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What Explains the Canada-US ICT Investment Gap?

  • Andrew Sharpe

It is widely recognized that machinery and equipment investment intensity is less in Canada than in the United States. What is less well know is that it is information and communications technology (ICT) investment that largely accounts for this gap. The author documents trends in ICT investment in both Canada and the United States and attempts to explain why ICT investment per worker in the Canadian business sector in 2004 was only 45 per cent of that in the US business sector. While no definitive explanation emerges, among the factors he identifies as playing a role are industrial structure, firm size distribution of employment, the price of labour compared to ICT investment goods, and the underestimation of ICT investment in official statistics.

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Article provided by Centre for the Study of Living Standards in its journal International Productivity Monitor.

Volume (Year): 11 (2005)
Issue (Month): (Fall)
Pages: 21-38

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Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:11:y:2005:4
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  1. Andrew Sharpe, 2004. "Ten Productivity Puzzles Facing Researchers," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 9, pages 15-24, Fall.
  2. Lin, Zhengxi & Baldwin, John R., 2001. "Impediments to Advanced Technology Adoption for Canadian Manufacturers," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2001173e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  3. Bruce T. Grimm & Brent R. Moulton & David B. Wasshausen, 2005. "Information-Processing Equipment and Software in the National Accounts," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Capital in the New Economy, pages 363-402 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Silvia Fabiani & Fabiano Schivardi & Sandro Trento, 2005. "ICT adoption in Italian manufacturing: firm-level evidence," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 225-249, April.
  5. Elad Gafni, 2005. "The Diffusion and Adoption of Advanced Technologies in Canada: An Overview of the Issues," CSLS Research Reports 2005-05, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  6. Someshwar Rao & Jianmin Tang & Weimin Wang, 2004. "Measuring the Canada-U.S. Productivity Gap: Industry Dimensions," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 9, pages 3-14, Fall.
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