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Productivity Trends in the Construction Sector in Canada: A Case of Lagging Technical Progress

Author

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  • Andrew Sharpe

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Abstract

The productivity performance of the construction sector in Canada over the last quarter century has been dismal, with output per hour lower in 2000 than in 1977. In this article Andrew Sharpe from the Centre for the Study of Living Standards examines productivity trends in this sector and discusses possible factors behind this situation. He notes that two drivers of productivity growth, capital per worker and the skills level of the workforce as represented by educational attainment, have improved markedly in the construction sector in recent years. He explains the stagnation of labour productivity growth despite these favourable trends by a lack of technical progress in the construction sector and, to a lesser extent, measurement problems which underestimate productivity growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Sharpe, 2001. "Productivity Trends in the Construction Sector in Canada: A Case of Lagging Technical Progress," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 3, pages 52-68, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:3:y:2001:5
    as

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    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/ipm/3/sharpe-e.pdf
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    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/ipm/3/sharpe-f.pdf
    File Function: version en francais, pp:55-72
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Timothy C. Sargent & Edgard R. Rodriguez, 2000. "Labour or Total Factor Productivity: Do We Need to Choose?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 1, pages 41-44, Fall.
    2. Allen, Steven G, 1985. "Why Construction Industry Productivity Is Declining," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 661-669, November.
    3. Richard G. Lipsey & Kenneth Carlaw, 2000. "What Does Total Factor Productivity Measure?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 1, pages 31-40, Fall.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bian, Timothy Yang & Gete, Pedro, 2015. "What drives housing dynamics in China? A sign restrictions VAR approach," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 96-112.
    2. Ben Dolman & Dean Parham & Simon Zheng, 2007. "Can Australia Match US Productivity Performance?," Staff Working Papers 0703, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia.
    3. Mohamed Abdel-Wahab & Bernard Vogl, 2011. "Trends of productivity growth in the construction industry across Europe, US and Japan," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(6), pages 635-644.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Construction; Construction Sector; Canada; Trends; Productivity; Productivity Drivers; Drivers; Capital; Skill; Education; Improvement; Technical Progress; Measurement; Output; Employment; Growth; Labor Productivity; Labour; TFP; Total Factor Productivity; Aggregate Demand; Measurement; Measurement Errors; Capital-Labor Ratio;

    JEL classification:

    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L74 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Construction
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

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