Tag Archives: productivity

The economics of mental health: Better treatment would more than pay for itself

Mental illness accounts for half of all illness up to age 45 in rich countries, making it the most prevalent disease among working-age people. Mental illness costs billions in welfare payments and lost taxes. Sir Richard Layard (London School of Economics) … Continue reading

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Happy birthday, you’re fired! Effects of the age-dependent minimum wage in the Netherlands

The effects of the minimum wage on youth employment flows are at the focal point of the current policy debate in the Netherlands. A specific feature of the Dutch minimum wage system is that the youth minimum wage rate is … Continue reading

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How setting the right goals can boost business productivity

Businesses require motivated and productive employees. Monetary incentives, such as pay-for-performance schemes are a popular tool to encourage better employee performance. Another effective and much cheaper tool that has proved to lift employee performance is smart goal setting. Whether assigned … Continue reading

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Robots at work: Boosting productivity without killing jobs?

What have industrial robots done for growth and employment? IZA affiliate Georg Graetz and Guy Michaels answer this question using novel data on industrial robots in 14 different industries in 17 developed countries including Germany, Australia, South Korea, and the … Continue reading

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Stealing to survive: Crime rates rise in response to poor harvest

Between 1863 and 1890, phylloxera (an insect which attacks grapevine roots) destroyed about 40% of the French vineyards. The crisis could only be stopped when vineyards were replanted with hybrid American vines which were resistant to the insect. This poor … Continue reading

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Can migration boost incomes, happiness and freedom satisfaction?

By Carol Graham and Milena Nikolova The recent economic crisis and the subsequent lagging economic recovery renewed the immigration debate in the United States and beyond. While there are benefits from migration for the recipient economies, there are also potential … Continue reading

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Do personality traits affect productivity? Evidence from the lab

Individual differences in cognitive abilities measures such as IQ cannot fully explain the wage variation across workers, nor the intergenerational persistence of earnings and unemployment. That is probably why economists have recently focused their attention on analyzing how non-cognitive or … Continue reading

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