Why is productivity growth so low (in the 'Second Machine Age')?

Alfred Kleinknecht , Emeritus Professor of Economics

The US, Japan and Western Europe experience a severe downturn of labor productivity growth during the past 10-15 years. There are several candidate explanations for the productivity crisis. I focus on the negative impact of deregulation of labor markets through 'structural reforms' as advocated by supply-side economists. At macro level, it is obvious that the champions of supply-side labor market reforms (e.g. US, UK, New Zealand, Canada, Australia) experienced a substantially lower growth of labor productivity than Old Europe. At firm level, we find a significantly lower growth of labor productivity in firms that employ more flexible workers and/or have a larger labor turnover. This holds, in particular, in sectors in which the Schumpeter II innovation model is dominant. 

About the speaker

Alfred Kleinknecht (born 1951) graduated in economics in Berlin (1977) and got a PhD in Amsterdam (1984). He has worked at the Berlin Wissenschaftszentrum (1978-80), at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam (1980-84), at the Universiteit Maastricht (1984-88), and at the Universiteit van Amsterdam (1988-1994)

1994-1997: Professor of Economics at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam

1997-2013: Professor, Economics of Innovation, TU Delft

2006: Visiting Professor, Università La Sapienza, Rome

2008/09: Visiting Professor, Université Panthéon Sorbonne, Paris

2013-2017: Visiting Researcher at the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung at Düsseldorf

2011- … Non-Executive Board Member of Prodrive Technologies, Science Park Eindhoven

2011-12: Best Lecturer of the Faculty

2012: Nomination by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands as 'Ridder in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau'


Venue: Room A0.24 (SBE, TS 53)

Date: 15 March 2017

Time: 12:00 - 13h30  CEST