Philippe Marcil

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September 15, 2008

The Effects of Recent Relative Price Movements on the Canadian Economy

Although the standard of living of Canadians has improved as a result of terms-of-trade gains created by the sharp rise in real commodity prices over the past five years or so, the commodity-price increase, combined with an exchange rate appreciation and real income gain, triggered structural adjustments by altering underlying economic incentives. The frictions generated in adjusting to the relative price shock have likely contributed to hold back aggregate productivity growth. Dupuis and Marcil examine the structural adjustments that have been required-in particular, the resource reallocation among the different sectors of the economy-and its effects on employment, output, and productivity, as well as the responses of final domestic demand and external trade flows.

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