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Three Policies to Improve Productivity Growth in Canada

By Andrew Sharpe

Abstract

This paper makes the case that productivity is Canada’s economic destiny and that Canada’s dismal productivity performance, both from a historical and international perspective, therefore represents our biggest economic challenge. It then puts forward three specific policies to improve Canada’s productivity performance: foster the diffusion of best-practice technologies; remove the provincial sales tax on purchases of machinery and equipment; and promote interprovincial movement of workers by improving labour market information, removing professional barriers to labour mobility, and establishing a tax credit for interprovincial job search. It finds that the short-term costs of these policies would be greatly outweighed by the long-term benefits associated with their implementation.Productivity growth in Canada, Policy, Diffusion, Provincial sales tax, Interprovincial migration.

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