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As nations engage in a race for global advantage in innovation, ITIF champions a new policy paradigm that ensures businesses and national economies can compete successfully by spurring public and private investment in foundational areas such as research, skills, and 21st century infrastructure. Our research on productivity issues analyzes past, present, and future trends in productivity, and advances policies to drive robust productivity growth, including through tech-based automation.


The Enterprise Automation Imperative—Why Modern Societies Will Need All the Productivity They Can Get

The Enterprise Automation Imperative—Why Modern Societies Will Need All the Productivity They Can Get

Contrary to common belief, enterprise automation is not a cause for alarm, but instead a societal imperative. Modern nations will need all the productivity they can get to address today’s ever-more-resource-constrained challenges.

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September 18, 2023|Blogs

R&D Spending During WWII Spurred a Sustained Wave of Innovation That Lasted Through the 1970s

A recent study highlights the critical role the U.S. government played in financing and developing patented technologies coming out of regional technology clusters.

September 5, 2023|Blogs

Chinese Manufacturers Use 12 Times More Robots Than U.S. Manufacturers When Controlling for Wages

The implications of this should be clear. The only way for the United States to compete with dollar-adjusted lower manufacturing wages in China is for manufacturers in America to be more productive—and automation, including robotics, is the key way to do that.

September 5, 2023|Blogs

Fact of the Week: Increasing Investment in Capital and Automation Would Help, Rather Than Hurt, Manufacturing Workers

A recent study found that there is a positive relationship between investment in automation and employment, and the relationship is even stronger for industries that experience greater competition from abroad.

August 7, 2023|Blogs

Fact of the Week: Engineers and Other Technical Workers Raise Firm-Level Productivity by 4 to 5 Percent

In a recent working paper, authors found that engineers and other technical workers raise firm-level productivity by 4 to 5 percent more than otherwise expected without the employment of techies in a year.

July 14, 2023|Blogs

Supporting Robotics Adoption in Logistics Facilities Will Increase Productivity and Create Safer Jobs

Given the benefits of automation in logistics facilities, policymakers should enact legislation that provides warehousing and storage companies with the resources they need to innovate and incorporate robots into their operations, supports workers throughout job transitions, and promotes resiliency in U.S. supply chains.

July 10, 2023|Blogs

Fact of the Week: Customer Support Agents Using an AI GPT Tool Saw a Nearly 14 Percent Increase in Productivity

A recent paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research found customer support agents using an AI tool to guide their conversations saw a nearly 14 percent increase in productivity.

July 5, 2023|Blogs

Fact of the Week: Government R&D Appropriations Account for About One-Quarter of Business-Sector TFP Growth Since World War II

Government R&D accounted for about one-quarter, on average, of a business sector’s TFP growth since World War II.

June 27, 2023|Blogs

Productivity Growth Still Benefits American Workers; Saying It Doesn’t Reduces Support for Technological Innovation

For virtually our entire history, Americans have supported increased productivity, even as it led to some worker displacement, because they have understood that productivity is the sin quo non of increased wages and living standards. Unfortunately, a dangerous myth has emerged over the last decade that productivity and wage growth are decoupled.

June 26, 2023|Reports & Briefings

Why Policymakers Should Support Robotic Automation to Solve the Productivity Crunch in Logistics Facilities

As consumers continue to buy more goods online, logistics facilities will face greater demand to deliver goods across the country in a timely manner. Policymakers should promote robotic adoption and innovation to improve labor productivity, worker safety, delivery times, and supply chain resiliency.

June 9, 2023|Blogs

Taxing Robots Would Hurt, Not Help, American Workers

A robot tax is a misguided policy that would inhibit productivity growth that could otherwise make U.S. companies more competitive, create higher-paying jobs, and improve quality of life for all Americans.

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