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From Skills Revolution to Productivity Miracle--Not as easy as it Sounds?


  • Ewart Keep
  • Ken Mayhew
  • Jonathan Payne


This article surveys the potential impact of skill on productivity. It opens with a review of the utility of productivity as a measure of systemic economic performance, and then goes on to explore the oft-assumed close and strong relationship between skills and productivity. The importance of other factors and types of investment is stressed. These complementary elements may be at least as important as skill in boosting performance, and their absence may negate the impact of public investment in education and training. The ability of economic development policy, particularly as it relates to the Regional Development Agencies, to address skills and economic development is assessed, and questions are raised about what type and level of skill might have the largest impact on economic performance. In conclusion, we discuss the demands that new policy approaches are making upon the machinery and personnel of government. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Ewart Keep & Ken Mayhew & Jonathan Payne, 2006. "From Skills Revolution to Productivity Miracle--Not as easy as it Sounds?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(4), pages 539-559, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:22:y:2006:i:4:p:539-559

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul L. Joskow, 1997. "Restructuring, Competition and Regulatory Reform in the U.S. Electricity Sector," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 119-138, Summer.
    2. Newbery, David M & Pollitt, Michael G, 1997. "The Restructuring and Privatization of Britain's CEGB--Was It Worth It?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 269-303, September.
    3. Borenstein, Severin & Bushnell, James & Kahn, Edward & Stoft, Steven, 1995. "Market power in California electricity markets," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 219-236.
    4. Hogan, William W, 1992. "Contract Networks for Electric Power Transmission," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 211-242, September.
    5. William W. Hogan, 1993. "Markets in Real Electric Networks Require Reactive Prices," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 171-200.
    6. Borenstein, Severin & Bushnell, James & Wolak, Frank, 1999. "Diagnosing Market Power in California's Deregulated Wholesale Electricity Market," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt3rx965d5, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    7. Catherine D. Wolfram, 1999. "Measuring Duopoly Power in the British Electricity Spot Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 805-826, September.
    8. Joskow, Paul L, 1996. "Introducing Competition into Regulated Network Industries: From Hierarchies to Markets in Electricity," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 341-382.
    9. Joskow, P.L., 1989. "Regulatory Failure, Regulatory Reform And Structural Change In The Electric Power Industry," Working papers 516, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesca Froy & Sylvain Giguère & Michela Meghnagi, 2012. "Skills for Competitiveness: A Synthesis Report," OECD Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) Working Papers 2012/9, OECD Publishing.

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