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Lagging Behind: Productivity and the Good Fortune of Canadian Provinces

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  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Serge Coulombe, 2011. "Lagging Behind: Productivity and the Good Fortune of Canadian Provinces," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 331, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdh:commen:331
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    File URL: https://www.cdhowe.org/public-policy-research/lagging-behind-productivity-and-good-fortune-canadian-provinces
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    3. Pritchett, Lant, 2000. "The Tyranny of Concepts: CUDIE (Cumulated, Depreciated, Investment Effort) Is Not Capital," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(4), pages 361-384, December.
    4. Paul Cashin & C. John McCDermott, 2002. "The Long-Run Behavior of Commodity Prices: Small Trends and Big Variability," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 49(2), pages 1-2.
    5. Serge Coulombe, 2000. "New Evidence of Convergence Across Canadian Provinces: The Role of Urbanization," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(8), pages 713-725.
    6. Leslie Shiell & Colin Busby, 2008. "Greater Saving Required: How Alberta Can Achieve Fiscal Sustainability from its Resource Revenues," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 263, May.
    7. Lee, F.C. & Coulombe, S., 1993. "Regional Productivity Convergence in Canada," Working Papers 9318e, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
    8. Serge Coulombe & Frank C. Lee, 1995. "Convergence across Canadian Provinces, 1961 to 1991," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(4a), pages 886-898, November.
    9. 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.
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    12. Serge Coulombe & Jean-François Tremblay, 2007. "Skills, Education, And Canadian Provincial Disparity," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(5), pages 965-991.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michel Beine & Serge Coulombe & Wessel N. Vermeulen, 2015. "Dutch Disease and the Mitigation Effect of Migration: Evidence from Canadian Provinces," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(589), pages 1574-1615, December.
    2. Jean Dubé & Mario Polèse, 2015. "Resource Curse and Regional Development: Does Dutch Disease Apply to Local Economies? Evidence from Canada," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 38-57, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic Growth and innovation; Canadian provinces; labour productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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