ERIC Number: ED218213
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Productivity: The New Economic Context. Worldwatch Paper 49.
Worldwide economic productivity is examined in this paper. There are seven major sections. Section 1 is an introduction which discusses how as the seventies came to a close without producing a strong and sustained recovery from global economic recession, the spotlight of public concern focused on the problem of productivity. Trends which have affected productivity are discussed and ways of measuring productivity are examined. Section 2 discusses why productivity is important. Higher productivity is a mechanism for improving the material quality of life. A rise in output per hour of work can finance increases in income, help restrain inflation, and enhance the competitiveness of products in the international market place. Structural shifts in the economy are the focus of the third section. For national economies, the major cause of higher productivity has been structural change, the wholesale movement of workers out of less productive sectors of the economy into more productive ones. The fourth section examines changing relationships among the factors of production. At the root of the current crisis in labor productivity is an abrupt change in the relative prices of the factors of production. Productivity and employment are the topic of section 5. The major impact of microelectronics on labor productivity and hence on jobs is examined. Section 6 discusses distributing the gains from higher productivity. Examined are the ideas of a guaranteed income, labor displacement because of automation, shorter work weeks, longer vacation time, and early retirement. The concluding section looks at "The Productivity Prospect." (RM)
Descriptors: Developed Nations, Developing Nations, Economic Factors, Economics, Futures (of Society), Global Approach, Inflation (Economics), Labor Force, Productivity, Unemployment
Worldwatch Institute, 1776 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036 ($2.00, quantity discounts available).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Worldwatch Inst., Washington, DC.