Abstract. Labour productivity is one of the key indicators, which dynamics helps to determine whether an economy is efficient and competitive, but most importantly, it allows to evaluate the general state of a society. This research focuses on social factors behind its growth or decline, or those preconditions that deal with the human component of productivity – the direct labour. The drivers of the human capital growth play the leading role in this group of factors, which also includes demography, migration, culture and labour market institutions. Human capital is a driving force of innovative economy, as well as economic and technological development. This has determined how important it is to study all of its components, including public health, quality of education, professional qualification, performance motivation, which are at the focus of this research. Our analysis, based on OECD member states, shows that the labour productivity does not solely depend on whether educational potential and professional qualifications are efficiently employed and improved. To a large extent the labour productivity depends on whether individuals take part in production activity and enjoy it, whether they are engaged in interesting and socially useful work and focus on creating quality products. These attributes are referred to as soft skills. Along with education and additional professional training, they form an invisible part of human capital which is a major prerequisite for the growth of labour productivity. However, high-quality education and prime professional qualifications, as well as efficient state and social institutions could become insignificant in case an individual is incapable to work with maximum performance due to health problems. Although it is hard to quantify health influence on productivity, it is clear that labour and cognitive abilities, psychological resilience and motivation depend on an individual’s physical state and health. Therefore, public health, like knowledge, is a necessary basic component on a country’s path to wellbeing.
Keywords: labour productivity, human capital, education, overeducation, production skills, soft skills, health
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