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In 1995 Italy’s labor productivity was above that of the USA. In the following quarter-century Italian productivity almost stagnated. This long relative decline of an advanced country has no parallel in modern economic history. The slow adaptation to the second globalization and digital technology is ascribed to financial and political uncertainty. The chapter identifies the areas in which adaptation to the new global environment was too slow (education, R&D, reliance on SME, inefficient bureaucracy, and judiciary). We also emphasize social and political weaknesses resulting in the large public debt. Uncertainty held back domestic and foreign investments. A brief window of opportunity in the early 2000s showed Italy’s potential resilience, when economic decline could have been reversed.
This paper examines the impact of trade-related technology diffusion from G7 countries to Latin America and East Asia on total factor productivity controlling for education, governance, and distance. We build on the trade and distance-focused strands of the technology diffusion literature and find that (i) total factor productivity (TFP) increases with education, trade, and governance (ETG) and declines with distance to the G7 countries; (ii) increasing Latin America's ETG to East Asia's level would double TFP, accounting for about 75% of the TFP gap between the two country groups; and (iii) South America's greater remoteness relative to Mexico's from the US and Canada significantly reduces its TFP and similarly for Singapore's greater remoteness from Japan relative to Hong Kong.
Field experiment to assess the impact of radiation, temperature and foliar N application on rice was conducted. The treatments comprised of four sunlight levels, [control, 50% intensity during start to maximum tillering (R15–45), maximum tillering to booting (R46–75) and panicle emergence to maturity (R76–105) corresponding to 15–45, 46–75 and 76–105 days after transplanting] and 5 levels of foliar nitrogen [control, spray of 3% urea solution in water before (NB), midway (NM), afterwards (NA) and midway + afterwards (NMA) reduction in sunlight]. Results showed that leaf chlorophyll had an inverse relationship with radiation intensity. The R46–75 significantly reduced effective tillers (13.1–16.4%), R46–75 and R76–105 reduced grains/panicle (7.15–12.5%) as compared to control. NB produced significantly higher effective tillers (21.9–24.7%) and grains/panicle (12.2–12.9%) as compared to control. The reduction in sunlight and application of foliar nitrogen increased the minimum cooking time and decreased elongation ratio. Averaged over locations, R15–45, R46–75 and R76–105 decreased the yield significantly as compared to control by 9.29–11.3, 14.4–16.3 and 8.17–10.6%, respectively. The NB significantly increased grain yield as compared to control by 10.3% (Ludhiana) and 9.45% (Hoshiarpur). A decrease in maximum temperature (Tmax) by 2.85–5.70% (1–2°C) of 35.1°C, at 1416 μmol/m2/s of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) increased rice productivity by 10.6–21.0%, while a similar decrease in PAR by 2.85–5.70% at a Tmax of 35.1°C, decreased the productivity by 2.05–4.10%. So, decrease in Tmax due to cloudy weather might have a positive influence while negative impact of deficit radiation may be mitigated by foliar application of 3% urea prior to/during the cloudy weather.
This paper empirically investigates the economic effects of environmental activities. To be specific, it investigates the interactive influence of firms' environmental management and environmental innovation on their productivity. We consider both internal and external environmental management practices of global firms observed from 41 countries between 2017 and 2019. We also consider both inputs and outputs of firms' innovation activities that aim to reduce environmental impacts. Multiple indices are constructed to comprehensively evaluate firms' environmental activities, and productivity is estimated with a semi-parametric method. We find that environmental management and environmental innovation are directly correlated to each other and both substantially promote productivity; however, they tend to substitute each other's positive effects on productivity. Other variables such as globalization, government, labor inputs, and informal competition strongly affect firm productivity too.
