So this is not Lake Wobegon

“In fact, we know most companies have below-average levels of productivity

Andy Haldane.

Firms which do not export are poor at raising productivity, which Mr Haldane believes may be because they are not as heavily exposed to foreign competition.

Similarly it can help if firms have foreign owners who are used to competing against the best the world has to offer.

Actually, the Treasury had this right in their Brexit document. Imports expose firms to that foreign competition and thus they up their productivity or go bust. This is one of the ways that imports make us richer….

14 comments on “So this is not Lake Wobegon

  1. Fantastic insight that some are below average… you could even perhaps think of distribution curves with a 0 boundary on one end and no boundary on the other

    (Public sector does of course not have any 0 boundary on productivity)

  2. “One solution he backs, proposed by the Mayfield Commission, is to pair up productive companies with unproductive ones, so good managers can teach others how to boost their workers’ output.”

    Why the fuck would a productive company do that?

    Fucking bureaucratic, academic twat.

  3. @BiW

    Quite. If a productive company spots an unproductive one that it could help, it buys it.

  4. ‘most companies have below-average’

    Love it.

    ‘This time he has accused the majority of poorly performing British firms of failing to understand their own predicament.’

    Governments are formed to instruct firms of their predicament.

  5. ‘most companies have below-average’

    Plausible, given most firms are small, that it skews this way.

  6. Has anyone seen the stupid adverts being run by the government on TV and social media?

    Their slogan is:

    Exporting is Great

    Really? You had millions of squid, formed your focus groups, and that’s the best you can do?

    And you paid Brian Cox how much to say 3 words whilst looking moody? WTF does he know about exporting?

    I can see another area of public spending where cuts are long overdue. Pity we don’t seem to have a proper, Conservative government. But then, they only have to be better than Corbyn, which is hardly a challenge.

    Maybe we could import competitive politicians who have a clue? Are there any?

  7. Not-Prof Brian Cox is a smart chap.If the government wants to pay him a wodge of money to look moody for 15 seconds, he’s going to grab it.

  8. Some companies have high productivity, and high productivity growth. That’s often simply because of the sector they are in. Technology companies, for example, often benefit from technology improvements that come from the outside. That pushes large numbers of other companies into the below-average category.

  9. “One solution he backs, proposed by the Mayfield Commission, is to pair up productive companies with unproductive ones, so good managers can teach others how to boost their workers’ output.”

    Sometimes statements like these give you a jarring glimpse at how differently some people think about the world. It really is amazing that a (probably) middle-aged seemingly intelligent person can have such amazing ignorance about how the real world works.

  10. No 1 son had Not-Prof Cox for Cosmology in his first year at uni. He reckons that Cox knew nowt and Dan Forshaw knocked him (Cox) into a cocked hat.

  11. Surely huge numbers of small companies exist precisely to provide goods or services locally. Unless you confine your analysis to companies which could reasonably export but fail to do so then any notion of average is meaningless.

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