The World Bank’s on-going Productivity Project seeks to bring frontier thinking on the measurement and determinants of productivity to global policy makers, exploring different aspects of the topic through dialogue with academics and policy makers, and through empirical work in our client countries. The first publication by the Productivity Project, “The Innovation Paradox: Developing-Country Capabilities and the Unrealized Promise of Technological Catch-up” was launched in 2017 and introduced in Tokyo at a seminar held in March 2018. The second publication, “Productivity Revisited : Shifting Paradigms in Analysis and Policy” was issued in October 2018.
The stagnation of productivity in the developing world, and indeed, across the globe, over the last two decades dictates a rethinking of productivity measurement, analysis, and policy. This volume presents a 'second wave' of thinking in three key areas of productivity analysis and its implications for productivity policies. It calls into question the measurement and relevance of distortions as the primary barrier to productivity growth; urges a broader concept of firm performance that goes beyond efficiency to quality upgrading and demand expansion; and explores what it takes to generate an experimental and innovative society where entrepreneurs have the personal characteristics to identify new technologies and manage risk within an entrepreneurial ecosystem that facilitates them doing so. It also reviews arguments surrounding industrial policies. The authors argue for an integrated approach to productivity analysis that incorporates both the need to reduce economic distortions and generate the human capital capable of identifying the opportunities offered to follower countries and upgrade firm capabilities. Finally, it offers guidance on prioritizing policies when there is uncertainty around diagnostics and limited government capability.
This seminar featured William Maloney, Chief Economist for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Practice Group (EFI) to present the key messages of the report.
Director for Strategy and Operations, Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Group (EFI), World Bank Group
William E. Maloney
Chief Economist, Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Group (EFI), World Bank Group
Associate Professor, School of Information and Communication, Meiji University
About Keynote Speaker
William F. Maloney is Chief Economist for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions in the World Bank Group. Previously he was Chief Economist for Trade and Competitiveness and Global Lead on Innovation and Productivity. Prior to the Bank, he was a Professor of Economics at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (1990-1997) and then joined, working as Lead Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America until 2009. From 2009 to 2014, he was Lead Economist in the Development Economics Research Group. From 2011 to 2014 he was Visiting Professor at the University of the Andes and worked closely with the Colombian government on innovation and firm upgrading issues.