Improving productivity measurement practices
Increasing productivity is a central driver of long-term economic growth and higher living standards but in recent years its contribution has declined significantly in most countries. The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated this decline from a statistical and structural perspective, as heightened uncertainty impacts investment. Despite government support packages, many firms remain closed, and jobs are being lost. Restarting the productivity engine is more important than ever if economies are to rebuild to achieve sustainable, inclusive, resilient growth. Effective policy decisions must rely on evidence-based economic analyses, making the compilation of accurate, comprehensive productivity statistics paramount.
Certain measurement challenges, for example, the measurement of the unobserved economy, unobserved employment, and the self-employed, are more severe in many APO economies, where these phenomena are prevalent. The APO and OECD have a clear mutual interest in productivity measurement and started discussions on collaborative work in early 2019. In October 2019, they signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the development of improved, more comparable productivity statistics among their member economies.
Progress to date
The first report explores current practices and challenges in productivity measurement and provides recommendations to national productivity organizations, national statistics offices, and other agencies involved in the compilation and analysis of productivity statistics in the APO membership to improve measurement and cross-country comparability. These agencies are the principal audience for the report as they are best placed to provide the most reliable inputs for productivity measurement given their access to and knowledge of the best data sources in their economies. The full report can be accessed here.
Data and resources
Related data and resources are available through these links:
- The OECD’s Productivity Database
- The OECD Productivity Compendium
- The APO Productivity Databook and Database
For further information, please contact us at apo-tokyo.org.