The Coming Era of Productivity Growth

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

“The last 15 years have been tough times for many Americans, but there are now encouraging signs of a turnaround,” wrote economists Erik Brynjolfsson and Georgios Petropoulos in The Coming Productivity Boom , a recent opinion article in the MIT Technology Review.

The Productivity Puzzle

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Economic growth has two main components, productivity growth and the growth of the labor force. I ncreasing productivity is thus more crucial than ever to promote economic growth. But, in the US and other advanced economies, productivity growth has significantly slowed down over the past few decades. From 1987 to 2004 US labor productivity grew at a 2.1% Since 2011, the productivity rate has further declined to 0.6%. . US labor productivity grew at only 1.5%

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AI and the Productivity Paradox

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, at the same time, productivity growth has significantly declined over the past decade, and income has continued to stagnate for the majority of Americans. This puzzling contradiction is addressed in Artificial Intelligences and the Modern Productivity Paradox , a working paper recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Economists have proposed competing explanations for declining productivity growth and so far have failed to reach a consensus.” .

“Flexible Security”: A Sensible Social Policy for our Digital Age

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Or, do we also need social policies to promote job creation and assist workers who’ve lost their jobs? One of the Foreign Affairs articles, - The Next Safety Net: Social Policy for a Digital Age by Nicolas Colin and Bruno Palier , - offers some answers to these questions. “As Social policy will therefore have to cover the needs of not just those outside the labor market but even many inside it.

Global Arbitrage and the Productivity Puzzle

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about The Productivity Puzzle , - namely that despite our continuing technology advances, the US and other developed economies have experienced a sharp decline in productivity growth over the past 10 to 15 years. So far, though, economists have failed to reach consensus on the causes of the productivity growth slowdown or indeed the relative significance of the various arguments,” wrote McKinsey.

AI and the Productivity Paradox

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, at the same time, productivity growth has significantly declined over the past decade, and income has continued to stagnate for the majority of Americans. This puzzling contradiction is addressed in Artificial Intelligences and the Modern Productivity Paradox , a working paper recently published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Economists have proposed competing explanations for declining productivity growth and so far have failed to reach a consensus.” .

Cloud, Services and the Transformation of Production

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Cloud-based services require a much more standardized, mass customized , process oriented, industrialized approach to production , including the application of advanced technologies and rigorous science, engineering and management methodologies. . What do we mean by the production of services ? Production is defined as “a process of combining various material inputs and immaterial inputs (plans, know-how) in order to make something for consumption (the output).

Insights into effective social media policies

Trends in the Living Networks

Last week I was part of a panel on the SkyBusiness Technology Behind Business program discussing corporate social media policies, comprised of Peter Williams of Deloitte, Adrienne Unkovitch of Workplace Guardian, and myself. Example of Commonwealth Bank which introduced social media policies that impinged on staff’s personal rights, and quickly reversed them based on the response. Staff are encouraged to use Yammer to say if they’re not happy with company products or practices.

Solow Paradox 2.0: The Lagging Impact of Technology Advances on Productivity Growth

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Our aging economies are thus dependent on productivity gains to drive long-term economic growth , future prosperity and higher standards of living. Which is why few topics have generated as much concern among economists and policy makers as the sharp decline in productivity growth in the US and other advanced economies over the past decade, - despite accelerating technology advances. Their average productivity growth in the 5 years between 2000 and 2004 was 2.4%.

IT, Productivity and Organizational Capital

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

crisis , economic policies that encourage capital investment and job creation must be our top near-term priorities. But, to achieve long term economic growth, as well as gains in our standard of living , the US must also focus on innovation and productivity growth. US labor productivity - “the amount of goods and services that a laborer produces in a given amount of time” - grew at only 1.5% But, starting in the mid 1990s, US labor productivity surged to over 2.5%.

Governance and Pragmatism: Moving Beyond “The Culture of No”

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround ,” former IBM Chairman and CEO Lou Gerstner wrote about the bureaucratic culture that contributed greatly to the near-death experience IBM went through in the early 1990s. Lou called it A Culture of “No.”. “I I think the aspect of IBM’s culture that was the most remarkable to me was the ability of any individual, any team, any division to block agreement or action. Effective governances requires a culture of pragmatism over ideology.

Technology, Media and Culture - the Best of Times or the Worst of Times?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab (AIL) was founded in 2010 to study the transformational impact of technology on culture and on the media industries. For a technologist like me, it’s been a unique opportunity to learn about the impact of technology on society through the lens of the culture being transformed. How can you best understand the impact of disruptive technologies on something as deeply human as culture? Innovation Society and Culture Technology and Strategy

The Transformation of Logistics in the Retail Industry

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

distribution networks were built to deliver products in bulk to retail stores,” wrote the authors. The output per hour increased by about 20% between 2000 and 2014 but then declined after 2014, leaving the productivity measure slightly lower in 2019 than it had been in 2000.

