March 2, 2021

Episode #33: Canada Isn’t Very Productive—Why That Matters and What We Do About It

Productivity is essential. It not only underpins economic growth, but it also holds significant implications for our personal well-being. The heart of what is often misunderstood as an esoteric concept or a directive to work more or harder is actually a story of progress, a story of improving quality of life for everyone.

Earlier in February, we launched a new series diving into the story of productivity. Our first piece explored the importance of productivity, and why, if you care about issues like poverty, it is something you should care about, too.

And on this episode, we continue that story with Robert Asselin, Senior Vice President of Policy at the Business Council of Canada and BCA’s Economists Mike Holden and Alicia Planincic. From common myths and the state of global productivity to why Canada is losing the productivity game and how we improve, we’re peeling back the curtain on this important issue and why improving our productivity performance is key to our economic recovery and future prosperity.

In This Episode:

  • What productivity is and how we measure it
  • Why improving productivity is important to personal well being
  • Common myths about productivity
  • Behind the Global Productivity Slowdown
  • The challenge of measuring intangibles (services, data/AI/ML, software, etc.) in productivity performance
  • Importance of business investment, innovation, R&D, commercialization, and intellectual property in Canada to drive productivity gains
  • The risk of maintaining our current trajectory in productivity growth
  • Barriers and myths that prevent significant investment in improving productivity
  • Ingredients to improving productive capacity and economic growth
  • Why developing in challenge-driven industrial strategies can not only enable productivity growth but help solve some of our big challenge like climate change
  • Incentives needed to capitalize on Canada’s economic strengths to improve productivity
  • Lessons Canada can learn from other nations to attract talent, improve investment, and protect intellectual property

Resources Mentioned:

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