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CentrePiece article

Growth and productivity: UK economic performance since 1997


A common view is that the performance of the UK economy between 1997 and 2010 under Labour was very weak and that the current economic problems are a consequence of poor policies in this period. In this report, we analyse the historical performance of the UK economy since 1997 compared with other major advanced economies and with performance prior to 1997, notably the years of Conservative government, 1979-97. We focus on measures of business performance, especially productivity growth. This is a key economic indicator as in the long run, productivity determines material wellbeing – wages and consumption. Productivity determines the size of the “economic pie” available to the citizens of a country.


Dan Corry, Anna Valero and John Van Reenen

21 May 2012     Paper Number CEPCP366

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This CentrePiece article is published under the centre's Growth programme.