Healthy Nonprofit Work Culture: Shouldn’t That 2 Hour Conference Call Have Been An Email?

Beth Kanter

When we talk about healthy nonprofit work culture, the fit nonprofit , it goes beyond having organizations create wellness policies and practices that encourage staff to eat right, exercise, take vacation time, and get enough sleep. And, healthy meetings are not just about avoiding salty and sugary snacks. It’s about creating collective organizational energy and optimizing it so we’re not wasting time and taking into account everyone’s individual productivity cycles.

Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Yet, it argues that with better policies in place, more people could enjoy good careers even as new technologies transform the very nature of work. Between 1978 and 2016, productivity rose by 66%, an annual growth rate of 1.3%, while median compensation increased by only 9%.

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The Urgent Need for Wide-Scale Upskilling

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But, it further argued that with better policies in place, more people could enjoy good careers even as new technologies transform the very nature of work. Sectors that have suffered from low productivity and wage growth, like health and social care, could reap significant benefits.

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Why Creating Space for Creative Time in the Nonprofit Workplace Improves Productivity

Beth Kanter

The book looks at how individuals can avoid burnout through self-care and how nonprofits can support it – through activities that promote well-being, cultural cues, or an overall strategy. Activities are designed to support organizational wellness for greater productivity and morale boosts. How cultural norms influence participation. A team culture that prioritizes collaboration and excellence. ½ Flickr Photo by AstridWestvang.

How Covid Is Reordering the Global Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

It’s becoming increasingly clear that “the pandemic will lead to immense structural changes in the global economy: less globalized, more digitized, and less equal.” Supply chains will bring production closer to home to cut risks.

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What Might the World Be Like in 2040?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The mission of the National Intelligence Council (NIC) is to lead intelligence integration and long-term strategic thinking across a wide variety of sources, including the US Intelligence Community , policy makers, and experts in academia and the private sector.

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Reflections on the Later Stages of Our Careers

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

A few parameters account for most individual differences: the age at which the career starts, the career’s initial creative potential, the rates at which new ideas are generated, and the rate at which the ideas become finished results as publications or products.

Leveraging Cloud Computing to Enhance the Nation’s Cybersecurity

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Cloud computing drives innovation and productivity across the economy, just as the electric grid did a century ago - yet it is more capable and dynamic.” Companies need to make sure that the security of their production workloads is properly implemented.

Does Your Nonprofit Organization’s Culture Eat French Fries for Breakfast?

Beth Kanter

Organizations must support staffs’ self-care efforts through clearly articulate values, policies, and programs. Even better is to have self-care so finely embedded in the nonprofit’s culture that there is not a need for a separate program, it is simply part of the way the organization works. You need to understand whether your organization’s culture is one where happy, healthy can thrive or will be ignored, or even worse ridiculed. Flickr Photo by Kris Krug.

User-Based Free Innovation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Free innovation is a tightly constrained subset of commons-based peer production , - also known as open, collaborative innovation. How can individuals justify developing a product or service which is freely made available to anyone while no one pays for their labor?

The (slightly) surprising truth about family-friendly workplaces.

Dan Pink

Personal Productivity (14). The (slightly) surprising truth about family-friendly workplaces Do family-friendly policies like childcare subsidies and job sharing increase productivity and profits? In their study of more than 450 manufacturing firms in the US and Europe, they found that family-friendly workplace practices (FFWP) were associated with more productive companies — but that was because the companies were well-run in the first place. Dan Pink. Contact.

How Will Covid-19 Transform Urban Life?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The results were different for socioeconomic measures associated with people, e.g., wages, patents, educational institutions, entertainment, cultural venues.

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The Evolution of American Capitalism - Tweaks, Reforms, or Wholesale Change?

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The 1970s saw a shift toward neoliberalism , a model of capitalism which advocated a nearly universal trust in the inherent wisdom of markets, and a highly circumscribed role for government policies and regulations.

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The Urgent Need to Strengthen the Nation’s Resilience

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

These included a significant expansion of government support for scientific research in universities and R&D labs, leading to product innovations from the private sector and better weapons from the defense industry, - and making the US the most prosperous and secure nation in the world.

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America’s Obsession with Economic Efficiency

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Economic and productivity growth used to be tightly coupled. Between 1948 and 1973, productivity grew 96% while wages grew 91%. But between 1973 and 2018, while productivity grew by 77%, wages grew just 12% or 0.027% per year.

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Does giving teachers bonuses improve student performance.

Dan Pink

Personal Productivity (14). One of the hottest ideas in education policy these days is tying teacher pay to student performance on standardized tests. Here, from the paper’s abstract (and with italics added), are his key findings: “Financial incentives for teachers to increase student performance is an increasingly popular education policy around the world. It was fed by a policy that had nothing to do with education. Dan Pink. Contact.

The MIT Work of the Future Report

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

“The world now stands on the cusp of a technological revolution in artificial intelligence and robotics that may prove as transformative for economic growth and human potential as were electrification, mass production, and electronic telecommunications in their eras,” said the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future in its recently released interim report. Policy Proposals for the future.