We have seen that different species of parasites have markedly different impacts upon health. Some may kill their host and so reduce the population size, others cause chronic anaemia or malnutrition and so reduce their physical productivity, while the remainder may cause symptoms that reduce psychological well-being or cause no symptoms at all. If we use disability-adjusted life years to compare the impact of parasites upon different ancient civilizations, we can estimate the degree to which each were burdened by parasite infection. Using this approach would suggest that the civilizations with the heaviest health burden from parasites were (1) Egypt and Nubia; (2) Roman Empire; (3) Ancient China, Korea, and Japan; (4) South American Pacific Coast civilizations such as Maya, Moche, and Inca; and (5) the Ancient Near East. As many parasites impair the ability of labourers to complete physically arduous work, it is possible that the need for new, healthier workers to complete national infrastructure projects may have triggered military expeditions to neighbouring states to obtain prisoners to work as slaves in many of these civilizations.
Despite the importance of work for wellbeing, working turns out to be one of the least enjoyable activities we engage in on an hour-to-hour basis. To evaluate the effects of work on wellbeing researchers often rely on experience sampling methods.
Social aspects of work (such as positive working relationships (particularly with managers), work/life balance, interesting work, and purpose) often prove to be more important determinants of wellbeing than income. The relationship between working hours and wellbeing also tends to be mediated by the extent that workers are able to choose the hours they work.
Workplace wellbeing affects individual productivity and company performance. To evaluate these dynamics and make causal inferences, researchers employ a variety of analytical strategies. These include fixed-effects regressions, laboratory experiments, natural experiments, field experiments, and quasi-experiments. Each approach has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. But, taken together, the findings of these endeavours generally suggest that happiness improves performance.
There are a number of possible pathways through which wellbeing can impact productivity. These include better health and more motivation, as well as positive relationships, lower absenteeism, lower turnover, and greater ability to attract talent at the firm level.
Many employees want a work life that aligns with their personal values. Employees who value the environment can feel increased workplace engagement when they believe their employer is genuinely working to reduce its environmental impacts. Better employee engagement can reduce labor costs through easier recruitment, stronger retention, and more productivity among employees. Some companies offer engagement programs that allow volunteer employees to work towards environmental goals as an additional feature of their employment. The case of Diana Glassman and TD Bank illustrates the challenges of developing and implementing effective environmental employee engagement programs. Important challenges for employee engagement programs include offering co-benefits that fit with employees and assuring employees that the environmental improvements and co-benefits are genuine. Glassman addressed these challenges by using employees’ peers to communicate about the engagement programs and aligning the engagement programs with TD Bank’s company culture.
Determining accurate standard time using direct measurement techniques is especially challenging in companies that do not have a proper environment for time measurement studies or that manufacture items requiring complex production schedules. New and specific time measurement techniques are required for such companies. This research developed a novel time estimation approach based on several machine learning methods. The set of collected inputs in the manufacturing environment, including a number of products, the number of welding operations, product's surface area factor, difficulty/working environment factors, and the number of metal forming processes. The data were collected from one of the largest bus manufacturing companies in Turkey. Experimental results demonstrate that when model accuracy was measured using performance measures, k-nearest neighbors outperformed other machine learning techniques in terms of prediction accuracy. “The number of welding operations” and “the number of pieces” were found to be the most effective parameters. The findings show that machine learning algorithms can estimate standard time, and the findings can be used for several purposes, including lowering production costs, increasing productivity, and ensuring efficiency in the execution of their operating processes by other companies that manufacture similar products.
Although human factors are recognized as influential factors affecting the welfare and productivity of farm animals, only limited research has been conducted to identify these important human characteristics and to quantify their effects. During the last 13 years we have studied two apparently important human factors: the attitude and the behaviour of stockpersons towards farm animals.
We have proposed that in intensive animal production systems there are some important sequential relationships between the attitude and behaviour of the stockperson towards farm animals and the behaviour, performance and welfare of farm animals. Basically we have suggested that because a stockperson's behaviour towards animals is largely under volitional control it is strongly influenced by the attitudes and beliefs that the stockperson holds about the animals. Furthermore, the stockperson's behaviour towards animals affects the animals’ fear of humans which, in turn, affects the animals’ productivity and welfare. It is the occurrence of a stress response by animals which are highly fearful of humans which places their productivity and welfare at risk We have published data which strongly support these interrelationships between human attitude and behaviour and animal behaviour, productivity and welfare. This paper reviews this and other research on this subject. The results of research in the pig industry and to a lesser extent, the poultry industries indicate the excellent opportunity which exists to improve animal productivity and welfare by training and selecting stockpersons to have desirable attitudinal and behavioural profiles towards farm animals.
