Labor productivity growth in the United States and other developed countries slowed from 1.9% in the 1990s to 1.3% from 2000 to 2008, coinciding with slackening growth in their per capita GDP.

Productivity growth in the world's developed economies since 2000 has been slower than in developing economies, according to the National Science Board. Faster productivity growth is critical as these nations cope with increasing numbers of retirees. And innovation, including the development and adoption of new technologies, is critical in spurring productivity. And, in contrast to what the conventional neoclassical economic doctrine holds, markets alone will produce societal sub-optimal levels of innovation.