No Surprise- Government “Nagging” Hasn’t Boosted Productivity

Blog, Trade, Ben Eisen

Hillarious opening paragraph to a story in today’s Globe and Mail about the vexing producitivity gap that continues to exist between Canada and the United States.

The reluctance of Canadian companies to bolster their sagging productivity despite years of nagging by policymakers is one of the great “mysteries” baffling economists.

Now, I for one am not baffled that government “nagging” hasn’t resulted in private sector productivity gains! Boosting a nation’s productivity, it turns out, is a more complicated task than getting your partner to wash the dishes.

In fairness, the rest of the story provides context that makes the opening paragraph seem to make a bit more sense. In fact, the story brings a number of interesting questions to mind about Canada’s generally poor productivity performance and what we can do about it. Still, that intro is sure worth a chuckle.