Costa Rica


 OECD recommendations

Productivity growth has been improving, but a large gap remains with OECD countries.  Bolstering institutional quality and embarking on an ambitious reform agenda are key to bridging the gap and ensuring that growth benefits all Costa Ricans.

  • Strengthen the competitive environment by granting the competition authority more independence and resourcing, improving state-owned enterprise governance through greater adherence to the OECD Guidelines on Corporate Governance of SOEs and eliminating unjustified anti-trust exemptions.
  • Reduce barriers to entrepreneurship and labour market informality by cutting red tape and establishing a one-stop shop for business registration.
  • To address transport infrastructure gaps, improve coordination among the different public bodies by clarifying their mandates and granting authority and control of infrastructure management to a single institution. 
  • Improve quality and spending efficiency in education by establishing outcomes rather than inputs as the main policy target.  Establish performance objectives, and criteria to assess them. Re-balance spending towards early childhood education to improve outcomes.  Raise the quality of teachers by improving training and performance incentives, and provide more support to disadvantaged schools. 



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Productivity - Costa Rica

Source: OECD May 2017 Economic Outlook database


 Key publications

OECD Economic Survey: Costa Rica 2018. Research Findings on Productivity.

OECD Economic Surveys: Costa Rica 2016. Chapter 2: Boosting Productivity to sustain income convergence.

Pisu M. and F. Villalobos (2016), "Costa Rica’s Infrastructure Challenge", forthcoming.

Monge-González,  R.;  Torres-Carballo,  F.  (2014):  Productividad  y Crecimiento  de  las  Empresas  en  Costa  Rica  ¿Es  posible  combatir  la  pobreza  y  la desigualdad  por  medio  de  mejoras  en  la  productividad?


Institutions icon Productivity - enhancing institutions

In 2010, Costa Rica established the Presidential Council on Competitiveness and Innovation (CPCI), to co-ordinate policies across institutions. It is composed of three sub-councils – Council on Competitiveness, Council on Innovation and Human Talent, and Alliance for Employment and Development – with representatives from ministries and the private sector; and it has the support of a small technical unit.

Other efforts to improve the coordination and implementation of policies to boost productivity are also underway. These include a draft law to create an agency (Agencia Costarricense de Fomento Productivo, Innovación y Valor Agregado, FOMPRODUCE) with a public-private governance structure, which will centralise funds and functions currently dispersed across several agencies, to facilitate the establishment of businesses and promote innovation.


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