CapX: The pre-school solution to our productivity problem

As nations come to terms with fragile growth in the so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution”, the importance of productivity has been brought sharply into focus. The OBR’s gloomy forecast illustrated the extent of the UK’s problems, but we are by no means alone. To varying degrees, nations all over the world – rich and poor ­– are grappling with similar challenges.

But while governments and businesses struggle to work out how to stay ahead of the curve, they could be missing something far more basic and fundamental. No matter how new technologies transform the global economy, people will remain essential. And the productivity, skills, and brain power of those people are determined by their development as infants – especially in their first 1,000 days, from birth to the age of two.

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