Tag Archives: Stephen Gordon

Canada’s Productivity Puzzle in Maclean’s Magazine

If you spend any time reading about the Canadian economy, you have inevitably come across the Great Canadian Productivity Puzzle. Canada’s productivity is much lower than that of other countries, and we don’t really know why. Neither do we seem to be able to fix the problem. Policymakers have used every trick in the book to try to boost productivity, but the results have disappointed. Productivity growth matters because it drives up our purchasing power: if it lags, so will our standard of living. And yet—here’s where things get interesting—Canadians are far better off than one would tell looking at our dismal productivity performance over the past 20 years. How did we do it? In this six-part special report, Maclean’s in-house economist Stephen Gordon investigates the mystery.

  1. Intro to productivity (that thing Canadians are apparently so bad at)
  2. Technical progress in Canada’s business sector: stuck in 1971?
  3. A Canadian magic trick: wages that rise even if productivity doesn’t
  4. Don’t blame Canada’s productivity woes on the commodity boom
  5. Canada’s productivity crisis: misdiagnosed
  6. Canada’s productivity measurement deserves a serious second look