The current U.K. government has put improving productivity at the top of the policy agenda. Its most recent report drew attention to a shortfall in total factor productivity (TFP) as an important part of the British labour productivity gap that is revealed by international comparisons (HM Treasury, 2000). This reflects the now pervasive use of neoclassical growth accounting to benchmark productivity performance.
This paper forms part of the ESRC funded project (Award No.
L1382511013) “Business Cycle Volatility and Economic Growth: A
Comparative Time Series Study”, which itself is part of the
Understanding the Evolving Macroeconomy Research programme.
We wish to thank Regina Grafe for excellent research assistance and
Mary O'Mahony for generously making data available to us. We are
responsible for all errors and omissions.