This article examines real wage-earning, productivity and earning inequality in Indonesia, focusing on differentials among provinces and economic sectors. The post-1997 Asian crisis and democratic Indonesia mimic the global trend of disconnection between wages and productivity: labour productivity continues to rise while real wage-earning stagnates or declines. This disconnection has three consequences. First, it affects income or earning distribution as confirmed by rising overall earnings inequality. Second, while it explains the conventional wisdom of an economy-wide negative relationship between real wages and employment, it is of concern that these two variables do not move in the same direction as the productivity improvements that have occurred in large and medium establishments in the manufacturing sector. Third, the disconnection between productivity and earnings growth opens a new discussion on the broader issue of quality of growth, as the data show that robust economic growth in the post-crisis Indonesia has not been accompanied by parallel improvements in the quality of employment.
Governments’ economic policies need to be based on a coherent view of the role of innovation and productivity in sustaining growth. This article analyses advice on fostering innovation from Australia’s main statutory economics adviser, the Productivity Commission. It argues that the Productivity Commission’s comprehensive 2007 report, Public Support for Science and Innovation, contributed to a policy vacuum hampering government support for innovation for nearly a decade. First, within the Productivity Commission’s understanding of innovation was a contradiction between its required policy targeting criteria and the impossibility of meeting these criteria. Second, the resulting stance on innovation policy was at odds with research and theory on the drivers of innovation and hence growth – particularly innovation systems theories and those based on evolutionary economics. The ensuing innovation policy vacuum suggests that the Productivity Commission placed the abstract ideological ‘purity’ of neoclassical economic theory above empirical exploration of how government can best support Australia’s future economic development. Since late 2015, moves to fill this policy vacuum have included a Senate inquiry, a government department restructure, and the creation of a new Innovation and Science statutory advisory board. Whether these initiatives foster sustained innovation will depend on the extent to which they adopt approaches based on innovation systems or evolutionary economics, and transcend the static neoclassical mindset espoused by the Productivity Commission.
The author surveys shifts in macro-economic policy and thought from Keynes and Kalecki to the present, tracking the changing climate of economic opinion. As Kalecki foresaw, the success of Keynesian demand management was undermined when, in an era of full employment, the power of labour threatened industrialists’ authority over the economy. From the 1970s, this led governments to introduce pro-capitalist measures. Countering recessions with budget deficits was now seen as irresponsible. The rise of globalisation meant that domestic demand management became less effective, especially in economies highly dependent on imports. Opening up economies meant that their exchange rates and stock markets became more vulnerable to capital flights. As the reach of finance became increasingly global, those private credit rating agencies became the game changers. Today private credit agencies, through their rating of the investment climate and sovereign risk of a country, in effect rate the quality of its government. Capitalist democracies are now dominated by private finance. Management of the investment climate is increasingly done through the virtual rather than the real economy, creating artificial financial asset and housing market bubbles. At the same time, in the neglected real economy, inequality and unemployment have increased, and living standards are falling.
Recently economists have expressed increasing interest in studying the determinants of happiness. Their main task has been to identify economic and non-economic sources of well-being to define policies aimed at maximising happiness in nations. As yet, it has not been precisely explained why ‘happiness economics’ is actually a part of economic science. In this article, we show that happiness can be an economic concept providing a critical review of the literature on (a) economic applications of happiness data and (b) economic consequences of happiness. Happiness data have been used to analyse microeconomic phenomena and to value non-market goods. Happiness may act as a determinant of economic outcomes: it increases productivity, predicts one’s future income and affects labour market performance. A growing number of happiness studies indicate a role of personality traits in understanding the link between well-being and economic outcomes.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought industrial relations policy to the centre of attention in many countries. In 2020, the Australian government convened tripartite bodies to address policy in several areas, one being for agreement-making to cover labour on ‘megaprojects’. This initiative revisited criticisms of unions for driving costs up and productivity down on these worksites, the most expensive of which had been Chevron’s Gorgon site, a liquefied natural gas project off the north-west Australian coast. Drawing on four usually siloed literatures – on industrial relations policy, megaprojects, the economic geography of resources and labour process – this article explains concerns about costs, delays and productivity in terms of project work itself. This approach leads to a different understanding of the merits of changing policy to address megaproject’s problems and productivity more broadly.
