Confronting the Productivity Challenge - Long Run Initiative's Roundtable
Confronting the Productivity Challenge
For 250 years, consistent improvements in productivity have created an engine for economic growth, greater prosperity and better standards of living. Since the Global Financial Crisis, that two-and-a-half century winning streak has stalled: productivity has flat-lined. A stalling productivity engine has major long-term consequences for the future of economic growth, prosperity and standards of living. This productivity challenge needs confronting.
On 8th November, the School hosted the Long Run Initiative's Roundtable on Confronting the Productivity Challenge. The event brought experts and scholars together from academia, government and corporate sectors to discuss the theme of the day in front of an audience of executives.
The roundtable was chaired by The Hon Kevin Lynch, former Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, Government of Canada. The members of the roundtable were Diane Coyle (Bennett Professor of Public Policy, University of Cambridge); Nick Crafts (Professor of Economics, University of Sussex); Emma Flynn (Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research & Enterprise, Queen’s University Belfast); Angela McGowan (Director of the Confederation of British Industry, Northern Ireland); David Paulson (Professor of Practice, Queen’s University Belfast); and John Turner (Professor of Finance and Financial History, Queen’s University Belfast).
The main conclusions of the roundtable were:
1. Productivity is a major challenge for society, but there are equally pressing challenges facing the UK - climate change, the rapidly changing labour market and income inequality being three of these.
2. The slowdown in productivity is not due to the end of invention.
3. Uncertainty has played a large role in the reduction of productivity over the past decade.
4. There is a major gap in the productivity of large and small firms. Public policy and business strategy should be focussed on helping small firms emulate the frontier firms.
The Long Run Initiative is a joint enterprise between the Management School's Centre for Economic History and Signal Influence. The directors of the LRI are Michael Aldous, Laurence Mussio and John Turner.