IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Can Measurement Error Explain the Weakness of Productivity Growth in the Canadian Construction Industry?

Listed author(s):
  • Peter Harrison


Registered author(s):

    According to Statistics Canada productivity estimates, the rate of growth of real output per hour in the construction industry in Canada over the 1981-2006 period was 0.53 per cent per year, one-third of the business sector average. This article examines evidence for and against the hypothesis that measurement error explains this below average productivity performance. The article finds that the use of input cost indexes to adjust nominal output to obtain real output, instead of the more appropriate use of output price indexes, for certain sub-industries of the construction sector represents the most likely source of measurement error. This procedure may result in a downward bias to labour productivity growth in the construction sector of up to 0.44 percentage points per year. It is thus likely that measurement error explains some, but not all, of the gap in labour productivity growth between the construction industry and the business sector.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Centre for the Study of Living Standards in its series CSLS Research Reports with number 2007-01.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Apr 2007
    Handle: RePEc:sls:resrep:0701
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    151 Slater Street, Suite 710, Ottawa, ON K1P 5H3

    Phone: 613-233-8891
    Fax: 613-233-8250
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Web: Email:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Stokes, H Kemble, Jr, 1981. "An Examination of the Productivity Decline in the Construction Industry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(4), pages 459-502, November.
    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. Pieper, Paul, 1989. "Why Construction Industry Productivity Is Declining: Comment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(3), pages 543-546, August.
    4. Anna Dubois & Lars-Erik Gadde, 2002. "The construction industry as a loosely coupled system: implications for productivity and innovation," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(7), pages 621-631.
    5. Allen, Steven G, 1989. "Why Construction Industry Productivity Is Declining: Reply," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(3), pages 547-548, August.
    6. Dirk Pilat & Paul Schreyer, 2003. "Measuring productivity," OECD Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2001(2), pages 127-170.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sls:resrep:0701. 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)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.