Productivity growth as a barrier to a sustainability transition

Ferguson, Peter 2016, Productivity growth as a barrier to a sustainability transition, Environmental innovation and societal transitions, vol. 20, pp. 86-88, doi: 10.1016/j.eist.2015.10.003.

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Title Productivity growth as a barrier to a sustainability transition
Author(s) Ferguson, PeterORCID iD for Ferguson, Peter
Journal name Environmental innovation and societal transitions
Volume number 20
Start page 86
End page 88
Total pages 3
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2016-09
ISSN 2210-4224
Keyword(s) Baking industry
Multifactor productivity
Labour productivity
Productivity trap
Sustainability transitions
Summary The need for strong productivity growth is a prominent feature of economic policy debates in Australia. Using the productivity trap concept, this viewpoint explores how in some circumstances the pursuit of productivity growth is a barrier to effective sustainability transitions. This is illustrated by a case study of the Australian baking industry, where the increased market share of small-scale artisan bakers vis-à-vis industrial bakers has recently led to an overall decline in productivity across the baking sector. Although artisan bakers produce more nutritious products and have the potential to significantly increase the energy efficiency of their operations, their labour productivity is half that of their industrial counterparts. Whilst this is good for employment, public health and the environment, artisan bakers have been denigrated as a ‘drain on productivity’. This case study illustrates the potential role of low-productivity goods and services in a sustainability transition in Australia and other developed countries.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.eist.2015.10.003
Field of Research 149999 Economics not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970114 Expanding Knowledge in Economics
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, Elsevier
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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