that do not unduly restrict labour mobility, and improvements in public funding and organisation of basic research which do not excessively favour applied vs basic research and incumbents vs young firms.

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Preface and Acknowledgements

Productivity is the ultimate engine of growth in the global economy. Raising productivity is therefore a fundamental challenge for countries going forward. This new OECD report on The Future of Productivity shows that we are not running out of ideas. In fact, the growth of the globally most productive firms has remained robust in the 21st century. However, the gap between those global leaders and the rest has increased over time, and especially so in the services sector. This implies that knowledge diffusion should not to be taken for granted. Future growth will largely depend on our ability to revive the diffusion machine, both within and across countries. At the same time, there is much scope to boost productivity and reduce inequality simply by more effectively allocating human talent to jobs.

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