TLDR: The productivity debate

by The Conversation (these highlights were provided for you by Annotote)

“ Yves: My belief is that at least some of the productivity slowdown is due to shorter job tenures. Companies now generally refuse to train workers, which means [more, higher paid managers are required to] spend a lot more time on searches … the better workers will be on the lookout to move to greener pastures. And managements that treat workers as disposable will find them less loyal … not putting in extra effort

the large differences in income per capita observed across countries mostly reflect differences in labour productivity … expected to be the main driver of economic growth and well-being over the next 50 years, via investment in innovation and knowledge-based capital.

Across the OECD, growth in GDP per hour worked was lower in the decade to 2016 than in any decade from 1950

three reasons for the productivity slowdown

1/ “ today’s innovations do not compare in scale or impact with [prior] breakthroughs [however] disruption is at least on the scale of earlier periods but has yet to demonstrate its full impact, which will require “a host of complementary innovations, just as it did in the industrial revolution: investments in education, reorganization of work, new policies … the new digital economy is still in its ‘installation phase’ and productivity effects may occur only once the technology enters the ‘deployment phase’”


2/ “ productivity growth is still very strong … but confined to “frontier firms” [so] the productivity slowdown is thought to be due not to lack of innovation, but rather to a lack of diffusion from the frontier to the rest of the economy [which] stems partly from the growth of monopolies and oligopolies

/#winner take all

3/ “ Finally [productivity] may not be reflected in the statistics due to measurement shortcomings.


A new agenda will require a new social contract.

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