IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Canada's Productivity Performance in International Perspective


  • Dirk Pilat



Considering the entire 1995-2003 period and compared to all OECD countries, this paper presents the view that Canada has actually performed quite well in terms of labour productivity growth. The author points to two factors that have fostered productivity growth in Canada: a high level of human capital and low barriers to firm creation. The latter facilitates creative destruction by allowing new firms to challenge existing firms and force less productive firms out of the market. Canada also appears to have benefited from innovation driven by ICT use and related organizational change, especially in the service sector. One weakness highlighted is innovative capacity, as Canada generally lags most other countries in terms of R&D intensity and patents.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Pilat, 2005. "Canada's Productivity Performance in International Perspective," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 10, pages 24-44, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:10:y:2005:2

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    File Function: version en français
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Conway & Véronique Janod & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2005. "Product Market Regulation in OECD Countries: 1998 to 2003," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 419, OECD Publishing.
    2. Andrea Bassanini & Stefano Scarpetta, 2001. "Does Human Capital Matter for Growth in OECD Countries?: Evidence from Pooled Mean-Group Estimates," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 282, OECD Publishing.
    3. Nadim Ahmad & François Lequiller & Pascal Marianna & Dirk Pilat & Paul Schreyer & Anita Wölfl, 2003. "Comparing Labour Productivity Growth in the OECD Area: The Role of Measurement," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2003/14, OECD Publishing.
    4. Dominique Guellec & Bruno van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2003. "R&D and Productivity Growth: Panel Data Analysis of 16 OECD Countries," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2001(2), pages 103-126.
    5. Statistics Canada, 2004. "Industrial Competition, Shifts in Market Share and Productivity Growth," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2004021e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    6. Haltiwanger, John & Jarmin, Ron & Schank, Thorsten, 2003. "Productivity, investment in ICT and market experimentation: micro evidence from Germany und the US," Discussion Papers 19, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    7. Alain de Serres, 2003. "Structural Policies and Growth: A Non-Technical Overview," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 355, OECD Publishing.
    8. Nadim Ahmad, 2003. "Measuring Investment in Software," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2003/6, OECD Publishing.
    9. Gust, Christopher & Marquez, Jaime, 2004. "International comparisons of productivity growth: the role of information technology and regulatory practices," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 33-58, February.
    10. Nicola Brandt, 2004. "Business Dynamics in Europe," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2004/1, OECD Publishing.
    11. Danny Leung, 2004. "The Effect of Adjustment Costs and Organizational Change on Productivity in Canada: Evidence from Aggregate Data," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 9, pages 52-61, Fall.
    12. Dirk Pilat & Paul Schreyer, 2004. "The OECD Productivity Database: An Overview," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 8, pages 59-65, Spring.
    13. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2007. "Information Technology and the G7 Economies," NBER Chapters,in: Hard-to-Measure Goods and Services: Essays in Honor of Zvi Griliches, pages 325-350 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Centre for the Study of Living Standards, 2005. "What Explains the Canada-US ICT Investment Intensity Gap?," CSLS Research Reports 2005-06, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    2. Marcello M. Estevão & Evridiki Tsounta, 2010. "Canada's Potential Growth; Another Victim of the Crisis?," IMF Working Papers 10/13, International Monetary Fund.

    More about this item


    Labour Productivity; Productivity; Productivity Growth; Investment; Information Technology; Information and Communication Technologies; Canada; United States; R&D; Productivity Comparisons; OECD;

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:10:y:2005:2. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (CSLS). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.