The Netherlands’ earning capacity

The WRR presented its latest report, Towards a learning economy. Investing in the earning capacity of the Netherlands (Naar een lerende economie. Investeren in het verdienvermogen van Nederland) on 4 November.

Earning capacity in the longer term

In the report, the WRR argues that more attention needs to be given to the earning capacity of the Netherlands. In recent years Dutch economic policy has focused primarily on macroeconomic issues such as the national debt and inflation. This was necessary in order to deal with the financial crisis and the euro crisis, but the need is now becoming pressing to turn attention to the institutions and social structures that determine the nation's earning capacity in the longer term. There are signs that both the financial crisis and the euro crisis have entered calmer waters, but that does not guarantee steady growth for the Dutch economy over the coming decades. To ensure that, the Dutch economy would have to be capable of constantly adapting to new global circumstances and of responding to new opportunities. The Netherlands can no longer use monetary policy as a distinguishing feature, since that policy is now created in Frankfurt, and the same applies for fiscal policy, which is increasingly set in Brussels. What the Netherlands can do, however, is invest in good training, good people and resilient institutions.


The WRR formulates a number of recommendations based on more than two hundred interviews with experts in the Netherlands, case studies in a number of other countries which involved discussions with a further six hundred people and an extensive study of the available literature.

The report was presented to the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.