What is productivity? We know that Productivity definition can be expressed as the quantity of output comes from a product during the production process by consumption of per unit of input by utilization of Labour and capital.


Image credits © Prof. Mudit Katyani.


Productivity refers to the speed of output per unit of labour, capital or instrumentation (input). We will live it in several ways that. we will live the productivity of an industrial plant in line with however long it takes to provide a selected sensible within the services sector, on the opposite hand, wherever units of products don’t exist, it’s more durable to live. Some service corporations base their activity on what proportion revenue every employee generates. They then divide that quantity by their remuneration.

At its simplest, labour productivity is that the quantity of output per employee. The productivity of a workman creating footballs, as an example, may well be measured by what percentage footballs they create in one hour. The additional they manufacture, the additional they contribute to profits for the corporate.

Productivity is not everything, however, within the long haul, it’s virtually everything. A country’s ability to boost its normal of living over time depends virtually entirely on its ability to lift its output per employee.

According to Paul Krugman, the Age of Diminishing Expectations (1994):

Productivity is commonly defined as a ratio between the output volume and the volume of inputs. In other words, it measures how efficiently production inputs, such as labour and capital, are being used in an economy to produce a given level of output. Productivity is considered a key source of economic growth and competitiveness and, as such, is basic statistical information for many international comparisons and country performance assessments.


Productivity could be a relationship between output and input. It’s expressed or measured as a magnitude relation of output and input. In alternative words, it equals output divided by input.

Some samples of productivity activity are as follows:

  1. Productivity of a producing unit is often measured in terms of quantity of products made in some fastened amount of your time (usually in hours).
  2. Generally, the productivity of an industry is measured in terms of financial gain generated by a worker among a company.

Nowadays, organizations provide a lot of importance to productivity and fewer importances to potency.

The three main indicators of upper productivity are as follows:

  1. Best utilization of accessible human and material resources.
  2. Minimum wastage and losses of materials.
  3. Quantitative and qualitative production of products at a lower price. 


Productivity is sometimes expressed as a magnitude relation of output to inputs. It is often expressed as units of a product (e.g. cars) per worker-hour (total variety of hours worked by all staff on it car).   Given the value of the worker-hour, productivity may also live the potency of a corporation. These measures are quantitative and comparatively straightforward to live.  However, alternative factors of productivity e.g ability, innovation, teamwork, and even quality are qualitative and tougher to live.

For example, productivity knowledge area unit wants to investigate the impact of product and labour market laws on economic performance. Productivity growth constitutes a very important component for modelling the productive capability of economies. It additionally permits analysts to see capacity utilization that successively permits one to measure the position of economies within the fluctuation and to forecast economic process. Additionally, production capability is employed to assess demand and inflationary pressures.

There are unit totally different measures of productivity and also the selection between them depends either on the aim of the productivity measuring and/or knowledge accessibility. One amongst the foremost wide used measures of productivity is Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per hour worked. This live capture the utilization of labour inputs higher than simply output per worker. Generally, the default supply for total hours worked is that the OECD Annual National Accounts information, although for a variety of states alternative sources got to be used. Despite the progress and efforts during this space, the measuring of hours worked still suffers from a variety of applied math issues. Namely, totally different ideas and basic applied math sources area unit used across countries, which may hinder international comparison. In theory, the measuring of labour inputs ought to additionally take into consideration variations in workers’ instructional attainment, skills and knowledge. Consequently, the OECD has begun to develop adjusted labour input measures.

To take account of the role of capital inputs, an acceptable life is that the flow of productive services that may be drawn from the accumulative stock of past investments (such as machinery and equipment). These services area unit calculable by the OECD exploitation the speed of modification of the ‘productive capital stock’, that takes into consideration wear and tear, retirements and alternative sources of reduction within the productive capability of mounted capital assets. The worth of capital services per quality is measured as their rental price. In theory, the latter may well be directly determined if markets existed for all capital services. I follow, however, rental costs got to be imputed for many assets, exploitation the implicit rent that capital goods’ house owners ‘pay’ to themselves (or the ‘user prices of capital’).

