The construction sector produces goods for households and almost any sector in the economy, such as private housing, factories or buildings for government and private sector workers. Critical infrastructure, such as roads, rail and ports, links firms with workers and enables the transport of goods across space. As urbanization rises globally, the construction sector is key to providing adequate housing for these growing urban populations. Despite its critical importance, the construction sector has exhibited poor productivity growth. What might cause this poor productivity growth? What happens when there are distortions in the production of construction sector goods? Given the centrality of the construction sector in production networks, the sector has the potential to affect other productive industries and turn aggregate output.

This master class will discuss the latest trends in construction sector productivity and the impacts of distortions on aggregate output and other productive industries. It will also explore how recent trends such as high interest rates, supply chain uncertainties and high material costs affect output of the construction sector. An efficient construction sector is also critical for climate change. It is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, it plays an important role in reconstructing damaged or destroyed housing and infrastructure after natural disasters and in the construction of sustainable infrastructure. Surprisingly, research on the construction sector in economics is relatively scarce. This master class will also elaborate on why economic research on the construction sector is complex. By distilling insights from the latest research on the construction sector, this master class will shed light on an often overlooked sector that forms the backbone of economies.

Date & Time: 15 March, 9:00 – 10:15
Language: English


Martina Kirchberger