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Assessing Aggregate Labour Productivity Trends in Canada and the United States: Total Economy versus Business Sector Perspectives

Author

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  • Jeremy Smith

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Abstract

Jeremy Smith of the Centre for the Study of Living Standards looks at the comparability of productivity growth measures in Canada and the United States, and finds that comparisons of aggregate productivity performance are sensitive to whether trends are assessed at the business sector or total economy level. This sensitivity is a result of substantially higher measured non-business sector productivity growth in Canada relative to the United States, which is partially explained by different measurement techniques in the two countries. There is no definitive answer as to which level is preferable for international productivity growth comparisons.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:8:y:2004:5
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    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/ipm/8/smith-e.pdf
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    File URL: http://www.csls.ca/ipm/8/smith-f.pdf
    File Function: version en fran├žais, pp:47-59
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    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. 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, 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.
    4. Dirk Pilat & Paul Schreyer, 2004. "The OECD Productivity Database: An Overview," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 8, pages 59-65, Spring.
    5. Baldwin, John R. & Harchaoui, Tarek, 2002. "Productivity Growth in Canada," Productivity Growth in Canada, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis Division, number stcb6e, March.
    6. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    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 & Andrew Sharpe & Jeremy Smith, 2005. "An Analysis of the Labour Productivity Growth Slowdown in Canada since 2000," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 10, pages 3-23, Spring.
    4. Don Drummond & Evan Capeluck, 2015. "The Role of Productivity in Long-Term Economic and Fiscal Projections for the Canadian Provinces and Territories, 2014-2038," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 29, pages 3-17, Fall.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labour Productivity; Measurement; Business Sector; Total Economy; Non-business Sector; Output Measurement; Non-marketed Output; Education Output; Imputed Rents;

    JEL classification:

    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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