The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Phillip Swagel, Steven Dunaway, and Martin Kaufman
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
Differences in per capita output across Canadian provinces have narrowed less than disparities in per capita income in past decades. Using a panel regression framework, this paper studies the differential impact of federal transfer programs on output convergence. The evidence suggests that while the Employment Insurance (EI) system seems to have had a significant negative effect on output convergence?by discouraging migration within Canada?the Equalization transfers may have helped spur convergence. The EI system, despite reforms introduced in the 1990s, still appears to contain features that deter labor mobility.