Reviving productivity

That is a new series on Bloomberg View, here are the beginnings of the symposium.  Here is Clive Crook on productivity as a moral imperative.  Here is Noah Smith on the easy ways to boost productivity.  Here is my piece on the human constraints behind the productivity problem, here is one excerpt:

The logic of the usefulness of face-to-face contact also shapes the geographic distribution of economic activity…

Given all this, at least three answers to the productivity problem suggest themselves. First, we can make online communities more vivid. E-sports, a diverse set of online competitions, have hundreds of millions of viewers. Through the development of internet fandoms and communities, many people now find these activities more exciting to watch than the World Series. Even chess on the internet has proved popular, as commentary and chat rooms make it more exciting for the viewers. The community-building tactics used by e-sports could be applied elsewhere.

Second, we can make face-to-face communities more effective. I am struck by the occasional scorn shown to ex-President Barack Obama for his past as a community organizer. Yet building communities is a critical skill for boosting business productivity in a service economy.

Third, individuals should read and cultivate Stoic philosophy in themselves, whether explicitly or as they might pick up from a best-seller. More self-reliance and less dependence on social cues for doing the right thing will increase economic performance.

There are more installments coming in the series.


Comments for this post are closed