Articles on Productivity

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Australia’s energy regulations need a clean up. Flickr/Looking Glass

Energy reform key to productivity, paves way for carbon action

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ducked the question of changes to carbon pricing in his National Press Club address yesterday. But he put energy market reform at the top of his “New National Competitiveness…
Competitiveness and productivity are top priorities in Kevin Rudd’s economic policy agenda. AAP

Rudd’s economic blueprint is a timely election pitch to business

Yesterday, Kevin Rudd set about outlining the broad terrain of economic policy to be pursued in this his second stint as Prime Minister. In his speech to the Press Club, the PM highlighted seven core drivers…
Ignore the hype: the Coalition’s IR policy won’t boost productivity in Australia. Paul Miller/ AAP

Coalition’s productivity obsession makes for flawed IR policy

More than jobs, inflation, security or disputation, the Coalition’s just-released policy on industrial relations claims to be about productivity. The policy is replete with over 30 references to “productivity…
Researchers say labour capacity is being reduced during hot months as a result of climate change. AAP/Kimimasa Mayama

Climate change linked to declines in labour productivity

Increases in humidity caused as a result of climate change are reducing labour productivity and it’s only likely to get worse…
We agree Australia’s productivity has to improve: plotting the trajectory from the macro to the micro will be big future themes of debate in the coming year. AAP

The productivity conundrum: current thinking and future trends

Amid the emerging decline in Australia’s terms of trade and drop in commodity prices, there is general consensus among most commentators that improving Australia’s productivity is critical. Looking back…
Three recent reports into productivity highlight differing issues but agree that targeting industrial reform is not the key to lifting outputs. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Changing work practices alone will not boost productivity

The Australian Government’s recently released white paper on Australia in the Asian Century identified productivity as one of five key areas for action, at a time when we are engaged in a major national…
There is little evidence to support the belief that Australia’s productivity declines are linked to the need for labour market reform. AAP

Australia’s choice: the ‘high road’ to productivity or a race to the bottom

It is not easy to devise a solution to Australia’s productivity slowdown when a shared understanding of the problem is so elusive. While there is recognition among policy-makers that productivity is a…

Smoking associated with work absenteeism

Smokers are 33% more likely to be absent from work and take, on average, 2.7 extra sick days annually. This costs the UK…
The Asian Century will present Australia with economic opportunities, as well as significant challenges. shutterstock

In the Asian Century, there’s no such thing as success without sacrifice

By 2025, Asia will account for nearly half of world output. Even under conservative growth scenarios, three out of the world’s five largest economies will be in Asia. By the same year, income per person…
Industry partnerships can be critical to research outcomes and a country’s productivity. Flickr/RMTip21

Research funding uncertainty hurting industry partnerships

Uncertainty over research funding will cost jobs, hurt productivity and threaten the government’s plans to promote better linkages between industry and research, say sector leaders. The Australian Research…
There are vast opportunities for firms to improve productivity at the enterprise level. Image from www.shutterstock.com

How individual firms can solve the ‘productivity paradox’

Commentators are urging government and others to do whatever they can to improve productivity in Australia because it is a key driver of prosperity, living standards and national wealth. While recent reports…
Confronted with poor productivity growth and middling economic performance, it’s time for Australia’s managers to step up their game and skill up. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Productivity growth provides a reality check for the lucky country

As Australian economists and thought leaders continue to ponder what will happen when the resources boom ends, declining productivity levels are causing alarm. According to the global survey by the Economist…
A poor report card on Australia’s productivity carried some obvious flaws. Flickr

Gloomy productivity report hides some fatal flaws

This week’s global report ranking Australia’s productivity growth performance second-last on a list of 51 countries raised eyebrows and prompted calls for urgent action. The Australian Human Resources…
If the government is serious about maintaining its economic prosperity into the future, it needs to address Australia’s historically poor productivity growth. Ann Douglas

Australia’s productivity problem: why it matters

The majority of Australians would prefer higher living standards. This can take the form of better access to better healthcare services and education, better environmental outcomes, more time for friends…
There is no feasible set of adjustments around labour reform or productivity enhancements that will offset the loss of international competitiveness being experienced by the non-resources sector.

Ken Henry: why Australia’s non-mining sector will continue to struggle

A new approach to tackling the structural effects of Australia’s record terms of trade on non-mining industries is needed from both business and government, argues one of Australia’s most eminent economists…
Robert F Kennedy thought it a mistake to equate success with what we produce. RFK Wharehouse

There’s more to good policy than increasing GDP

Economists are regularly criticised for worrying about gross domestic product (GDP) and similar measures. The classic statement of the case was by Robert F Kennedy: “Too much and too long, we seem to have…
Increasing workforce participation of women and older people could increase Australia’s GDP by $50 billion. AAP

How can Australian governments change the game for economic growth?

If Australian governments are serious about raising rates of economic growth, they must reform the tax mix and increase the workforce participation rates of women and older people. Each of these reforms…
Australia’s global competitiveness has slipped, according to a global study: but it is worth exploring some of its assumptions. AAP

World competitiveness rankings: what do they tell us?

The IMD World Competitiveness Rankings released this week are worth reflecting on, not so much because of the relative positioning of various countries - including Australia - but rather because of the…

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