Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything

(P. Krugman, 1994)

What is the GFP?

The OECD Global Forum on Productivity (GFP) aims to foster international co-operation between public bodies with responsibility for promoting productivity-enhancing policies. The GFP provides a platform on which participants will convene to exchange information and discuss best practices as well as a framework within which to undertake productivity analysis that is complementary to the OECD’s regular work programme.

The work programme of the GFP is guided by a Steering Group of countries. The group provides support and funding to the activities of the GFP.

Productivity: What is it and why do we care about it?

Productivity is about “working smarter” rather than “working harder”. It reflects our ability to produce more output by better combining inputs, owing to new ideas, technological innovations and business models. Productivity growth is therefore essential for an economy to increase its living standards and offer  a better life to future generations.

Why are so many economies worried about their productivity performance lately?

Despite rapid technological change, increasing participation of firms and countries in global value chains, and rising education levels, productivity growth has slowed across all advanced economies. In fact, productivity growth in the post-crisis period was even weaker than before the crisis. These seemingly contradictory facts have sparked a lively debate on the underlying causes and future prospects.

About -Growth in labour productivity in advanced economies since 1970

Notes: Central Europe includes Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland; Nordic countries includes: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden; Southern Europe includes Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain. For 1970-96, Central Europe excludes Austria.
Source:OECD Productivity Statistics (database), February 2016.

How does the GFP contribute to the debate?

The GFP brings together the national and supra-national efforts mentioned above so as to leverage country-specific experiences to the long-term benefit of other countries. It is a practical, interactive tool that helps to promote the international co-operation on analysis; allows for a mutual exchange of information and data; and facilitates the sharing of experiences and policy developments. In so doing, the GFP can help those inside or outside governments seeking answers to three questions:

  • What factors can explain the productivity slowdown?
  • What can countries do to improve future prospects for productivity growth and innovation?
  • What can countries do to improve the design of institutions seeking to promote higher productivity and inclusiveness?

GFP team

The work programme of the GFP is guided by a Steering Group of founding countries. The group provides support and funding to the activities of the GFP.

Co-Chairs of the Steering Group:

Picture of Ottavio Ricchi, GFP co-Chair

Ottavio Ricchi is Head of Unit in the Economic and Financial Analysis and Planning Directorate of the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance; he is responsible for potential output and structural public finance estimates, debt sustainability projections, and productivity analysis. He is the main delegate for Italy at the EU-Output Gap Working Group and at the GFP. He was formerly in charge of the macroeconomic forecasts unit and of the liaison unit with the Economic Policy Committee in Brussels. He also attended the WP1 and STEP meetings at the OECD and the Lisbon Methodology working group and Expert Meetings at the EU. He graduated from the University of Naples and holds an MSc in economics at the University of York (UK) and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Exeter (UK). His main areas of interest include productivity analysis, economic modeling, public finance, and international economics.

Picture of Rita Basto, co-Chair of the GFP.

Rita Bessone Basto is currently Deputy Director of the Office for Strategy and Studies of the Portuguese Ministry of Economy and Digital Transition. Her current position involves work on the analysis of productivity and its determinants, in the context of the national productivity board; on policy evaluation models; and assessment and policy advice on economic developments and policies. She has previous work experience in areas of financial stability and macroprudential policy, DSGE models with financial frictions, international relations, and monetary and financial issues. She holds a Ph.D. in economics, with a thesis on monetary unions and economic policy coordination.

Stefan Profit

Stefan Profit holds the position of a Deputy Director General in the Economic Policy Department of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy. His directorate deals with macroeconomic developments, economic analyses and projections. Before assuming this position, he was in charge of a unit focusing on the empirical research in the field of inclusive growth, productivity and investment, as well as assessing growth and distributional effects of structural reforms. During previous assignments in the ministry, he worked in the field of labor market reform and energy policy, foreign economic affairs, policy planning, and served as a personal advisor to the Minister. Previous to his engagement within the federal government he worked for the Bertelsmann Foundation. He has an academic background in labor economics holding a doctoral degree in Economics from Humboldt University Berlin.

OECD Secretariat:

Chiara Criscuolo

Chiara Criscuolo leads the productivity, enterprise dynamics and policy evaluation work of the Directorate for Science Technology and Innovation (STI), including its forefront cross-country microdata projects. Prior to joining OECD, she was at the London School of Economics. She holds a PhD in Economics from University College London and her work features in leading outlets, including the American Economic Review.

Patrick Lenain

Patrick Lenain leads a team of OECD economists who provide economic advice to the governments of Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Mexico and United States. This advice is based on empirical research and econometric tools applied to households and firm-level surveys and uses administrative tax and social records. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Economics at Université de Paris-Est, where he teaches macroeconomic policy and research methodology. Before joining the OECD, he had a career of 15 years at the IMF. He has also served as senior advisor to the French Treasury and the European Commission.

Giuseppe Nicoletti has been heading since 2004 the Structural Policy Analysis Division at the OECD Economics Department, where he is in charge of cross-country structural studies, including the Productivity Workstream. He has published extensively on both refereed journals and volumes on the influence of policies and institutions on the determinants of growth and productivity. He holds a Ph. D. in Economics from New York University.



Peter Gal

Peter Gal is Senior Economist and Project Manager for the GFP. He has more than 10 years of experience working on productivity, labour market and structural policy issues, in particular by using cross-country firm-level data. He contributed to the work of several directorates at the OECD, as well as at the IMF and previously at the central bank of Hungary. He holds a PhD in Economics from the Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam.

Timo Leidecker

Timo Leidecker is a Junior Economist in the GFP team, where he currently analyses the role of workers, managers and firm characteristics for productivity and the influence of policies on these factors using detailed micro-level data from several countries. He also contributes to the planning and organisation of GFP events. Timo holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Warwick.


Márcio Carvalho is engaged in external communications and event planning for the Global Forum on Productivity. He is currently finishing a Double Degree program with Bocconi University (MSc in Economics and Management of Government and International Organizations) and the Hertie School of Governance (Master of Public Policy)
Sarah Michelson Sarah Michelson is currently working as a programme and communication co-ordinator for the Global Forum on Productivity. Prior to joining the Economics Department of the OECD in 2013, Sarah worked in the Public Sector Integrity division. She holds a Masters in contemporary History from Université Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Current and past members of the GFP


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