National Productivity Week 27th January 2025 | Visit Website

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leading experts, policymakers
and practitioners

The Institute’s key research themes
are led by ten academic partners
spread across the UK.

We’re a UK-wide research
organisation exploring what
productivity means for business

Businesses are crucial to solving
the UK’s productivity problems.


COVID-19 and productivity - the productivity implications for the UK of the coronavirus pandemic

This research outlines the main channels by which the pandemic affects labour productivity and its future prospects. There are short run costs from such a profound contraction in activity and long run opportunities as the economy is re-oriented and the leisure/work split is adjusted. The main public policy tool in response to the pandemic has been the deployment of the lockdown. The intensity of lockdowns, their international scope, and the constant threat of further deployment has acted on both aggregate demand and supply, here and overseas. Consumers have held back on consumption, firms deferred investment and employment has fallen markedly.

The project includes an analysis of the role of different institutional and policy responses to the outbreak of the pandemic to shed light on how institutions and public policy have affected the UK’s labour productivity performance. This includes specific aspects of central government intervention (fiscal policy choice, tensions with devolved governments and city-regions) as well as policy areas such as education (school closure, Early Years sector).

Researchers Paul Mortimer-Lee (NIESR), Adrian Pabst (NIESR)

National Institute Of Economic And Social Research