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The great Canadian slump: a rejoinder to Freedman and Macklem


  • Pierre Fortin


In this rejoinder the key role played by high interest rates in the Canadian economic and fiscal crisis of 1990-96 is reaffirmed. I argue that (i) important econometric biases could have led many to underestimate the effects of high interest rates on output; (ii) it is imprudent to conduct monetary policy as if the long-run Phillips curve was sure to be vertical at very low inflation rates; (iii) supply-side explanations of the Canadian slump of the 1990s are hard to reconcile with existing macroeconomic evidence; and (iv) during sustained slumps, popular smoothing techniques lead to substantial underestimates of potential output and the structural fiscal balance.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Fortin, 1999. "The great Canadian slump: a rejoinder to Freedman and Macklem," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1082-1092, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:32:y:1999:i:4:p:1082-1092

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hong Hwang & Chao-Cheng Mai, 1991. "Optimum Discriminatory Tariffs under Oligopolistic Competition," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 24(3), pages 693-702, August.
    2. Paul Klemperer, 1995. "Competition when Consumers have Switching Costs: An Overview with Applications to Industrial Organization, Macroeconomics, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 515-539.
    3. To, Theodore, 1994. "Export subsidies and oligopoly with switching costs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1-2), pages 97-110, August.
    4. Bhagwati, Jagdish N. & Brecher, Richard A. & Dinopoulos, Elias & Srinivasan, T. N., 1987. "Quid pro quo foreign investment and welfare : A political-economy-theoretic model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 127-138, October.
    5. Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1986. "Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy Under Oligopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 383-406.
    6. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Foreign Investment with Endogenous Protection," NBER Working Papers 4876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Choi, Jay Pil, 1995. "Optimal tariffs and the choice of technology Discriminatory tariffs vs. the 'Most Favored Nation' clause," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 143-160, February.
    8. Anderson, James E, 1992. "Domino Dumping, I: Competitive Exporters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 65-83, March.
    9. Gatsios, Konstantine, 1990. "Preferential tariffs and the 'most favoured nation' principle: A note," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3-4), pages 365-373, May.
    10. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1985. "Export subsidies and international market share rivalry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1-2), pages 83-100, February.
    11. Paul Klemperer, 1987. "The Competitiveness of Markets with Switching Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(1), pages 138-150, Spring.
    12. Dick, Andrew R, 1991. "Learning by Doing and Dumping in the Semiconductor Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 133-159, April.
    13. Gruenspecht, Howard K., 1988. "Dumping and dynamic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3-4), pages 225-248, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elizabeth Wakerly & Byron Scott & James Nason, 2006. "Common trends and common cycles in Canada: who knew so much has been going on?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 320-347, February.
    2. Mardi Dungey & John Pitchford, 2001. "An Empirical Analysis of the Effect of Growth on Inflation, Australia, Canada and the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 438, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    3. Rafael Gomez & David K. Foot, 2003. "Age Structure, Income Distribution and Economic Growth," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 29(s1), pages 141-162, January.
    4. Lars Osberg & Zhengxi Lin, 2000. "How Much of Canada's Unemployment is Structural?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 26(s1), pages 141-157, July.
    5. Ron Kneebone & John Leach, 2001. "The Accumulation of Public Debt in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 27(3), pages 297-312, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy


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