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Focus on Productivity, Not Technology

Scientific and technological innovation may be necessary for the productivity growth that enriches societies, but it is not sufficient. Without the right kind of complementary policies, technological progress may not lead to sustainably rising living standards; and in some cases, it may even set a country back.

CAMBRIDGE – Economists have long argued that productivity is the foundation of prosperity. The only way a country can increase its standard of living sustainably is to produce more goods and services with fewer resources. Since the Industrial Revolution, this has been achieved through innovation, which is why productivity has become synonymous, in the public imagination, with technological progress and research and development.