Productivity vs employment growth: a zero-sum game?

All economists know productivity matters. But they also know it isn’t easy to measure, nor to explain the often large and persistent productivity gaps between nations. A new paper by Harvard’s Ian Dew-Becker and Northwestern University’s Robert J. Gordon makes a provocative contribution to the productivity debate. Presented at a meeting of the NBER Program on Technological Progress and Productivity Measurement in Boston last week, the authors argue there is a “strong negative tradeoff between productivity and employment growth”. The abstract from their paper, The Role of Labour‐Market Changes In the Slowdown of European Productivity Growth (PDF), continues:

Originally published in the economist

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