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.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights that the distribution of income and wealth in developing countries has become a matter of great concern to all those interested in development. The paper highlights that in Latin America, the poorest half of the population receives about the same share of income as the top 1 percent and the lowest 70–75 percent of the population the same share as the top 5 percent. It is clear that the distribution of income and wealth will have substantial implications for the pattern of consumption and production in developing countries.
This paper proposes and solves a search model in which job separation requires mandatory notice. When jobs are subject to idiosyncratic uncertainty, firms would issue advance notice even with good business conditions. We show that such precautionary policy is not pursued if it entails sufficiently high productivity losses. If workers can search on the job, an increase in advance notice increases job to job movements, reduces unemployment flows, and has ambiguous effects on unemployment. Results are consistent with the fact that North American and European labor markets, despite their differences in job security provisions, experience similar turnover rates and dissimilar unemployment flows.
This paper examines recent developments in the Canadian labor market. Using disaggregated labor market data, various hypotheses concerning the slow employment growth and rise in unemployment since 1990 are evaluated. The analysis indicates that a large part of the recent rise in the unemployment rate may reflect an increase in the structural rather than the cyclical component of unemployment. Various sources of labor market rigidities that may have contributed to the increase in structural unemployment are examined. In particular, the role of the unemployment insurance system in contributing to labor market rigidity and measures for reforming this system, including the recent proposals of the government, are discussed. Finally, this paper examines active labor market policies that could help to alleviate structural unemployment.
Bengt Petersson, Rodrigo Mariscal, and Kotaro Ishi
How important are female workers for economic growth? This paper presents empirical evidence that an increase in female labor force participation is positively associated with labor productivity growth. Using panel data for 10 Canadian provinces over 1990–2015, we found that a 1 percentage point increase in the labor force participation among women with high educational attainment would raise Canada’s overall labor productivity growth by 0.2 to 0.3 percentage point a year. This suggests that if the current gap of 7 percentage points between male and female labor force participation with high educational attainment were eliminated, the level of real GDP could be about 4 percent higher today. The government has appropriately stepped up its efforts to improve gender equality, as part of its growth strategy. In particular, the government’s plan to expand access to affordable child care is a positive step. However, we argue that to maximize the policy outcome given a budget constraint, provision of subsidized child care—including publicly funded child care spaces—should be better targeted to working parents.
This paper investigates the effects of the flows of immigrant workers on the French labor market between the mid-1970s and mid-1990s. Using a system of equations for unemployment, labor-force participation, the real wage, and the immigration rate, it is shown that, in the long run, legal and amnestied immigrant workers, and their families, lower the unemployment rate permanently. In the short run, the arrival of immigrants increases unemployment slightly with an impact similar to that of an increase in domestic labor-force participation. The composition of immigration flows matters, and the proportion of skilled and less-skilled workers should remain balanced.
This paper presents empirical estimates of the policy and structural determinants of the natural rate of unemployment in Canada. The paper begins with a discussion of structural features of the economy which impinge on the adjustment of real wages to their equilibrium level. Estimates are presented showing how the generosity of the unemployment insurance system is related to past levels of unemployment. The empirical results indicate that government policies have been largely responsible for changes in the natural rate, and hence can contribute to a reduction in the natural rate in the medium term.
Unemployment has remained at a very high level in the major industrial countries since 1975. However, this absence of a marked change in the overall unemployment rate does not reflect a uniform experience. There has been a considerable diversity of underlying labor market developments in individual countries. This article analyzes recent labor market conditions from a historical perspective.
Empirical estimates are presented of the policy and structural determinants of the natural rate of unemployment in Canada. The structural features of the economy that impinge on the adjustment of real wages to their equilibrium level are discussed, and estimates are presented showing how the generosity of the unemployment insurance system is related to past levels of unemployment. The empirical results indicate that government policies have been largely responsible for changes in the natural rate, and, hence, they can contribute to a reduction in the natural rate in the medium term.
CONSIDERABLE ATTENTION has recently been focused upon a change in the relation between the percentage of unemployment and the rate of increase in average hourly earnings in the United Kingdom since the early 1960s. This apparent upward shift of the “Phillips curve” 1 has been variously interpreted but is generally viewed as highly ominous.