Australia’s productivity challenge

by Saul Eslake


Australia’s productivity performance has deteriorated over the past decade, across a broad range of industries have slowed. In the long run this will impair Australian quality of living, and our ability to respond to everything from an ageing population to climate change.

The slowdown in productivity stems from an increase in productivity-stifling regulation and legislation; a loss of appetite for productivity-enhancing change among governments, businesses and voters; the effect of ‘capacity constraints’ as the economy has approached ‘full employment’; and slippage in Australia’s take-up of technologies.

Australia needs to revive economic reform, improve education and training, make better decisions about infrastructure investment, and focus more on innovation.

Listen to Saul Eslake discussing this report on the ABC current affairs radio program ‘PM’

Listen to a podcast of the report launch at the Sydney Business Chamber