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Lagging Behind: Productivity and the Good Fortune of Canadian Provinces

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Author Info

  • Serge Coulombe

    (University of Ottawa)

Abstract

The good fortune of bountiful natural resources is not enough to ensure rising incomes for Canadians in the long term. Growing labour productivity is the most important determinant of future economic welfare and on that measure, Canada is falling behind its major trading partners. Increasing labour productivity does not mean workers working harder for less money, a common canard. It means more investment in one of three factors: 1) human capital (education or other learning); 2) physical capital (plants or other infrastructure); or 3) technology. Just as an individual’s income is in the long-run dependent on how productive he or she is, so too is that of the nation as a whole. If Canada fails to improve its productivity, the incomes of both individual Canadians and the nation as a whole will fall behind those of other developed countries.

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File URL: http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/Commentary_331.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by C.D. Howe Institute in its journal C.D. Howe Institute Commentary.

Volume (Year): (2011)
Issue (Month): 331 (June)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:cdh:commen:331

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Related research

Keywords: Economic Growth and innovation; Canadian provinces; labour productivity;

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References

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  1. Lee, F.C. & Coulombe, S., 1993. "Regional Productivity Convergence in Canada," Working Papers 9318e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  2. Svensson, Lars E O, 1986. " On the Intergenerational Allocation of Natural Resources: Comment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 153-55.
  3. Coulombe, S., 2000. "New Evidence of Convergence Across Canadian Provinces: the Role of Urbanization," Working Papers 0002e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  4. Maudos, Joaqui­n & Pastor, José Manuel & Serrano, Lorenzo, 2008. "Explaining the US-EU productivity growth gap: Structural change vs. intra-sectoral effect," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 311-313, August.
  5. Serge Coulombe & Jean-François Tremblay, 2007. "Skills, Education, And Canadian Provincial Disparity," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(5), pages 965-991.
  6. Kohli, Ulrich, 2004. "Real GDP, real domestic income, and terms-of-trade changes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 83-106, January.
  7. Leslie Shiell & Colin Busby, 2008. "Greater Saving Required: Ahow Alberta Can Achieve Fiscal Sustainability from its Resource Revenues," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 263, May.
  8. Paul Cashin & C. John McDermott, 2001. "The Long-Run Behavior of Commodity Prices," IMF Working Papers 01/68, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Sachs, Jeffrey D. & Warner, Andrew M., 2001. "The curse of natural resources," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 827-838, May.
  10. Serge Coulombe & Frank C. Lee, 1995. "Convergence across Canadian Provinces, 1961 to 1991," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4a), pages 886-98, November.
  11. John Hartwick, 1976. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," Working Papers 220, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  12. Maler, Karl-Goran, 1986. " On the Intergenerational Allocation of Natural Resources: Comment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 151-52.
  13. Pritchett, Lant, 2000. " The Tyranny of Concepts: CUDIE (Cumulated, Depreciated, Investment Effort) Is Not Capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 361-84, December.
  14. Coulombe, S., 2000. "New Evidence of Convergence Across Canadian Provinces: the Role of Urbanization," Working Papers 0002e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  15. Solow, Robert M, 1986. " On the Intergenerational Allocation of Natural Resources," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 141-49.
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Cited by:
  1. Michel Beine & Serge Coulombe & Wessel N. Vermeulen, 2012. "Dutch Disease and the Mitigation Effect of Migration: Evidence from Canadian Provinces," CESifo Working Paper Series 3813, CESifo Group Munich.

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