The financial foundations of the productivity puzzle

Publication date: 2 Aug 2017 | Publication type: National Institute Economic Review | Theme: Macroeconomics | NIESR Author(s): Chadha, J S; Kara, A | External Author(s): Labonne, P | JEL Classification: E01, E32, E44 | Journal: National Institute Economic Review Issue 241 | Publisher: Sage Publications, London

The financial crisis has led to a change in the mix of capital and labour employed in the UK and a sharp decline in total factor productivity. This has meant that labour productivity has not recovered to any great degree since the financial crisis. We explore the role of overall and sectoral productivity in explaining the fall in labour productivity, but also question the extent to which productivity in the service sector may be measured with error. We outline the links between a constrained financial sector and a fall in overall productivity – in which intangible capital seems to play an important role – and illustrate how a financial sector providing intermediate services may act to amplify the business cycle impetus from a total factor productivity shock within the context of a calibrated model.

Keyword tags: 
productivity slowdown
labour productivity
financial frictions
productivity measurement

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