After computing the contributions of labour and capital to output, the supposed multi-factor productivity (MFP) may be derived. It measures the residual growth that can’t be explained by the speed of modification within the services of labour, capital and intermediate outputs, and is usually understood because of the contribution to the economic process created by factors like technical and organizational innovation.

Against this background, a broad summary of productivity indicators is bestowed in four areas. International comparisons of economy-wide indicators of productivity growth area unit initial bestowed followed by international comparisons of financial gain and productivity levels, as well as a life of productivity heterogeneousness by enterprise size categories. Thirdly, productivity growth indicators by business and services area unit examined. Finally, the impact of labour productivity on unit labour prices is mentioned. Unless noted otherwise, value refers to the whole economy.


In most business models, the gain could be operated on productivity, price, and volume.  In alternative words, a company’s success is measured by however with efficiency it uses its resources to provide its product, the worth it will sell its product, and the way several products it will really sell. Once scrutiny corporations in a sector, for instance, it’s important for investors to know the relative productivity comparisons between corporations manufacturing an identical product.

It is what really matters when looking at the production performance of nations and companies. When output per worker, for example, raises so do living standards. Living standards rise because a greater level of real income improves individuals’ ability to buy goods and services. With more income, people, can enjoy better ensure, education, housing, and contribute to social and environmental programs. As far as businesses are concerned, greater output with the same inputs helps them become more profitable.

The Financial Times’ says the following regarding the term:

“How much is produced per unit of input. There are various kinds of productivity depending on the input, and various ways to calculate it. Labour productivity, for instance, can be calculated per worker, per hour worked, etc. Capital productivity is similar to calculating a return from an investment.”


If we can increase output per worker per day, without increasing costs, the factory has improved efficiency. It will have lower unit costs. The lower unit costs will generate higher profits. Although we often saw the two terms together. However, they do not have the same meaning. Productivity focuses on getting the maximum production per worker or unit of the machine per minute, hour, day, or week, etc. Efficiency, on the other hand, looks more at eliminating waste and maximizing quality.


It is the results of many factors, as well as the standard of machines accessible and workers’ skills. The speed of delivery and effective management are vital factors.

A company will improve output per employee by finance in higher instrumentality, coaching its employees, and up the management of employees.

Also, if employees understand there’s concern for his or her well-being, output per head will improve significantly?

The company is at first hard cash within the short term if it aims to spice up productivity. However, over the future, it’ll be worthwhile once production per unit of input per day rises.

We can categorical productivity because the quantitative relation of output to inputs we have a tendency to use within the method of production minus output per unit of input.

Input is some things that we have a tendency to place into a system to attain output. For instance, a power to drive a machine and therefore the machines themselves area unit things of input. Input additionally includes the employees.

What area unit labour costs?

We calculate unit labour prices by dividing total labour compensation by real output. We will additionally calculate it by dividing hourly compensation by productivity. In alternative words:

Unit Labour prices = Total Labor Compensation ÷ Real Output


Unit Labour price = Hourly compensation ÷ productivity

Therefore, will increase in productivity cut back unit labour prices. On the opposite hand, compensation will increase raise labour prices. If each of them moves equally, unit labour prices stay an equivalent.

There is a growing tendency globally to extend productivity whereas reducing injury to the setting at an equivalent time. Firms that pursue this area unit adopting a management philosophy we have a tendency to decision eco-efficiency.

Output worth minus input worth

The value of outputs minus the worth of inputs could be alive of the financial gain that an organization generates. Specifically, the financial gain it generates within the production method.

It is a life of the assembly process’ total potency. Therefore, we have a tendency to try and maximize the assembly method.

