Per capita growth declined steadily over the 2000s. Low productivity is at the root of a large income gap vis-à-vis the OECD average.  Several structural bottlenecks are holding back productivity and a new wave of structural reforms is needed to raise the economy’s growth potential.

  • Complete the implementation of zero licence procedures and undertake a comprehensive reform of territorial development legislation.
  • Reduce the corporate debt overhang to facilitate re-source reallocation and rekindle investment.
  • Improve the business environment by increasing competition in electricity, ports and professional services.
  • Continue to scale-up vocational education and training, including in post-secondary education.
  • Enhance innovation policies and strengthen the link between research and business.
  • Reduce labour market duality to boost young people’s employment prospects, strengthen incentives to invest in skills and reduce labour market inequalities.

Productivity - Portugal 

Source: OECD June 2016 Economic Outlook database; OECD, Income Distribution and Poverty database; and OECD Secretariat calculations from EU-SILC – preliminary results.



Key publications

Dias, D., C. Robalo Marques and C. Richmond (2016), “Afetação de recursos em Portugal: comparação entre setores”, Revista de Estudos Económicos, Banco de Portugal, 2:1, pp. 31-50.

Arnold, J. and N. Barbosa (2015), "Structural policies and productivity: Evidence from Portuguese firms", OECD Economics Department Working Papers, No. 1259, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Amador, J. e A. Soares (2013). “Competition in the Portuguese economy: estimated price-cost margins under imperfect labour markets”, Working Paper Series, No. 8, Banco de Portugal.

Braguinsky, S., L. Branstetter  and A. Regateiro (2011), “The Incredible Shrinking Portuguese Firm” , NBER Working Paper Series, No.  17265.

Cabral, L. and J. Mata (2003), “On the Evolution of the Firm Size Distribution: Facts and Theory”, American Economic Review, 93:4, pp 1075-1090.  


Institutions icon Productivity - enhancing institutions

Banco de Portugal

National Council on Education

Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos


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