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What Explains the Canada-US Labour Productivity Gap?

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  • Someshwar Rao
  • Jianmin Tang
  • Weimin Wang

Abstract

This paper analyzes the reasons for the Canada-US labour productivity gap, which is mainly explained by the multifactor productivity (MFP) gap. Based on panel data for 41 industries, the regression results show that differences in the machinery and equipment (M&E) capital-labour ratio, trade openness, and capacity utilization explain differences in the Canada-US MFP gap across industries. The M&E capital intensity gap is the dominant source of the MFP gap. Lower wages, R&D intensity, and skills levels, as well as higher investment goods prices in Canada are the major determinants of the M&E capital intensity gap.

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3138/cpp.34.2.163
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 34 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 163-192

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:34:y:2008:i:2:p:163-192

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  1. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, And The Demand For Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376, February.
  2. Chris Papageorgiou & Fidel Pérez Sebastián & John Duffy, 2002. "Capital-Skill Complementarity? Evidence From A Panel Of Countries," Working Papers. Serie AD 2002-09, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  3. Peter K. Clark, 1993. "Tax Incentives and Equipment Investment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(1), pages 317-347.
  4. Tanguay, Marc & Wong, Fanny & Baldwin, John R. & Maynard, Jean-Pierre & Yan, Beiling, 2005. "A Comparison of Canadian and U.S. Productivity Levels: An Exploration of Measurement Issues," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2005028e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  5. Maurizio Baussola, 2000. "The Causality Between R&D And Investment," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 385-399.
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Cited by:
  1. Someshwar Rao, 2011. "Insights from Latin America for Canada: A Review Article on The Age of Productivity: Transforming Economies from the Bottom Up," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 21, pages 70-81, Spring.
  2. Marcello M. Estevão & Evridiki Tsounta, 2010. "Canada's Potential Growth," IMF Working Papers 10/13, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Peter Nicholson, 2009. "Innovation and Business Strategy: Why Canada Falls Short," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 18, pages 51-71, Spring.
  4. Michelle Alexopoulos & Jon Cohen, 2012. "The Effects of Computer Technologies on the Canadian Economy: Evidence from New Direct Measures," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 23, pages 17-32, Spring.
  5. Malick Souare, 2013. "Productivity growth, trade and FDI nexus: evidence from the Canadian manufacturing sector," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(5), pages 675-698, October.

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