Bart van Ark is Executive Vice President, Chief Economist & Chief Strategy Officer of the research organization The Conference Board. As a full professor at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands), he has specialized in the areas of economic growth, development economics, economic history and international economics and business. He consulted for the European Commission and the OECD and has extensively published in leading national and international journals, including the Journal of Economic Perspectives, The Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, and Economic Policy. Currently van Ark is a Director at the National Bureau of Economic Research and is a member of the Board of Directors of The Demand Institute.
Contrasts in Europe’s Investment and Productivity Performance
This paper documents two gaps in Europe’s growth performance since 2008 and 2009. The first refers to the slower output, investment and productivity growth rate compared to the pre-crisis period. The second refers to the performance gap relative to the United States. Weak productivity growth is a major factor slowing the speed of recovery in Europe. This slowdown has broadened from the services sector to manufacturing, which has been a traditional stronghold for productivity in Europe. There is a need to accelerate investment in the most important assets for productivity recovery.
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