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Benchmarking Canada's Economic Performance

Author

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  • Jean-Philippe Cotis

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Philippe Cotis, 2006. "Benchmarking Canada's Economic Performance," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 13, pages 3-20, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:13:y:2006:1
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    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/ipm/13/IPM-13-cotis-e.pdf
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    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/ipm/13/IPM-13-cotis-f.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Romain Duval, 2004. "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.
    2. Romina Boarini & Åsa Johansson & Marco Mira d'Ercole, 2006. "Alternative Measures of Well-Being," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 476, OECD Publishing.
    3. Romina Boarini & Åsa Johansson & Marco Mira d'Ercole, 2006. "Alternative Measures of Well-Being," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 33, OECD Publishing.
    4. 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.
    5. Baldwin, John R. & Maynard, Jean-Pierre & Wong, Fanny, 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 Division.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Conway & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2007. "Product Market Regulation and Productivity Convergence: OECD Evidence and Implications for Canada," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 15, pages 3-24, Fall.
    2. Petr Hanel, 2007. "Skills required for innovation: A review of the literature," Cahiers de recherche 07-23, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    3. Andrew Sharpe, 2007. "Three Policies to Improve Productivity Growth in Canada," CSLS Research Reports 2007-05, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Canada's economic performance; GDP per capita; Productivity gap; Proxy; Taxation of capital; Restrictive regulations.;

    JEL classification:

    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • P52 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Studies of Particular Economies
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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