Can we still measure productivity in the modern economy?  artwork
Productivity Puzzles

Can we still measure productivity in the modern economy?

  • S1E7
  • 52:54
  • September 9th 2021

The one big question anyone working on productivity issues gets most is: how do you actually measure it? How do we count what we make? And can we capture everything needed to produce products and services? And can economists and statisticians keep up with the rapid changes in today’s modern economy? 

To answer these questions, host Bart van Ark is joined by Josh Martin, Head of Productivity at the Office for National Statistics, Rebecca Riley, director of the Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence and Professor of Practice at King’s Business School and Jonathan Haskel, Professor of Economics at Imperial College Business School. Together they discuss productivity measurement from the widget counting days of economist founding father Adam Smith to today’s methods that include the service economy, new technologies, worker well-being and the environment.

Productivity Puzzles is sponsored by Capita and brought to you by The Productivity Institute, a research body involving nine academic institutions across the UK, eight Regional Productivity Forums throughout the nation, and a national independent Productivity Commission to advise policy makers at all levels of government. 

The Productivity Institute is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. To find out more, visit: https://esrc.ukri.org/about-us/strategy-and-priorities/productivity/

Find out more about at www.productivity.ac.uk

Productivity Puzzles

Join Bart van Ark, Professor of Productivity Studies at the University of Manchester, and the managing director of The Productivity Institute as he brings you discussions with leading minds from the UK and abroad about how to improve productivity for almost everything: from health care to car manufacturing, at national and regional levels, for business and for your own personal productivity.


This podcast series investigates why UK productivity is lower than in many other countries and why are there such large differences in productivity across and within the regions and devolved nations. We’ll also get the best insights from research on smart policies and effective business practices to increase productivity and find out how this will drive prosperity, wellbeing and inclusive sustainable growth.


Productivity Puzzles is sponsored by Capita and brought to you by The Productivity Institute, a research project involving nine academic institutions across the UK, eight regional productivity forums throughout the nation, and a national independent Productivity Commission to advise policy makers at all levels of government. 

Find out more about at www.productivity.ac.uk

The Productivity Institute is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. To find out more, visit: https://esrc.ukri.org/about-us/strategy-and-priorities/productivity/