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Benchmarking Canada's Economic Performance

  • Jean-Philippe Cotis
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    While Canada's economic record over the past decade or so is enviable, GDP per capita remains distinctly below US levels, reflecting a sizeable productivity gap. Among the impediments to faster growth are the taxation of capital and restrictive regulations in certain sectors. Canada's experience raises the general question of why it is difficult to implement reforms, even when the barriers to improved performance are known. Peer pressure based on sophisticated benchmarking, as takes place under OECD auspices in the context of the multilateral Going for Growth surveillance, helps overcome some of the political economy hurdles standing in the way of reform. A related issue is whether GDP is a reasonable proxy for well-being, and hence an appropriate metric for policy purposes. It turns out that it is, notwithstanding its shortcomings and even if other indicators need to be considered as well alongside GDP.

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

    Volume (Year): 13 (2006)
    Issue (Month): (Fall)
    Pages: 3-20

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    Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:13:y:2006:1
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    1. Baldwin, John R. & Wong, Fanny & Maynard, Jean-Pierre, 2005. "The Output Gap Between Canada and the United States: The Role of Productivity (1994-2002)," Insights on the Canadian Economy 2005009e, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis.
    2. Romain Duval, 2003. "Retirement Behaviour in OECD Countries: Impact of Old-Age Pension Schemes and other Social Transfer Programmes," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2003(2), pages 7-50.
    3. Alberto Isgut & Lance Bialas & James Milway, 2006. "Explaining Canada-U.S. Differences in Annual Hours Worked," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 13, pages 27-45, Fall.
    4. Romina Boarini & Åsa Johansson & Marco Mira d'Ercole, 2006. "Alternative Measures of Well-Being," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 476, OECD Publishing.
    5. Romina Boarini & Åsa Johansson & Marco Mira d'Ercole, 2006. "Alternative Measures of Well-Being," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 33, OECD Publishing.
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