This event is jointly organised by the Arthur Lewis Lab for Comparative Development (Arthur Lewis Lab Conference #3), The Productivity Institute, and The Manchester School at the University of Manchester.

The conference will take place at the Manchester Alliance Business School.


June 16, 2023

Note: This conference is expected to take place offline only.

Conference title:

Productivity Revolutions: Past and Future

Keynote speakers:

Michela Giorcelli (UCLA) and John Van Reenen (LSE & MIT)

Policy session:

“Is technical progress slowing?”, with Catherine Casson (Manchester), Michela Giorcelli (UCLA), Bart van Ark (Manchester), and John Joseph Wallis (Maryland).

Conference organizers:

Guillaume Blanc, Nuno Palma and Bart van Ark, University of Manchester.

Conference theme:

The conference will focus on long-term productivity change and its implications for growth and development in the past, present, or future. Topics include: technology and innovation; skill formation; management & organisation competencies; international comparisons; sector studies; education and skill formation.

Paper submissions:

We now invite proposals for presentation at the conference (deadline March 31st). We are looking presenters to be a mix of senior and junior scholars, including PhD and postdocs.

You can apply with only a title and abstract using this link. Complete manuscripts or a commitment for a draft paper by the time of the conference have a higher chance to get accepted into the program. A poster session is likely to also take place.  When sending your proposal, please let us know if you are planning to then submit the paper to the special issue of the Manchester School associated with this conference.

Special issue of the Manchester School

A selection of the papers presented will be invited to be submitted for publication as a special issue of the Manchester School. This special issue will have the same title as the conference, i.e. Productivity Revolutions: Past and Future. The papers will be subject to a fast-track refereeing process and a special issue is expected to be released prior to the end of the year. Nuno Palma will serve as guest editor.

Costs and funding:

There will be no conference fee and coffee/tea and lunch will be covered by the organisers. We have also secured some funding for travel and accommodation costs for graduate students who do not have funds from their own institutions.


We suggest Hyatt Regency as the accommodation in-campus, which is next door to the conference venue. For those looking for budget accommodation, we suggest Luther King House.

Social visit

On the day after the conference, there will be an optional visit to Ancoats, followed by lunch at the Curry Mile.


March 31 – deadline to send us a paper proposal

April 14 – we will communicate the accepted proposals (and possibly a waiting list)

April 28 – program will be posted

May 1 – registration opens