Working paper

The politics of productivity: institutions, governance and policy

Institutional investment Political economy Governance Productivity United Kingdom

This paper explores the ‘politics of productivity' by focusing on the political institutions, the system of governance, and the policies that have shaped the UK’s poor productivity performance. The starting point is that the deepening divide between economics and political science reinforces over-specialisation that ignores the complex connections between economic and political drivers of productivity.

The authors propose a broad, political economy perspective that combines the study of the more ‘political’ institutions that are specific to the UK’s productivity performance – including structural weaknesses in national, regional, local government – with an evaluation of the flaws of more ‘economic institutions’ such as finance, R&D dissemination or firms, as well as an insufficiently robust social and civic infrastructure such as universities, training colleges, professional associations or trade unions.

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Productivity Institute Working Paper 15