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Changes in the Terms of Trade and Canada's Productivity Performance

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  • Diewert, Erwin

Abstract

Using new data from Statistics Canada, the paper shows that the productivity performance of the business sector of the Canadian economy has been reasonably satisfactory over the past 46 years. In particular, traditional gross income Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth averaged 1.14 percentage points per year over the period 1961-2006 and when a net income framework was used, TFP growth averaged 1.26 percentage points per year. The focus of the study is on the real income generated by the business sector of the Canadian economy. Two concepts of income are used: a gross concept that includes depreciation as a part of income and a more appropriate net concept where depreciation is excluded from income. In both the gross and net income frameworks, the growth of quality adjusted labour input growth was the main driver of growth in real income followed by TFP growth, followed by growth in capital input and then by falling real import prices. However, in recent years, the contribution of falling real import prices turned out to be more than twice as important as capital deepening. The study encountered many data problems which should be addressed in future work on Canadian business sector productivity performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Diewert, Erwin, 2008. "Changes in the Terms of Trade and Canada's Productivity Performance," Economics working papers diewert-08-03-11-11-03-49, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 18 Jul 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:ubc:bricol:diewert-08-03-11-11-03-49
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    File URL: http://microeconomics.ca/erwin_diewert/dp0805.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Robert C. Feenstra & Benjamin R. Mandel & Marshall B. Reinsdorf & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2013. "Effects of Terms of Trade Gains and Tariff Changes on the Measurement of US Productivity Growth," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 59-93, February.
    3. Añón Higón, Dolores & Stoneman, Paul, 2011. "Trade in final goods and the impact of innovation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 110(3), pages 197-199, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Total factor productivity; real income; terms of trade effects; measurement of capital; measurement of inventory change; user costs; real interest rat;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • C67 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Input-Output Models
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects

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