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The Paradox of Market-Oriented Public Policy and Poor Productivity Growth in Canada


  • Andrew Sharpe



In recent decades, governments in Canada have pursued market-oriented policies at both the macro and micro levels. Economists believe that such policies should foster productivity growth. Since 2000, however, productivity growth in Canada has been dismal, much below that in the United States and below Canada’s historical trend. The objective of this report is to attempt to explain the paradox of productivity-enhancing public policies and the continuation of poor productivity performance. The report finds that the high degree of market orientation of public policy that already exists in Canada suggests that the productivity-enhancing effects of further liberalization may be quite small.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Sharpe, 2010. "The Paradox of Market-Oriented Public Policy and Poor Productivity Growth in Canada," CSLS Research Reports 2010-01, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:resrep:1001

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Sharpe, 2010. "Can Sectoral Reallocations of Labour Explain Canada’s Absymal Productivity Performance?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 19, pages 40-49, Spring.

    More about this item


    productivity; labour productivity; output per hour; capital intensity; total factor productivity; Canada; employment;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O51 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - U.S.; Canada
    • J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • J08 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics Policies

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