Summary of The Pre-Great Recession Slowdown in Productivity

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The Pre-Great Recession Slowdown in Productivity summary
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Productivity, a long-term driver of economies and incomes, has lagged during the recovery from the Great Recession. However, the 2008 financial crisis isn’t the sole cause of the decline. In fact, the slowdown in productivity improvements in major developed countries was already underway before 2007. This working paper from economists Gilbert Cette, John G. Fernald and Benoit Mojon presents a thorough analysis of the precrisis mechanisms that caused efficiency gains to sputter. getAbstract recommends this authoritative study to policy makers and executives interested in understanding what propels productivity.

About the Authors

Gilbert Cette and Benoit Mojon are economists at the Banque de France. John G. Fernald is an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.



Economists have been concerned about the slow pace of productivity growth in the United States and Europe since the Great Recession. But a decline was already in progress before the 2008 crisis, suggesting that more than just the financial collapse and its ensuing corrective actions are behind currently lackluster productivity growth.

Research on total factor productivity (TFP), which includes aspects of capital and labor in measuring an economy’s output, indicates that “technical change, structural rigidities, and declining...

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