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The global financial crisis has had a profound impact on output and productivity in advanced and emerging economies. In response, policymakers around the world have acted boldly with monetary policy, macro-prudential policy and regulation.

Is productivity being held back by financial factors - such as the lack of long term finance for long term investment - or is productivity being held back by real economy factors, such as globalisation and demographics? The recent crisis has also spurred a reassessment of the relationship between the level (and type) of finance and growth. Could weak productivity growth owe in part to wasteful investment spending or an undersupply of financial services? How does the mix of early and late stage financing drive investment and productivity? This conference aims to bring together perspectives on these big questions, as they will provide important guidance for future policy actions.

Emmanuel De Veirman, 07 December 2015

Firms are believed to have more uncertain prospects during recessions, possibly deepening economic downturns. This column argues that the relationship between firm uncertainty and GDP growth is much weaker than is commonly assumed. Further, firms’ prospects were not particularly uncertain during the Great Recession. Lastly, firm-specific uncertainty does not appear to have an important effect on the business cycle.

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