Between 1980 and 1995, labor productivity in the business sector grew at an average annual rate in Canada, which was slightly faster than productivity growth in Germany, but significantly slower than labor productivity growth in France, Italy, Japan, and the United States. To better understand developments in labor productivity, it is useful to decompose its growth rate into changes in the capital/labor ratio and in total factor productivity. The contribution of information technology to labor productivity growth has been more modest in Canada than in the United States.
This paper explores the factors that have led to a Canada-U.S. productivity gap using a sectoral growth accounting approach. Both fiscal and monetary policies have had significant effects on the saving rate. The Canadian dollar’s appreciation was followed by a protracted period of exchange rate weakness. This paper reviews the institutional aspects of Canada’s real return bond program. The Canadian system provides a successful model for pension reform. Free trade has helped promote the integration of U.S. and Canadian economies, but significant differences remain.
This paper uses a Ricardian framework to clarify the role of micro–economic and macroeconomic factors governing the time–series and cross–sectional behavior of sectoral trade balances. Unit labor costs and trade balances are calculated for several sectors for the seven major industrial countries. The time–series and cross-sectional variation in sectoral unit labor costs is decomposed into relative productivity, wage differentials, and exchange rate variations. The main findings are that changes over time in sectoral trade balances, especially for the United States and Japan, are quite well explained by the evolution of unit labor cost, suggesting that trade patterns conform to comparative advantage. The cross–sectional results are, however, less conclusive.
This Selected Issues paper reviews Canada’s business tax system, looking at the incentive effects of the country’s business tax regime and their implications for output and employment. It presents estimates of marginal effective tax rates on corporate-source income in Canada and comparator countries across sectors, asset classes, means of finance, and asset ownership. The paper also examines labor markets in Canada. It notes that unemployment rates in Canada have risen across all demographic groups, industries, and regions, although young and less-educated workers and workers in agriculture and primary industries have been most severely affected.
The short-term recovery of the Barbados economy will critically depend on the rebound of demand for its services in its traditional markets. As a small tourist-dependent economy with a fixed exchange rate and volatile capital inflows, Barbados could shore up its external sector through fiscal consolidation and structural reforms to raise sustainable growth rates. Barbados’s financial system appears to have been broadly resilient up to now; preserving its soundness in an environment weakened by the recession requires strengthening the regulatory and supervisory framework.
This paper examines economic developments and policies in Canada during 1990–95. Spurred by the robust growth in the United States and the easing of monetary conditions between 1991 and 1993, economic growth in Canada continued to strengthen during 1994. Real GDP grew by 4.5 percent in 1994 after growing by 2.2 percent in 1993 and 0.6 percent in 1992. Economic growth in 1994 was led by exports and investment in machinery and equipment. However, growth was more broadly based in 1994; private consumption strengthened, and there was a rebound in residential and nonresidential construction.
The issue of productivity growth in Canada has received considerable attention reflecting its marked slowdown since the early 1970s and concerns about its implications for Canadian competitiveness. To better understand productivity developments in Canada, it is useful to decompose total factor productivity (TFP) into investment-specific productivity change (ISP) and technologically neutral productivity change (TNP). The gap in manufacturing productivity growth between Canada and the United States originates mostly in the strong performance of specific industries, such as electrical products and commercial and industrial machinery.
Canada has experienced drastic changes in its economy during the global financial crisis. This Selected Issues paper discusses the evolution of equilibrium real home prices in key Canadian provinces in the post-crisis period, Canadian dollar movement during and after the global financial turmoil in line with other world currencies, assessment of impacts on Canada’s potential growth, development of Canadian automotive sector—namely, NAFTA partners during the crisis, and the role of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in Canada’s housing market.
This Selected Issues paper for Chile assesses the impact of the global financial crisis on Chilean banks. It provides a framework for analyzing government measures aimed at reducing systemic risk. The analysis suggests that Chilean banks are resilient to global and regional shocks. However, even in the absence of direct exposures with other countries in the region, there may be risk spillovers from other banks in the region and in advanced economies. The paper also presents options for further strengthening Chile’s fiscal framework.