average measure of the efficiency of production

Productivity is an average measure of the efficiency of production. It can be expressed as the ratio of output to inputs used in the production process, i.e. output per unit of input. When all outputs and inputs are included in the productivity measure it is called total productivity.

Labour productivity levels in 2012 in Europe.
CONTENT : A - F , G - L , M - R , S - Z , See also , External links


Quotes are arranged alphabetically by author

A - F

  • This decade holds many changes for the United States, but the greatest needs regarding America's productivity in the 1990s, are better education and employee training.
    • Gregory Balestrero, "American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society for Integrated Manufacturing," Manufacturing Review v.3 no. 1-3 (1990). p. 131.
  • The last chapter modeled technological progress as an increase in the number of types of products, N. In this chapter, we allow for improvements in the quality or productivity of each type. This approach has come to be known as the Schumpeterian approach to endogenous growth. We can think of increases in N as basic innovations that amount to dramatically new kinds of goods or methods of production. In contrast, increases in the quality of the existing products involve a continuing series of improvements and refinements of goods and techniques.
  • The unremitting division of labour resulted in admirable levels of productivity. The company’s success appeared to bear out the principles of efficiency laid down at the turn of the twentieth century by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who theorized that a society would grow wealthy to the extent that its members forfeited general knowledge in favour of fostering individual ability in narrowly constricted fields. In an ideal Paretan economy, jobs would be ever more finely subdivided to allow for the accumulation of complex skills, which would then be traded among workers. … But however great the economic advantages of segmenting the elements of an afternoon’s work into a range of forty-year-long careers, there was reason to wonder about the unintended side effects of doing so. In particular, one felt tempted to ask … how meaningful the lives might feel as a result.
    • Alain de Botton, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (2009), pp. 76-77; describing a biscuit manufacturer in
  • In the industrial mode of development, the main source of productivity lies in the introduction of new energy sources, and in the ability to decentralize the use of energy throughout the production of circulation processes. In the new informational mode of development the source of productivity lies in the technology of knowledge generation, information processing and symbolic … what is specific to the informational mode of development is the action of knowledge upon knowledge itself as the main source of productivity... in a virtuous circle of interaction
  • Multi-unit business enterprise replaced small traditional enterprise when administrative coordination permitted greater productivity, lower costs, and higher profits than coordination by market mechanisms.
  • The adverse impact on development productivity of requiring programmers to navigate along access paths to reach target data [...] was enormous. In addition, it was not possible to make slight changes in the layout in storage without simultaneously having to revise all programs that relied on the previous structure. [...] As a result, far too much manpower was being invested in continual (and avoidable) maintenance of application programs.
    • E. F. Codd "Relational Database: A Practical Foundation for Productivity (1982)," Communications of the ACM, Vol. 25 (2), (February 1982): p. 109-117.
  • Relational processing entails treating whole relationships as operands. Its primary purpose is loop-avoidance, an absolute requirement for end users to be productive at all, and a clear productivity booster for application programmers.
    • E. F. Codd "Relational Database: A Practical Foundation for Productivity (1982)," Communications of the ACM, Vol. 25 (2), (February 1982): p. 109-117.
  • In Europe and in America, people are now more interested in the cost of quality and in systems of quality-audit. But in Japan, we are keeping very strong interest to improve quality by use of methods which you started....when we improve quality we also improve productivity, just as you told us in 1950 would happen.
  • Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.
  • The free market system is implied, Hayek felt, by his ontology in order to attain maximum human productivity, the highest standard of living for all—the utilitarian-liberal-socialist-communist-libertarian goal. The division and paucity of individual knowledge renders a market economy necessary for optimal economic productivity. The utilization and communication of information and knowledge are critical.
    • Alan Ebenstein, Hayek's Journey: The Mind of Friedrich Hayek (2003), Ch. 10. Epistemology, Psychology, and Methodology

G - L

  • Modernized poverty appears when the intensity of market dependence reaches a certain threshold. Subjectively, it is the experience of frustrating affluence which occurs in persons mutilated by their overwhelming reliance on the riches of industrial productivity. Simply, it deprives those affected by it of their freedom and power to act autonomously, to live creatively; it confines them to survival through being plugged into market relations.
  • The skills and productivity of American Workers, not to mention the taxes they pay, are the greatest economic resource our country has. To condemn large numbers of them to unemployment, to deprive the Treasury of their tax contributions and to force them to live on unemployment at public expense is the most expensive luxury any society ever chose to buy.
    • Lane Kirkland; Cited in The AFL-CIO American Federationist, Vols. 84-86 (1977), p. 4.

M - R

  • But when we come to the fundamental point—and this is the one you are getting at—it is very simply this: Unless the United States is prepared to build a wall around itself, we have to compete with other nations in the world. Now in order to compete with other nations in the world, we, who pay by far the highest wages in the world, have to be more productive than other people in the world, and that means that we can't afford work stoppages that are too long.
    • Richard Nixon, April 20, 1972, as quoted in Historic Documents of 1972. Washington, DC: CQ Press.
  • As a result of this continuous improvement of productivity through the division of labor and technical advancement, one hour's labor today is worth about 25 times more than it was in the mid-19th century [....] Growth and productivity alone are capable of raising real wages in the long run.
  • Suppose that, at a given moment, a certain number of people are engaged in the manufacture of pins. They make as many pins as the world needs, working (say) eight hours a day. Someone makes an invention by which the same number of men can make twice as many pins: pins are already so cheap that hardly any more will be bought at a lower price. In a sensible world, everybody concerned in the manufacturing of pins would take to working four hours instead of eight, and everything else would go on as before. But in the actual world this would be thought demoralizing. The men still work eight hours, there are too many pins, some employers go bankrupt, and half the men previously concerned in making pins are thrown out of work. There is, in the end, just as much leisure as on the other plan, but half the men are totally idle while half are still overworked. In this way, it is insured that the unavoidable leisure shall cause misery all round instead of being a universal source of happiness.

S - Z

  • The reality is that business and investment spending are the true leading indicators of the economy and the stock market. If you want to know where the stock market is headed, forget about consumer spending and retail sales figures. Look to business spending, price inflation, interest rates, and productivity gains.
    • Mark Skousen; in: The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty, Vol. 60, Nr. 3-10 (2010). p. 7
  • Coal being then the chief source of power, much industrial reconstruction depended on there being a plentiful and cheap supply. But the newly nationalized industry was not doing well. Productivity failed to increase in step with increases in mechanization.
    • Eric Trist, The evolution of socio-technical systems, (1981) p. 7

See also

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