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Dissecting France’s productivity performance

  • French productivity has outperformed its peers on the output per hour measure against a backdrop of high and persistent unemployment.
  • France has long struggled with high unemployment. This is, in part, a consequence of the high levels of protection afforded to permanent employees in France’s dual labour market.
  • Perhaps because these high levels of protection raise the relative price of labour, France has tended to spend more than other countries on fixed capital, boosting output per hour or per worker, but not output per capita.
  • President Macron’s proposals include a pledge to cut employment protection legislation: unequivocally good for France, particularly if he retains already high levels of education spending…

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