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The Economic Potential of The Internet of Things

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

It applied a bottom-up modeling methodology to estimate the potential economic value of these various applications, including productivity improvements, time savings, better asset utilization and reduced accidents. . Human - Monitor and promote improved health, wellness, fitness, and productivity using personal wearable devices and appliances. Offices - Organizational and personal productivity, training, energy monitoring, building security. Business Organization and Culture.

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Impact of an Aging Population on Economic Growth and Automation

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Top economists and policy makers have proposed a number of explanations for the economic slowdown, but in the end, there’s no consensus on the reasons, on how long the slowdown will likely last, or on what to do about it. Economic growth has two main components, productivity growth and the growth of the labor force. Finally, Acemoglu and Restrepo analyzed the relationship between an aging labor force and productivity as measured by the value added per worker.

The New, Interdisciplinary, MIT Schwarzman College of Computing

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

transform education and research in public policy and ethical considerations relevant to computing and AI. Schwarzman added that in countries with centrally managed industrial policies , like China, governments are strongly supporting the development of AI and related technologies and applications. But there were also talks on the assault on empathy in our friction-free digital culture, on human-machine partnerships in the workplace, and on the role of ethics in AI.

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Open Letter on the Digital Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Over time, these innovations transformed the economy, re-shaped the institutions of society, and ultimately led to the creation of all kinds of new, more productive industries and many new kinds of jobs. . By raising productivity, they argue, any automation which economises on the use of labour will increase incomes. That will generate demand for new products and services, which will in turn create new jobs for displaced workers…”.

The Challenges of Automation in a Fast Changing Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The report is divided into two sections: The Case for Action , which explores how automation impacts the economic security and opportunity of American workers, and Policies for Shared Prosperity , which outlines a policy agenda for addressing automation’s challenges and opportunities. Technology has been replacing workers and improving productivity ever since the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the second half of the 18th century. Policies for Shared Prosperity.

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A Novel Method for Measuring the Value of Free Digital Services

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the basic measure of a country’s overall economic output, based on the market value of all the goods and services the country produces. Most measures of economic performance used by government officials to inform their policies and decisions are based on GDP figures. GDP is essentially a measure of production. Nor does it reflect important economic activity beyond production, such as income, consumption and living standards.

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The World Bank’s Human Capital Index

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

A lower score, say.70, means that the productivity of a child born in that country will be 70% of what could have been achieved with full health and education. or lower, - meaning that they’ll grow up to be, at best, half as productive as they could be. This means that children born in Singapore today will be 88% as productive when they grow up as they could possibly be if they enjoyed complete education and full health.

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The Business Value of Resilience

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

The Industrial Revolution was “as much about process innovations that reduced waste and increased productivity as it was about the application of new technologies,” wrote Roger Martin in a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) article, - The High Price of Efficiency. The more products or services a platform offers, the more consumers it will attract, helping it then attract more offerings, which in turn brings in more consumers, making the platform even more valuable.

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The Impact of AI on the World Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

Overall, the McKinsey models showed that AI has the potential to incrementally add 16 percent or around $13 trillion by 2030 to current global economic output, - an annual average contribution to productivity growth of about 1.2 If delivered, this impact would compare well with that of other general-purpose technologies through history,” notes McKinsey. “ Consider, for instance, that the introduction of steam engines during the 1800s boosted labor productivity by an estimated 0.3

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Automation and Employment in the 21st Century

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

In January, the McKinsey Global Institute published A Future that Works: Automation, Employment and Productivity , the results of a two year study of automation technologies and their potential impact on jobs over the next several decades. But our analysis shows that humans will still be needed in the workforce: the total productivity gains we estimate will only come about if people work alongside machines. Role of policy-makers. “

Where is Technology Taking the Economy

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But Arthur believes that “we have reached the Keynes point” in the US and other advanced nations, “where indeed enough is produced by the economy, both physical and virtual, for all of us.” This is ushering a new economic era that’s not so much about production but about distribution, - how people get a reasonable share of what’s being produced. Productivity (GDP per worker) falls too.”. I recently read Where is Technology Taking the Economy? ,

The World is Facing a Period of Digital Disorder

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

At the same time, governments are pursuing national policies and escalating global competition to take the lead in emerging digital technologies, particularly in AI and 5G wireless networks. “As a result, a global battle for technological supremacy in the 21st-century digital economy is heating up, raising the risk of competing technological standards and creating the potential for an ‘islandized’ digital environment.

Globalization in Transition

Irving Wladawsky-Berger

But production networks are not immutable; they continue to evolve.” To better understand the nature of this evolution, the report analyzed 23 global value chains spanning 43 countries as well as both proprietary industry data and national accounts data, and interviewed industry experts from around the world. Speed to market enables faster responses to what customers want and less product waste from forecasting errors.”.

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