Under what circumstances can minimum wages increase without adverse effects on employment levels? In 31 Chinese provinces between 2004 and 2015, the employment effect of a minimum wage depended on the minimum wage level, foreign direct investment, per capita gross domestic product and labour productivity. A minimum wage increase reduced hiring as foreign direct investment inflow rose, regardless of the amount of investment. Any positive employment effect of a minimum wage increase was mitigated by per capita gross domestic product growth, except when per capita gross domestic product was above the average. Above-average labour productivity enhancement significantly mitigated the adverse employment effect of the minimum wage. Employers responded to a rising minimum wage by increasing hiring when the geometric growth rates of the minimum wage and foreign direct investment for a particular province within a period of time were above the overall average across provinces. However, they scrutinised both annual and overall economic growth within a time period when making hiring decisions in the face of minimum wage adjustments. An inverted U-shape relationship between minimum wages and employment suggest a maximum threshold value for the minimum wage. Thus, government policy measures should foster short-term and long-term economic growth, to facilitate employment creation when minimum wages increase.
In this article, we examine the effect of workforce ageing on company productivity, using an analysis based on Korean firms. We found that an increase in the ratio of workers aged over 50 years to total workers had a negative effect on value added per worker, which was consistent with the findings of most previous studies based on European data. However, the results of the analysis, including various classifications such as size, industry and several financial conditions, revealed that an increase in the ratio of older workers had positive effects on value added per worker in large manufacturing firms under risky or growing conditions. As the productivity of older workers may vary, future research may determine under what conditions – size, industry, region and financial conditions – older workers contribute positively to productivity. Firms with financial troubles or those planning to downsize should be cautious about laying off older workers as an approach to improving organisational performance because these workers contribute positively to productivity under certain conditions.
Although the issue of redistribution is glossed over by Marglin, there are three reasons why decarbonisation must be accompanied by a massive scaling up of redistribution from the global North to South if the agenda is to be founded on a social justice approach. First, constructing a capital infrastructure in the South in a manner that maximises the potential for decarbonisation would tend to be very import-intensive. Hence, it would require external financing or else risk running aground through balance of payment constraints. Second, there is already a tendency in the global economy of siphoning resources from South to North, in particular through the increasing control over flows of value and wealth by Northern corporations from their commanding positions within international networks. Southern productivity needs to be contextualised from this perspective given the risk that climate negotiations lock in the subordination of Southern countries within these global networks, rather than seeking ways for Southern producers to leverage more value for the output and carbon emissions they are already producing. Third, population and labour transitions in the South place relatively greater pressure than in the past on employment generation in tertiary (service) sectors, in which distributive and redistributive processes play essential roles in bolstering labour demand. The neglect of global redistribution could undermine the capacity of Southern countries to face these broader development challenges, which are already immense even in the absence of decarbonisation. A key question is how to organise global redistributive transfers in a manner that does not continue to subordinate Southern populations to Northern interests. The challenge for decarbonisation is the forging of a political will for redistribution that is motivated by climate change rather than geopolitics, and that respects national ownership and self-determination.
Chapter 4 investigates modern English neoclassical CFs. It explores fifteen initial and four final CFs, showing their type/token frequency and hapaxes in COCA and NOW, and their diachronic evolution in the GBC.
Chapter 6 investigates the secreted type of CFs. It analyses twelve initial and fifteen final CFs by showing their secretion process, frequency, and profitability. Their diachronic analysis testifies to their relevance to present-day English.