The origins of ‘luck’

In a “speech(link to ‘Aus­trali­a’s Eco­nom­ic Mir­a­cle’, pdf file about 100k)”: to a post-grad­u­ate eco­nom­ics forum, Gary Banks (Chair­man of the “Aus­tralian Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty Commission”: out­lines the nature and ori­gins of pro­duc­tiv­i­ty gains in the Aus­tralian econ­o­my since the ear­ly 1990’s that has seen our out­put per per­son climb from 16th in the OECD to 8th (an envi­able 2.5% growth rate over the decade).
The ori­gins of this growth accel­er­a­tion, accord­ing to the Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty Com­mis­sion, include both include micro-eco­nom­ic reforms that Banks says drove man­agers in key infra­struc­ture indus­tries to find more effi­cient ways of doing busi­ness. Rapid uptake of infor­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­o­gy in indus­tries such as whole­sale trade, finance and insur­ance led to effi­cien­cies that cas­cad­ed through the econ­o­my. Banks points, too, to the effect of asso­ci­at­ed com­pe­ti­tion law and labor mar­ket reforms that helped to ensure that the micro eco­nom­ic reforms had last­ing effect. Banks sum­ma­rizes some future chal­lenges, includ­ing the trans­la­tion of tar­iff and labor mar­ket reforms into bet­ter man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­duc­tiv­i­ty per­for­mance (out­put per hour worked is only 85% of US man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, no bet­ter than our rel­a­tive per­for­mance in the 1950s) It’s an excel­lent, short, sum­ma­ry of the ori­gins of our run of eco­nom­ic ‘good luck’ in the Lucky Country.

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