Climate change already significantly affects growth and productivity and will do so even more in the future. In this seminar, Dirk Pilat will explore the links between climate change and productivity as regards measurement, analysis and policy. While much of the debate has focused on economic measures of productivity, like labour productivity, improving productivity in the use of resources and natural capital is crucial to achieving net zero and requires greater emphasis, including in productivity measurement. There is growing evidence that mainstream economic studies have long underestimated the damaging impacts of climate change on growth and productivity. At the same time, studies today may well overestimate the costs of policies to address climate change, in underestimating the dynamic and social benefits of policy action and in comparing the impacts of policy with an unrealistic counterfactual. The key question today is not whether we can have productivity growth or not, but what policies can achieve a rapid transition to net zero while also supporting living standards and productivity.
About the presenter
Dirk Pilat is a Research Fellow of The Productivity Institute, an Associate Researcher at the Valencia Institute of Economic Research and a Senior Research Fellow at the Lisbon Council. Until recently, he worked at the OECD as Deputy Director for Science, Technology and Innovation, with the responsibility to manage OECD analysis and policy advice in areas such as innovation and technology policy, entrepreneurship, digital economy, productivity, global value chains and green innovation. He is currently a member of the UK Productivity Commission and was also a member of Ireland’s National Competitiveness and Productivity Council.
Dirk has a PhD in Economics from the University of Groningen and has been published in a range of journals including Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, the Journal of Development Economics, the Review of Income and Wealth, the Review of Economics and Statistics, OECD Economic Studies and the International Productivity Monitor.
Material and video recording
A transcript and captions for the video will be available in due course.
Productivity in a Changing World seminar series
At Te Tai Ōhanga – The Treasury, we want to facilitate learning and debate on the important issues facing New Zealand. In 2023 and early 2024 the Treasury Guest Lectures are being organised under the theme: Productivity in a changing world.
This theme recognises that lifting our productivity performance continues to be central to improving New Zealanders’ wellbeing and that we are facing this challenge in the context of significant economic, social and environmental shifts. These shifts will require considerable changes in our economy if we are to sustain and improve our economic and productivity performance.