Productivity growth has been especially slow in recent years, intensifying a broad-based deceleration initiated in the early2000s. Although cyclical weakness in demand has contributed to the slowdown, there are signs that structural forces are undermining allocative efficiency, including declines in business dynamism, signs of diminished competitive pressures, and sagging public infrastructure provision. Multiple policies to reinvigorate productivity would be appropriate, such as targeted investments in public infrastructure, eliminating needless inter-jurisdictional differences in occupational licensing, and broadening the scope of antitrust laws.
Source: OECD June 2016 Economic Outlook database; OECD, Income Distribution and Poverty database; and OECD Secretariat calculations from EU-SILC – preliminary results.
Fernald J., (2014), "Productivity and Potential Output Before, During, and After the Great Recession", NBER Working Paper No. 20248.
Gordon, R. J. (2012), "Is U.S. Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds", NBER Working Paper No. 18315.
Productivity - enhancing institutions
A number of other bodies take an interest in productivity related issues, including the Government Accountability Office, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the International Trade Commission. These bodies are complemented by active policy think tanks, such as the Brookings Institution and the Peterson Institute of International Economics.