Productivity, Productivity Commission, and all that

I’ve written various pieces over the years on the Productivity Commission, both on specific papers and reports they have published, and on the Commission itself. I was quite keen on the idea of the Commission when it was first being mooted a decade or so ago. There was, after all, a serious productivity failure in … Continue reading Productivity, Productivity Commission, and all that

Productivity, and politicians who no longer care

I was reminded again the other day both how (absolutely) poor even advanced countries were not that long ago, but also how (relatively) rich New Zealand was. I was reading a fascinating book on Ireland’s (rather shameful) history in World War Two and stumbled across a snippet suggesting that “there were nearly 170000 licensed radio … Continue reading Productivity, and politicians who no longer care

Annual productivity data

Statistics New Zealand last week released their annual measured sector and individual sector labour and multi-factor productivity data for the year to March 2019.  It isn’t data I tend to focus on, mostly because my interests are substantially in cross-country comparisons and also because my focus is whole-economy rather than on specific sectors and sub-sectors.  … Continue reading Annual productivity data

The Productivity Commission

Writing, somewhat critically, the other day about the latest Productivity Commission paper got me thinking a little more about the Commission itself. I welcomed the decision to set up the Commission, partly in the backwash to the then-government ignoring and thens disbanding the under-resourced one-off exercise in focusing on New Zealand’s productivity failures, the 2025 … Continue reading The Productivity Commission

The Productivity Commission again

The Productivity Commission looks into topics the government of the day asks them to.  The current government asked for a report on issues around the “future of work” (a favoured topic of the current Minister of Finance when he was in Opposition) and the final report is due out next month. The Commission has released … Continue reading The Productivity Commission again

Championing social democracy not productivity

Not unlike the OECD, our Productivity Commission tends to lean left.  Not usually in some overtly partisan sense, but in a bias towards government solutions, a disinclination to focus on government failures as much as “market failures”, and a mentality that is often reluctant to look behind symptoms (which government action can sometimes paper over) … Continue reading Championing social democracy not productivity

Productivity (lack of it) and other things

When I was writing some comments last week on Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand’s speech in Australia I was playing round with some comparative data and stumbled on this chart. Over the entire period (since 1991) real GDP per capita has grown at exactly the same rate in Australia and New Zealand.   And … Continue reading Productivity (lack of it) and other things

Productivity growth (or lack of it)

In yesterday’s post I included this chart of multi-factor productivity growth data for the 23 advanced countries the OECD produces estimates for. One always has to be a bit careful about MFP estimates, which are only as good as the model (and labour and capital input estimates) used to calculate them.   But when I … Continue reading Productivity growth (or lack of it)

Productivity growth across countries across time

This tweet caught my eye this morning. The trends in falling productivity growth is remarkably similar across advanced economies. @martinwolf_ https://t.co/o4LfQhUnHk pic.twitter.com/KPAWZzeV71 — Adam Tooze (@adam_tooze) September 18, 2019 The chart is from the latest weekly column from Martin Wolf, the economics columnist for the Financial Times.   It is a sobering reminder of what … Continue reading Productivity growth across countries across time