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This working paper analyses productivity performance at an industry level across New Zealand and Australia. It looks at average labour productivity and multi-factor productivity across 24 market industries. This report provides useful information on the specific industry areas in which New Zealand underperforms from a productivity perspective and is an important input into work on the ultimate causes of New Zealand’s poor productivity performance. It is relevant for upcoming research and inquiries carried out by the Commission and its Productivity Hub partners.

A four-page summary and infographic with key figures are also available.

Geoff Mason is a Principal Research Fellow at the UK National Institute of Economic and Social Research and a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Education, University of London.

The working paper was supported by four agencies of the Productivity Hub - the Productivity Commission, the Treasury, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Statistics NZ.

JEL codes  D24 – Production; Cost; Capital, Multi-factor and Total Factor Productivity; Capacity; O47 – Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity


Productivity growth

The goal of our research is to facilitate a move from an economy that grows by using more “inputs” (such as labour or natural resources), to one where productivity plays a greater role in driving economic growth – essentially, working smarter, with greater financial and knowledge capital employed per worker.

Our research explores a wide range of productivity issues: employment, firm dynamics, technology diffusion, innovation, regional development, spatial and public-sector productivity.

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Our Economics & Research team is independently evaluated every two years to understand how to improve and enhance our impact. See the latest evaluation report and 2020 survey results here.


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