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Driving Forces of the Canadian Economy: An Accounting Exercise

  • Simona E. Cociuba
  • Alexander Ueberfeldt

This paper analyses the Canadian economy for the post 1960 period. It uses an accounting procedure developed in Chari, Kehoe, and McGrattan (2006). The procedure identifies accounting factors that help align the predictions of the neoclassical growth model with macroeconomic variables observed in the data. The paper finds that total factor productivity and the consumptionleisure trade-off -- the productivity and labor factors -- are key to understanding the changes in output, labor supply and labor productivity observed in the Canadian economy. The paper performs a decomposition of the labor factor for Canada and the United States. It finds that the decline in the gender wage gap is a major driving force of the decrease in the labor market distortions. Moreover, the milder reduction in the labor market distortions observed in Canada, compared to the US, is due to a relative increase in effective labor taxes in Canada.

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Paper provided by Bank of Canada in its series Staff Working Papers with number 08-14.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:08-14
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  1. V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen McGrattan, 2004. "Business Cycle Accounting," NBER Working Papers 10351, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "The Cyclical Behavior of Prices and Costs," NBER Working Papers 6909, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alan Ahearne & Finn Kydland & Mark A. Wynne, 2006. "Ireland’s Great Depression," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 37(2), pages 215-243.
  4. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott(), 2007. "Great depressions of the twentieth century," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, number 2007gdott.
  5. Ellen R. McGrattan, 1991. "The macroeconomic effects of distortionary taxation," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 37, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Edward C. Prescott, 2004. "Why do Americans work so much more than Europeans?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Jul, pages 2-13.
  7. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
  8. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709, July.
  9. Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "A Century of Labor-Leisure Distortions," NBER Working Papers 8774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Charles T. Carlstrom & Timothy S. Fuerst, 1996. "Agency costs, net worth, and business fluctuations: a computable general equilibrium analysis," Working Paper 9602, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  11. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2003. "Why are married women working so much?," Staff Report 317, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Timothy Kehoe & Edward Prescott, 2002. "Data Appendix to Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Technical Appendices kehoe02, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  13. Alexander Ueberfeldt, 2006. "Working Time over the 20th Century," Staff Working Papers 06-18, Bank of Canada.
  14. Gary D. Hansen & Edward C. Prescott, 2005. "Capacity constraints, asymmetries, and the business cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(4), pages 850-865, October.
  15. Someshwar Rao & Jianmin Tang & Weimin Wang, 2004. "Measuring the Canada-U.S. Productivity Gap: Industry Dimensions," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 9, pages 3-14, Fall.
  16. 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.
  17. Jianmin Tang & Weimin Wang, 2005. "Product Market Competition, Skill Shortages and Productivity: Evidence from Canadian Manufacturing Firms," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 317-339, 07.
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