Canada's Recent Productivity Record and Capital Accumulation
In this article, Someshwar Rao, Jiamin Tang and Weimin Wang of Industry Canada examine the impact of capital accumulation on Canada's recent productivity record. A key finding is that the widening of the Canada-U.S. labour productivity gap in both the business sector and in manufacturing in the second half of the 1990s was largely due to the widening of the capital intensity gap between the two countries. Indeed, the authors find that in the business sector multifactor productivity growth in the two countries was virtually identical at around 2 per cent per year in the 1995-2000 period. This situation is explained by the marked slowdown in the pace of capital intensity growth in Canada after 1995. This development reflected the increased cost of capital relative to labour in Canada, in turn the result of higher prices for investment goods because of the depreciation of the Canadian dollar and low wage increases due to high unemployment. With the recent appreciation of the Canadian dollar and the expected decline in unemployment, the authors project in the medium-term a narrowing of Canada's capital intensity gap with the United States and hence a reduction in the labour productivity gap.
Volume (Year): 7 (2003)
Issue (Month): (Fall)
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