How not to miss a productivity revival again

Making pro-productivity policies fit for purpose.

The session will commence with a provocation by Professor Bart Van Ark, Director of the Productivity Institute. It will be followed by a panel discussion led by Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli with MSPs, including Kate Forbes MSP, Michael Marra MSP, and Maggie Chapman MSP, with more to be confirmed.

The event will focus on the past, present, and future of productivity in Scotland and the UK. In the past decade and a half, we have been reliving the productivity paradox of the 1980s. Paraphrasing the late Nobel Prize Winner, Robert Solow: “We see digital technology everywhere, except in the statistics”. In this talk, Professor Van Ark will review the dynamics and causes of the recent productivity slowdown across the OECD, specifically in the UK and Scotland. He will then sketch a framework for pro-productivity policies to transform resources into outcomes better, creating inclusive growth for people, firms, and places.



Bart van Ark wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a building
Professor Bart Van Ark, Director of the Productivity Institute

Professor Bart Van Ark

Director of the Productivity Institute

Bart van Ark is Managing Director of The Productivity Institute, a UK-wide organisation which aims to lay the foundations for an era of sustained and inclusive productivity growth by bringing together academic research, policy studies and business engagement. He is also a Professor of Productivity Studies at the Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) at the University of Manchester.

Bart is also a Senior Advisor of the Economy, Strategy and Finance (ESF) Center at The Conference Board, where he was Chief Economist from 2008 until 2020. He is also an honorary professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business at the University of Groningen, a Fellow at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and a member of the Research Review Group at the International Labour Organization.

A group of people in a room


Wednesday May 29th, 2024 18:00-19:30


The Royal Society of Edinburgh


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