Over the past couple of decades there have been surges in productivity in a number of countries, in particular in the UK under the Thatcher government. Explanations of these changes have not been satisfactory. This book examines, for the first time, the data relating to these changes at an individual establishment level in a number of countries throughout the world. Using a variety of the most up-to-date methods of analysis, the contributors show that there is no single simple explanation. Changes in competitive conditions, skills, innovation and the growth of small firms all have their part to play, as does the widespread closure of the least productive establishments.