Productivity Puzzles Episode 7: Measuring productivity in the modern economy

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.

About our guests

Josh Martin is the Head of Productivity for the Office for National Statistics, a key provider of UK’s productivity statistics, and a partner of TPI in improving our understanding and measurement of productivity.

Rebecca Riley is Professor of Practice in Economics, King’s Business School at King’s College London and Director of Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence (ESCoE), both partners of TPI. She has written extensively on UK productivity performance and labour market policy and been an external advisor to several government departments and public bodies, including the Department for Work and Pensions and the Office for National Statistics.

Jonathan Haskel, is Professor of Economics at Imperial College Business School and an External Member of the Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of England. His main research interests are productivity, innovation, intangible investment and growth.

Catch up on our past episodes here: