What does The Treasury want to know? Not about productivity apparently

Last week I joined 80 or 90 other economists and people from related disciplines, drawn from the public sector, universities, consultancies, and think tanks, together with a few commentators, at an event organised by The Treasury.  It was billed as “Wealth and wellbeing: High quality economics in the twenty-first century”.  They were looking for input. … Continue reading What does The Treasury want to know? Not about productivity apparently

Productivity and employment

With 30 seconds thought it is pretty obvious that if the least productive 10 per cent of our workforce simply dropped out and stayed home, then across the whole economy average GDP per hour worked would increase, all else equal.   All else equal, the productivity of any particular individual still employed wouldn’t change –  … Continue reading Productivity and employment

Productivity growth still missing in action

It was Paul Krugman, winner of the economics pseudo-Nobel Prize who famously captured one of the fairly basic insights of economics.  When it comes to material living standards in the medium to longer-term, if productivity isn’t everything, it is almost everything.   The terms of trade bob around, but probably won’t do much (harm or … Continue reading Productivity growth still missing in action

Consistently dismal relative productivity growth

Having done Saturday’s post unpicking some of Steven Joyce’s claims about New Zealand’s productivity performance, I thought it might be worth using the data for a few more charts illustrating something of our performance relative to other advanced countries going back a few decades. Of the official SNZ data I used in my nine measures … Continue reading Consistently dismal relative productivity growth

Productivity growth in perspective

Someone sent me a copy of a press release put out today by the Minister of Finance, Steven Joyce, is his capacity as the chair of National’s campaign.    In it he claims that productivity growth over National’s term of government has exceeded that when Labour was last in office, and has exceeded that of … Continue reading Productivity growth in perspective

Productivity, wages, and other debate thoughts

Like many, I watched the major party leaders’ debate last night.   It was civil and courteous, playing the issues rather than the person.  So far, so good.  But sadly neither leader seemed to offer anything very substantial on fixing our pressing economic challenges, or even show any real sign of understanding the issues.   … Continue reading Productivity, wages, and other debate thoughts

Some productivity snippets

I’ve shown previously various iterations of this chart, real GDP per hour worked for New Zealand and Australia. It isn’t exactly an encouraging picture for New Zealand.   Then again, it is also a bit surprising.  For all of New Zealand’s underperformance over the decades, we haven’t usually diverged that badly from Australia over such … Continue reading Some productivity snippets

The Secretary to the Treasury on productivity

A speech appeared on The Treasury’s website the other day.   It was, we were told, by Gabs Makhlouf, Secretary to the Treasury, and given as the closing address at a Productivity Hub Workshop last Friday.  The Productivity Hub is a grouping of government agencies, hosted at the Productivity Commission which aims to improve how … Continue reading The Secretary to the Treasury on productivity

Treasury on immigration, productivity and real wages

I’m still under the weather with the after effects of a bad cold, so this won’t be a long post. Treausry has long been a champion of New Zealand’s large scale non-citizen immigration programme, going all the way back to when the system was opened up in the earlier 1990s.   But more recently, there … Continue reading Treasury on immigration, productivity and real wages

If NZ was like Switzerland…productivity growth might be even slower

Reading the Herald over lunch, I was interested to learn that the New Zealand Initiative is leading a study tour (of 40 chief executives and chairs) to Switzerland to see what we have to learn from them.  According to the Herald’s account, At the heart of a one-week study tour organised by leading think tank the New … Continue reading If NZ was like Switzerland…productivity growth might be even slower