IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/sls/ipmsls/v6y20032.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Why are Americans More Productive than Canadians?

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew Sharpe

    ()

Abstract

Historically, per capita income in the United States has exceeded those in Canada and this difference has reflected higher labour productivity levels south of the 49th parallel. In this article, Andrew Sharpe of the Centre for the Study of Living Standards provides estimates of the size of the gap in aggregate labour productivity between the United States and Canada and discuss possible explanation of the gap. He points out that based on average weekly hours estimates from the U.S. household survey, total economy output per hour in Canada in 2002 was 89 per cent of the U.S. level, compared to 81 per cent using estimates from the establishment survey. Sharpe concludes that the Canada-U.S. aggregate labour productivity gap reflects Canada's lower capital intensity of production, an innovation gap manifested by lower R&D expenditure, a smaller and less dynamic high tech sector, less developed human capital at the top end of the labour market, and more limited economies of scale and scope.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:6:y:2003:2
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/ipm/6/sharpe-e.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/ipm/6/sharpe-f.pdf
    File Function: version en francais, pp:29-45
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jeffrey I. Bernstein & Richard G. Harris & Andrew Sharpe, 2002. "The Widening Canada-US Productivity Gap in Manufaturing," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 5, pages 3-22, Fall.
    2. Someshwar Rao & Jianmin Tang & Weimin Wang, 2002. "The Importance of Skills for Innovation and Productivity," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 4, pages 15-26, Spring.
    3. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    4. Someshwar Rao & Ashfaq Ahmad & William Horsman & Phaedra Kaptein-Russell, 2001. "The Importance of Innovation for Productivity," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 2, pages 11-18, Spring.
    5. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, "undated". "The Productivity of Nations," Working Papers 96012, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    6. Baldwin, John R. & Jarmin , Ron S. & Tang, Jianmin, 2002. "The Trend to Smaller Producers in Manufacturing: A Canada/U.S. Comparison," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2002003e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    7. Martin Neil Baily & Robert M. Solow, 2001. "International Productivity Comparisons Built from the Firm Level," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 151-172, Summer.
    8. Dachraoui, Kais & Harchaoui, Tarek, 2003. "A Frontier Approach to Canada-U.S. Multifactor Productivity Performance," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2003010e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    9. Jeremy Smith, 2003. "International Productivity Comparisons: An Examination of Data Sources," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 6, pages 64-71, Spring.
    10. Andrew Sharpe, 2002. "Productivity Concepts, Trends And Prospects: An Overview," The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress,in: Andrew Sharpe, Executive Director & France St-Hilaire, Vice-President , Research & Keith Banting, Di (ed.), The Review of Economic Performance and Social Progress 2002: Towards a Social Understanding of Productivity, volume 2 Centre for the Study of Living Standards;The Institutute for Research on Public Policy.
    11. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2010. "The Index of Economic Well-Being," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(4), pages 25-42.
    12. W. Erwin Diewert, 2003. "Measuring Capital," NBER Working Papers 9526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Jianmin Tang & Frank C. Lee, 2000. "Productivity Levels and International Competitiveness between Canadian and U.S. Industries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 176-179, May.
    14. Osberg, Lars & Sharpe, Andrew, 2002. "An Index of Economic Well-Being for Selected OECD Countries," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(3), pages 291-316, September.
    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:mes:ijpoec:v:45:y:2016:i:4:p:257-293 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. Someshwar Rao & Jianmin Tang & Weimin Wang, 2003. "Canada's Recent Productivity Record and Capital Accumulation," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 7, pages 24-38, Fall.
    4. Baldwin, John R. & Maynard, Jean-Pierre & Tanguay, Marc & Wong, Fanny & Yan, Beiling, 2005. "Comparaison des niveaux de productivite au Canada et aux Etats-Unis : etude de certains aspects de la mesure," Serie de documents de recherche sur l'analyse economique (AE) 2005028f, Statistics Canada, Direction des etudes analytiques.
    5. 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.
    6. Heisz, Andrew & Larochelle-Cote, Sebastien, 2007. "Understanding Regional Differences in Work Hours," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2007293e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    7. Jeremy Smith, 2004. "Aggregate Labour Productivity Growth in Canada and the United States: Definitions, Trends and Measurement Issues," CSLS Research Reports 2004-04, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    8. Centre for the Study of Living Standards, 2005. "What Explains the Canada-US ICT Investment Intensity Gap?," CSLS Research Reports 2005-06, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    9. Pierre Kohler & Servaas Storm, 2016. "CETA without Blinders: How Cutting “Trade Costs and More” Will Cause Unemployment, Inequality, and Welfare Losses," International Journal of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(4), pages 257-293, October.
    10. Andrew Sharpe, 2004. "Ten Productivity Puzzles Facing Researchers," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 9, pages 15-24, Fall.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Productivity; Canada; United States; Employment; Hours; Hours of Work; Capital; International Comparisons; Purchasing Power Parity; Labour Productivity Gap; Level Gap; Alternative Data Sources;

    JEL classification:

    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • C80 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - General

    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:6:y:2003:2. 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.