Labor productivity growth in the United States and other advanced countries has slowed dramatically since the mid-2000s, a major factor in their economic stagnation and political turmoil. Economists have been debating the causes of the slowdown and possible remedies for some years. Unaddressed in this discussion is what happens if the slowdown is not reversed.
In this volume, a dozen renowned scholars analyze the impact of sustained lower productivity growth on public finances, social protection, trade, capital flows, wages, inequality, and, ultimately, politics in the advanced industrial world. They conclude that slow productivity growth could lead to unpredictable and possibly dangerous new problems, aggravating inequality and increasing concentration of market power. Facing Up to Low Productivity Growth also proposes ways that countries can cope with these consequences.
The data underlying this analysis are available for download here [zip].
Facing Up to Low Productivity Growth: Introduction
Adam S. Posen and Jeromin Zettelmeyer
I FISCAL IMPLICATIONS
1 Implications of Low Productivity Growth for Debt Sustainability
Neil R. Mehrotra
2 Slow Productivity Growth Will Pressure Sovereign Debt Sustainability
3 Implications of Lower Trend Productivity Growth for Tax Policy
4 Effects of Low Productivity Growth on Fiscal Sustainability in the United States
5 Impact of a Productivity Slowdown on Pension Systems in Europe
II INTERNATIONAL IMPLICATIONS
6 Productivity in Emerging-Market Economies: Slowdown or Stagnation?
José De Gregorio
7 Living with Lower Productivity Growth: Impact on Exports
Filippo di Mauro, Bernardo Mottironi, Gianmarco Ottaviano, and Alessandro Zona-Mattioli
III IMPLICATIONS FOR WAGES, DISTRIBUTION, AND POLITICS
8 Productivity and Pay: Is the Link Broken?
Anna Stansbury and Lawrence H. Summers
9 Are Slower Productivity and Higher Inequality Related?
Jason Furman and Peter Orszag
10 Political Economy of Secular Stagnation: Why Capital in the United States Swipes Right
Daniel W. Drezner