United Kingdom


 OECD recommendations

Productivity has been exceptionally weak since 2007, and reviving it is essential to sustain growth and living standards. Fiscal decentralisation and targeted regional spending notably on infrastructure and housing, improving the skills of workers and ensuring more rapid exit of non-viable businesses would raise innovation and productivity, and would make growth more inclusive.

  • Increase direct and indirect support for R&D spending.
  • Develop integrated and regionally focused policy packages.
  • Promote individually targeted programmes to improve life-long learning opportunities.
  • Allow more freedom to adapt technical education to local business needs.
  • Raise training and other incentives to recruit and retain teachers.
  • Increase financing and continue to promote the effectiveness of active labour market policies.



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Productivity - United Kingdom 

Source: OECD May 2017 Economic Outlook database. 


 Key publications

Productivity Plan”, released by the government in July 2015, covers a wide range of areas, including the tax regime for businesses, skills, science and innovation, digital infrastructure, investment and trade. 

C. Patterson, A. ┼×ahin, G. Topa and G. Violante (2016), “Working Hard in the Wrong Place: A Mismatch-Based Explanation to the UK Productivity Puzzle”, Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Reports, No. 757, January.

R. Harris and  J. Moffat (2016), “Plant closure in Britain since the Great Recession”, Economics Letters, Vol. 140, March. 

E. Giovannetti and C. Piga, (2014), "Private and External Benefits from Investment in Intangible Assets", BIS Research Paper No. 203, December.

Institutions icon Productivity - enhancing institutions

Office for Budget Responsibility

The Office for Budget Responsibility was created in 2010 to provide independent and authoritative analysis of the UK’s public finances. It is one of a growing number of official independent fiscal watchdogs around the world. It has five main roles: 1) economic and fiscal forecasting; 2) evaluating performance against targets; 3) sustainability and balance sheet analysis; 4) evaluation of fiscal risks; 5) scrutinising tax and welfare policy costing.

National Infrastructure Commission

The UK National Infrastructure Commission was established in October 2015 as the non-ministerial government department responsible for providing expert advice and unbiased analysis to the government on pressing infrastructure challenges and long-term infrastructure needs facing the United Kingdom. Former Cabinet Minister and Transport Secretary, Andrew Adonis, has become the Commission’s first chairman.


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