The report largely focuses on the supply-side aspects of Bulgaria’s R&D and innovation system, its education delivery, and its labor and product markets, and identifies policy options for their improvement. A companion piece, the Investment Climate Assessment, which is being prepared in parallel, deals with the demand side and, using firm data, identifies the binding constraints to productivity growth from the firm perspective. While there is necessarily some overlap, the two reports together are designed to provide a more comprehensive view of the options to tackle the challenge of boosting productivity.
"What do these results imply for Bulgaria’s convergence? They suggest that convergence is not beyond Bulgaria’s reach, but that the country faces long odds. Bulgaria’s labor productivity has been rising at about 4 percent per year on average since 2000, which does not seem to be that far from the 5 percent per year pace assumed in the convergence scenario in Figure 1.1 above. However, the split of strong GDP growth between growth in productivity and growth in employment has shifted during this period. Early on most of the GDP growth came from a rise in labor productivity, using the existing labor force or even shedding some of it. From 2003 onwards, growth came mainly from a strong expansion in employment with labor productivity "