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The Economic Crises Through the Lens of Economic Well-being


  • Andrew Sharpe


  • Jean-François Arsenault



This report looks at how the economic crisis has unfolded in Canada and what will be the impacts on economic wellbeing. The shortfall is estimated to be approximately $12,000 ($2007) per capita. In other words, given no economic crisis, GDP per capita in Canada would have likely been $1,736 higher on average each year over the 2008-2014 period. Between October 2008 – the month at which employment peaked in Canada – and May 2009, net employment fell by 362,500 persons. The negative effects of unemployment go well beyond loss of income. Roughly 60 per cent of the newly unemployed, compared to about 40 per cent in recent years, receive regular EI benefits, reflecting the concentration of employment losses among long term full-time employees (e.g. auto workers). Based on the experience of the recession of the early 1990s, we should expect an increase of about 4 percentage points in the after-tax poverty rate, which would reach 13.2 per cent in 2010.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Sharpe & Jean-François Arsenault, 2009. "The Economic Crises Through the Lens of Economic Well-being," CSLS Research Reports 2009-06, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:resrep:0906

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rafael Di Tella & Robert J. MacCulloch & Andrew J. Oswald, 2003. "The Macroeconomics of Happiness," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 809-827, November.
    2. Andrew Sharpe & Lars Osberg, 2009. "New Estimates of the Index of Economic Well-being for Canada and the Provinces, 1981 - 2008," CSLS Research Reports 2009-10, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    3. J. Dominitz & C. F. Manski, "undated". "Perceptions of Economic Insecurity: Evidence from the Survey of Economic Expectations," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1105-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    4. Andrew Sharpe & Lars Osberg, 2009. "New Estimates of the Index of Economic Well-being for Selected OECD Countries, 1981 - 2007," CSLS Research Reports 2009-11, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    5. Kenneth Scheve & Matthew Slaughter, 2002. "Economic Insecurity and the Globalization of Production," NBER Working Papers 9339, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2002. "International Comparisons of Trends in Economic Well-being," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 58(1), pages 349-382, June.
    7. Osberg, L. & Sharpe, A., 1998. "An Index of Economic Well-being for Canada," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive 98-08, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
    8. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2005. "How Should We Measure The "Economic" Aspects Of Well-Being?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 51(2), pages 311-336, June.
    9. Lars Osberg & Andrew Sharpe, 2010. "The Index of Economic Well-Being," Challenge, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(4), pages 25-42.
    10. 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.
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    More about this item


    Living standards; quality of life; income; housing affordability; wealth; inequality; poverty; productivity; employment quality; net worth; income; disposable income; low income; labour market; economic security; employment; unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • D30 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - General
    • H50 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General

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