PRODUCTIVITY SPECTATOR: Three ways to cut red tape

There's no single silver bullet for improved productivity, so what are the most effective and synergistic policy areas for governments to focus on?

The Nobel Laureate and economics guru Paul Krugman has famously said "productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything". When it comes to living standards, this is not merely true, it is a truism. There are only two ways that a society can achieve higher per capita incomes: by producing more per person or getting higher world prices for what is produced. Although the former has been overshadowed by the latter during the 2000s, productivity remains the more dependable route in the long run. Bounteous terms of trade cannot last forever, even for a ‘Lucky Country’.

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