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Guest lecture

Productivity in New Zealand: How does it Compare with Other Countries?

Event series: 

Abstract from Dr Geoff Mason's Guest Lecture presented at the Treasury on 21 June 2007.


Dr Geoff Mason

National Institute of Economic and Social Research, London 

Geoff Mason is a Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) in London. He has worked at NIESR since 1989 and has extensive experience of applied research studies in the areas of education, training and labour markets. His specialist research interests include cross-country comparisons of productivity, technology and skills in different industries in  Britain, the United States and Continental European countries and studies of the UK labour market for graduates, with particular reference to highly-qualified engineers, scientists and IT specialists.

His research projects have led to many different publications, ranging from academic articles in refereed journals and book chapters to government department research reports and occasional newspaper articles in the Financial Times and The Guardian. Recent academic publications include articles in the Journal of Education and Work, Research in Labor Economics, Research Policy, Industry and Innovation, and Work, Employment and Society.

Geoff Mason’s work on graduate utilisation in industry and the UK labour market for engineers and scientists has been widely cited in UK public policy debates and contributed to his being invited to serve on the Royal Society’s Working Group on Higher Education and advisory panels for the National Skills Task Force and the Sector Skills Development Agency.


International productivity comparisons suggest that, at aggregate economy level, NZ has a marked productivity deficit relative to many other OECD nations. However, beneath this overall story there is considerable sectoral variation. This lecture will present new estimates of relative productivity performance for 21 different market sectors, identifying which NZ sectors compare favourably with the UK, France, Germany and the USA and which ones are lagging behind. The key factors underlying this pattern of performance will be assessed, in particular, inter-country differences in physical capital-intensity, labour quality, innovation and efficiency of resource utilisation.

Last updated: 
Monday, 15 October 2007