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Fiscal Policy Can Raise Both Employment and Productivity

Author

Listed:
  • William Scarth

Abstract

According to the conventional wisdom, we face a trade-off between our equity and efficiency objectives. The author challenges this proposition. He shows in a rigorous manner that employment subsidies can indeed lead to lower unemployment and higher productivity growth in a standard economic model. This finding is particularly timely given the announcement by the Canadian government in the November 2005 Economic and Fiscal Update of a Working Income Tax Benefit. The author approvingly notes that this initiative suggests that the government may be starting to appreciate the pro-growth benefits of simultaneously addressing structural unemployment and inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • William Scarth, 2005. "Fiscal Policy Can Raise Both Employment and Productivity," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 11, pages 39-46, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:11:y:2005:5
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 120-125, May.
    2. Osberg, L., 1995. "The Equity/Efficiency Trade-Off in Retrospect," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive 95-04, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
    3. R. G. Lipsey & Kelvin Lancaster, 1956. "The General Theory of Second Best," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 11-32.
    4. Michelle Alexopoulos, 2003. "Growth and unemployment in a shirking efficiency wage model," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 36(3), pages 728-746, August.
    5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Productivity; Productivity Growth; Equity; Efficicency; Fiscal Policy; Employment Subsidies; Unemployment; Employment; Working Income Tax Benefit; Economic and Fiscal Update; Canada; Inequality; Structural Unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy
    • J38 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Public Policy

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