IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/sls/ipmsls/v16y20082.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

An Analysis of the Causes of Weak Labour Productivity Growth in Canada since 2000

Author

Listed:
  • Jean-Francois Arsenault

    ()

  • Andrew Sharpe

    ()

Abstract

Since 2000, business sector labour productivity growth in Canada has averaged 0.95 per cent, 0.60 percentage points below the long-term trend established over the 1973-2000 period (1.55 per cent). In the United States productivity growth has continued to be robust beyond 2000, averaging 2.60 per cent per year. This article argues that Canada’s weak productivity growth since 2000 is temporary, and mostly associated with over-hiring and the adjustment costs of moving from a labour surplus to a labour shortage economy. The concentration of weak productivity growth since 2000 in the goods sector, the sector which shouldered the brunt of the structural adjustment, gives additional credence to this explanation. Moreover, most of the increased Canada-US productivity growth gap since 2000 relates to developments south of the 49th parallel. Given that the state of the factors driving productivity growth has not deteriorated in Canada relative to the United States in recent years, it is unlikely that long-term productivity growth in Canada and the United States have decoupled. Indeed, the current widening opens more room for convergence. Future productivity growth in Canada is likely to revert to its 1973-2000 trend.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Francois Arsenault & Andrew Sharpe, 2008. "An Analysis of the Causes of Weak Labour Productivity Growth in Canada since 2000," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 16, pages 14-39, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:16:y:2008:2
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/ipm/16/IPM-16-arsenault-sharpe-e.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/ipm/16/IPM-16-arsenault-sharpe-f.pdf
    File Function: version en français
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jianmin Tang & Weimin Wang, 2004. "Sources of aggregate labour productivity growth in Canada and the United States," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(2), pages 421-444, May.
    2. Andrew Sharpe, 2003. "Why are Americans More Productive than Canadians?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 6, pages 19-37, Spring.
    3. Andrew Sharpe & Jean-François Arsenault & Simon Lapointe, 2008. "Apprenticeship Issues and Challenges Facing Canadian Manufacturing Industries," CSLS Research Reports 2008-02, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    4. Surendra Gera & Wulong Gu, 2004. "The Effect of Organizational Innovation and Information and Communications Technology on Firm Performance," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 9, pages 37-51, Fall.
    5. Paul Boothe & Richard Roy, 2008. "Business Sector Productivity in Canada: What Do We Know?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 16, pages 3-13, Spring.
    6. Jack M. Mintz, 2007. "2007 Tax Competitiveness Report: A Call for Comprehensive Tax Reform," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 254, September.
    7. Andrew Sharpe, 2004. "Recent Productivity Developments in Canada and the United States: Productivity Growth Deceleration versus Acceleration," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 8, pages 16-26, Spring.
    8. Andrew Sharpe & Celeste Bradley, 2009. "A Detailed Analysis of the Productivity Performance of Mining in Canada," CSLS Research Reports 2009-07, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    9. 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.
    10. Jianmin Tang & Carolyn MacLeod, 2006. "Labour force ageing and productivity performance in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(2), pages 582-603, May.
    11. Andrew Sharpe, 2007. "Three Policies to Improve Productivity Growth in Canada," CSLS Research Reports 2007-05, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    12. Ravi Balakrishnan, 2008. "Canadian Firm and Job Dynamics," IMF Working Papers 08/31, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Jeremy Smith, 2004. "Assessing Aggregate Labour Productivity Trends in Canada and the United States: Total Economy versus Business Sector Perspectives," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 8, pages 47-58, Spring.
    14. Diewert, Erwin, 2008. "Changes in the Terms of Trade and Canada's Productivity Performance," Economics working papers diewert-08-03-11-11-03-49, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 18 Jul 2008.
    15. Richard Dion, 2007. "Interpreting Canada's Productivity Performance in the Past Decade: Lessons from Recent Research," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2007(Summer), pages 19-32.
    16. Richard Dion & Robert Fay, 2008. "Understanding Productivity: A Review of Recent Technical Research," Discussion Papers 08-3, Bank of Canada.
    17. Kaci, Mustapha Maynard, Jean-Pierre, 2005. "Canada/U.S. Labour Productivity Revisions in the Business Sector," Economic Analysis Methodology Paper Series: National Accounts 2005003e, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis Division.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. repec:rnd:arjebs:v:6:y:2014:i:9:p:760-770 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ricardo de Avillez, 2014. "A Detailed Analysis of Productivity Trends in the Canadian Forest Products Sector," CSLS Research Reports 2014-01, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    3. Chris Ross & Alexander Murray, 2010. "Aggregate Measures of Income and Output in Canada and the United States: Implications for Productivity and Living Standards," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 19, pages 20-39, Spring.
    4. John E. Tilton, 2013. "Cyclical and Secular Determinants of Productivity in the Copper, Aluminum, Iron Ore, and Coal Industries," Working Papers 2013-11, Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business.
    5. Andrew Sharpe & Jean-Francois Arsenault & Peter Harrison, 2008. "Why Have Real Wages Lagged Labour Productivity Growth in Canada?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 17, pages 16-27, Fall.
    6. Andrew Sharpe, 2010. "Can Sectoral Reallocations of Labour Explain Canada’s Absymal Productivity Performance?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 19, pages 40-49, Spring.
    7. Chris Ross, 2011. "A Detailed Analysis of the Productivity Performance of the Canadian Food Manufacturing Subsector," CSLS Research Reports 2011-07, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    8. Andrew Sharpe & Alexander Murray, 2011. "State of the Evidence on Health as a Determinant of Productivity," CSLS Research Reports 2011-04, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Canada; Labour Productivity; Economic Growth; Inter-industry shifts; labour demographics.;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • 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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:16:y:2008:2. 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: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cslssca.html .

    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.