"A really excellent piece of work that deserves a wide readership. Its accessible and humorous prose draws the reader into a deep analysis of all issues surrounding productivity. I’ve rarely read a piece of work that is as enjoyable and informative on this subject." – Benjamin Selwyn, University of Sussex
Productivity looms large in public policy discussions yet many find themselves hard-pressed to explain exactly what the term means. Even within economics, its nature and significance is contested and the focus of complex debate. Michael Haynes cuts through the jargon and political sloganeering to provide a detailed examination of the concept, how it is used and why it is held by economists to be so important in evaluating the health of economies.
The book explores why productivity grows or fails to grow in certain contexts, in particular how real world variables can interact with measurements of efficiency and output. The difficulties of measuring its scope are examined alongside the larger question of whether growth in productivity is sustainable, both at the level of national economies and globally. Whether productivity remains the motor of economic growth that it once was and continues to be the most appropriate economic indicator for modern economies is shown to be a key consideration.
For anyone searching for a clear, engaging and level-headed guide to one of the most important metrics for understanding economic growth, this book will be warmly welcomed.
1. Productivity: "it's almost everything" 2. How does productivity happen? 3. Mysterious figures 4. Can productivity growth go on forever? 5. It's tough at the top 6. Miracle productivity growth in the Asian Tigers? 7. Coming last? Low productivity in Africa 8. Productivity in a different world
Michael Haynes is Emeritus Professor of International Political Economy at the University of Wolverhampton.