Productivity

  • Lagging Productivity Growth in the Service Sector: Mismeasurement, Mismanagement or Misinformation?

    Staff Working Paper 1997-6 Dinah Maclean
    While the service sector has been growing rapidly as a share of total output, aggregate productivity growth has generally lagged behind that of the goods sector. In this report, the author assesses a range of explanations for lagging service sector productivity growth.
  • November 11, 1996

    Productivity growth in the commercial service sector

    For over three decades, measured productivity growth in the commercial service sector has consistently lagged behind that of the goods-producing sector. At the same time, the service sector has greatly expanded its share of output and employment. Some commentators have suggested that this trend will reduce growth in total economy-wide productivity. In this article, the author reviews recent trends in productivity growth in services and the main factors affecting it. She concludes that services will likely contribute to increases in future productivity growth. There is a great diversity of experience within the service sector. While productivity is falling in some industries, factors such as technological change, deregulation, and increased competition have helped to increase it in others. Moreover, much of the growth in commercial service output is occurring in those industries with relatively high productivity growth. Difficulties in measuring output for some service activities may also be resulting in underestimation of output and productivity growth. To the extent that services are used as intermediate inputs in the production of goods, underestimating productivity growth in the service industry would cause an offsetting overestimation of productivity growth in goods-producing industries.
  • August 10, 1995

    Aspects of economic restructuring in Canada, 1989-1994

    The way in which Canadian firms produce goods and services has changed dramatically during the 1990s. A major feature of this restructuring has been a shift towards greater use of capital goods, particularly computer-based technology, relative to labour in production processes. The author examines this phenomenon from a macroeconomic perspective, identifying the principal factors behind the trends in investment and employment since the late 1980s. The analysis focusses on the relative costs of capital and labour over the period and on their implications for output and employment.
  • The Slowdown in Productivity Growth in the 1975-83 Period: A Survey of Possible Explanations

    Technical Report No. 43 Gerald Stuber
    The growth rates of both aggregate factor and labour productivity in Canada fell substantially during the period 1975-83. This paper examines this phenomenon and reviews a number of possible explanations for it. First, the productivity growth slowdown is examined at various levels of industry disaggregation. It is apparent from this analysis that the slowdown varied […]
    Content Type(s): Technical Reports Topic(s): Productivity JEL Code(s): D, D2, D24

Follow the Bank