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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Someshwar Rao & Jianmin Tang & Weimin Wang, 2008. "What Explains the Canada-US Labour Productivity Gap?," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 34(2), pages 163-192, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:34:y:2008:i:2:p:163-192
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3138/cpp.34.2.163
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. repec:lsu:lsuwpp:2003-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. John Duffy & Chris Papageorgiou & Fidel Perez-Sebastian, 2004. "Capital-Skill Complementarity? Evidence from a Panel of Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 327-344, February.
    4. 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.
    5. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
    6. Baldwin, John R. & Maynard, Jean-Pierre & Tanguay, Marc & Wong, Fanny & 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.
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    Citations

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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. Alexander Bilson Darku & Stavroula Malla & Kien C. Tran, 2016. "Sources and Measurement of Agricultural Productivity and Efficiency in Canadian Provinces: Crops and Livestock," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 64(1), pages 49-70, March.
    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. Malick Souare & Boxi Zhou, 2016. "Foreign-affiliate presence and skilled labour demand," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 233-254, April.
    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.
    6. 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.
    7. Marcello M. Estevão & Evridiki Tsounta, 2010. "Canada's Potential Growth; Another Victim of the Crisis?," IMF Working Papers 10/13, International Monetary Fund.

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