Partial productivities area unit measurements that use one or a lot of factors (inputs) of production, however not all factors. Labour productivity, that we have a tendency to sometimes categorical as output per hour, could be a common example in social science.

At the corporate level, typical partial productivity levels embody energy per unit of production and employee hours. We have a tendency to additionally embody materials.

The approach in macroeconomics is sort of completely different. Macroeconomists need to look at an entity of many production processes. They add up the added created within the single processes.

Economics focuses on large-scale or general economic factors like GDP growth, inflation, etc.

It is vital once summary all the factors that there’s no doubling from intermediate inputs added is obtained by subtracting the intermediate inputs from total outputs.

The most common live of added is that the gross domestic product (GDP). We have a tendency to ordinarily use it to live the economic process of industries and whole countries. GDP is that the financial gain accessible for paying labour compensation, capital prices, taxes, and profits.

For one input, this suggests the quantitative relation of added output to input. After we contemplate multiple inputs, like capital and labour, it means that the unaccounted-for level of output compared to the number of inputs.

In economics, we have a tendency to decision this live TFP (Total issue Productivity) or MFP (Multi-issue Productivity).


Productivity gains square measure crucial for an associate economy as a result of the permit individuals to realize a lot of with less. It conjointly permits them to realize a lot with constant obtainable resources.

Two very important resources within the production method square measure scarce labour and capital. Therefore, increasing their impact can invariably be a core concern of companies.

Economists live and track productivity as a result of it provides a vital clue to predicting future value growth levels.

How does one compare it?

If everybody created footballs in factories, it might be straightforward to match people’s productivity. Of course, the important world is infinitely a lot of advanced.

The task of measure productivity needs to think about several parts. In straightforward terms, the Harvard Business Review says: take the units of output, in different words the merchandise, and divide that by the units of input, in different words things like capital, labour and materials.

Again, though, it’s typically a touch a lot of advanced than that. What a few employee United Nations agencies do not manufacture one thing physical however rather sits in associate workplace typing? It conjointly becomes tough after you bring salaries into the combination, wherever associate worker United Nations agency produces very little might earn lawfully high earnings or contrariwise.

There is conjointly the standard issue. If an employee is manufacturing high-quality merchandise – a Swiss horologist, as an example – they will want longer to create it.

Economists need to think about these factors once shrewd their productivity figures. It’s well worth the effort, though; as productivity is a vital live of a country’s economic performance.

What’s inflicting the fall?

Almost all the countries square measure experiencing falling productivity, however kingdom over most.

Policy-makers are troubled to clarify the causes, with the Bank of England occupation it the “productivity puzzle”.

According to analysis from the chartered  Management Institute, it found that associate “always on” work culture of ever increasing hours and rocketing stress levels might be one in every of the driving forces behind the UK’s poor productivity.

Does innovation improve productivity?

It was wide assumed that with the advancement of technology, workers would become a lot of productive. Nevertheless, a number of the foremost advanced economies square measure those combating productivity.

In the US, the present world IT revolution has not had the grand impact that previous innovations like electricity and plumbing had on productivity. That’s consistent with social scientist Robert Gordon, United Nations agency says: “The positive impact of instant electronic communication and video gambling on productivity and living standards pales in comparison”.

Jared Leonard Bernstein, a former chief social scientist to Vice-President Joe Biden, says technology hasn’t stalled, except for some unforeseen reason; the extent of productivity it brings doesn’t trickle right down to smaller sectors. In most OECD countries, the visit productivity has been significantly marked in those industries wherever new digital and technological innovations were expected to come up with productivity dividends, like within the info, communication, finance and insurance sectors.

Many challenges lie ahead for the countries insulating material behind on productivity and economists are debating this question of a way to improve productivity for years.

Some of the ideas that have come back up for up it embody higher investment in workers and technology, structural and management enhancements, and serving to individuals develop their skills set. Otherwise, you will take Thomas Edison’s advice: “There is not any substitute for diligence.”