Persistent productivity failure in the UK: is the EU really to blame?

| Publication date: 6 Feb 2019 | Theme: Trade, Investment & Productivity | External Author(s): Crafts, N | JEL Classification: N14, O47, O52 | Journal: National Institute Economic Review Issue 247 | Publisher: Sage Publications, London

On average, UK productivity performance in the decades leading up to the financial crisis was quite disappointing. Joining the EU was not to blame. Indeed, EU membership, which was an integral part of the Thatcher reform programme, had a significant positive impact. Over the long run, UK supply-side policies have been badly designed in various different ways. These design faults have not been the result of constraints imposed by EU membership but rather the consequence of domestic government failure. There is no reason to think that EU exit will lead, either directly or indirectly, to improvements in UK productivity outcomes.

Keyword tags: 
Brexit
productivity
supply-side policy