Welcome to the Productivity Partnership's fall newsletter!

In this newsletter:




The following are some of the projects that have been approved for funding since our previous newsletter.
Title: Effect of environment on manufacturing plants: A study case of combined air pollution and temperature
Researchers: Philippe Kabore and Nicholas Rivers

Climate change and pollution are well know to reduce individuals' productivity by creating fatigue, by increasing the brain temperature and also by increasing the probability of getting sick. Fewer studies investigates the impact of temperature/pollution on manufacturing plants' outcomes although many researchers believe that developed countries manufacturing plants are not spared from climate change. The existing technologies (air conditioner and buildings norms) are not enough to fully protect against temperature/pollution. Both temperature and air pollution taken individually, exert an effect on manufacturing plants’ outcomes (usually a negative effect). Our objective is to understand the impacts of temperature/pollution on manufacturing plants outcomes in Canada since it has not yet been done.

Datasets: Annual Survey of Manufacturing (ASM), National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI)

Title: Estimating R&D Spillovers Using a New Micro Data Set
Researchers: John Lester, Meyongwan (Daniel) Kim, Rebekah Owusu

This project will assess research and development spillovers in a production function framework by adding research and development performed by other firms (“outside” research and development) as an input along with labour, tangible capital and the stock of research and development performed by the firm (“inside” research and development).

DatasetsT2-LEAP (Longitudinal Employment Analysis Program), Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED)

Title: The Effect of Climate Policy on Competitiveness: The Micro-level Evidence from Canada
Researchers: Akio Yamazaki, Stefan Staubli

Despite half a century of experience with environmental regulation in Europe and North America, there is still much debate over the likely impacts of environmental regulation. For example, many believe that regulation comes at the cost of economic growth in the regulated region and these costs outweigh any potential environmental benefit. While the regulation does have costs, it is important to understand the trade-offs between these costs and environmental benefits. This research is designed to help inform policymakers and the public about the costs and benefits of climate policy, by quantifying the productivity impact of British Columbia’s carbon tax in the manufacturing sector.

DatasetsAnnual Survey of Manufacturing (ASM), General Index of Financial Information (GIFI (T2)

Unsure what is possible using CDER datasets?

Explore the presentation 'Exploring Research Opportunities through the Productivity Partnership' to find out what is possible.

We've created an interactive online presentation on how to utilize the Productivity Partnership to access data at the Statistics Canada Centre for Data Development and Economic Research (CDER). The presentation outlines each data set’s highlights and explains the application processes for both the Partnership and CDER. This project is targeted primarily toward prospective applicants and website viewers, but is designed to be informative and accessible to all audiences. 


Have an idea for a project on productivity?

 Visit our website to learn more about how to apply for project funding.

Canadian Synthetic Longitudinal Business Database

Each newsletter we'll highlight a dataset and how it's being used. 
One goal of the Productivity Partnership is the creation of synthetic data. Synthetic data allows testing runs without confidentiality vetting which will increase speed workflows for users of the data in Ottawa and at research data centres (RDCs). 

The creation of a Canadian Synthetic Longitudinal Business Database has begun through the work of Partnership collaborators: Lars Vilhuber (Cornell University), Danny Leung, (Statistics Canada), and Lydia Couture (Statistics Canada), Partnership co-applicant: Benoit Dostie (HEC Montréal), and Partnership post-doctoral fellow: Mohammad Jahangir Alam (HEC Montréal). This database can be used by itself to study business and employment dynamics, firm entry and exit, job creation and job destruction, firm survival and growth, high-growth firms and gazelles, and firm transitions.  

Planning is underway to make the Canadian Synthetic Longitudinal Business Database available in the RDCs before the end of March 2018.  Statistics Canada will be hosting a webinar to share the details about the data set, announce a call for proposals, and describe how RDC researchers will be able to use these synthetic data to carry out projects of even greater scope.

We expect that this pilot will be a first in a series of announcements in the coming year that will expand the capacity of researchers to use business microdata from the RDCs.

During this initial phase, Statistics Canada will waive fees for any required disclosure analysis.  The Productivity Partnership in conjunction with the Canadian Research Data Centre Network will provide at least two grants of up to $6,000 each towards the costs of research projects utilizing this new data set. Interested researchers should contact the Partnership.
Call for papers

Call for Papers!

Explaining Canada's Post-2000 Productivity Performance 

Canadian Economics Association Annual Meeting
Montréal QC, June 1-3
The Centre for the Study of Living Standards, in collaboration with the Productivity Partnerships, issued a call for papers for the conference to be held in association with the annual meeting of the Canadian Economics Association, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec June 1-3, 2018.

Details on the motivation for the conference, the issues on which papers are sought, and the submission procedures are found in the call for papers. The deadline for proposals is February 2, 2018.


To keep up-to-date with our latest news, follow us on Twitter
Op-ed: Democracy Cookbook: Building an inclusive democracy in Newfoundland and Labrador
Partnership co-applicant, Tony Fang (Memorial University) and Kerri Neil (MA candidate, Memorial University) explore how a diverse population can influence innovation, specifically addressing Newfoundland & Labrador's current population makeup.

Letter to the Editor: Yes, but not that rosy
Partnership co-applicant, Don Drummond (Queen's) and Partnership collaborator, Andrew Sharpe (Centre for the Study of Living Standards), remark that a Globe & Mail article by David Rosenberg is too optimistic in seeing a higher growth potential from positive short-term labour market and productivity developments. Rather, projections of potential growth, the sustainable rate of growth over the longer term, need to average through shorter-term economic fluctuations. 
Funding Announcement: The Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN) received nearly $2.7 million to support research infrastructure development for economic, social & health data The project will allow researchers to access and analyse the statistical data needed to answer pressing social and health research questions for Canada.


Partner institution, McMaster University, is supporting 5 PhD students through research assistant positions:
  • Alyssa Drost is a first year PhD student working on knowledge translation for the Partnership. Her research interests involve looking at the relationship between health and labour.

  • Stephanie Houle is a 4th year PhD student using CDER data to study the impact on productivity and other economic outcomes of international investment agreements especially the Canada-Peru agreement.

  • Mohammad Rahman is a first year PhD student working on knowledge translation for the Partnership. His research interests involve health and income distribution.

  • Wynonna Smoke is a first year PhD student working with Dr. Sweetman examining Indigenous labour market data, specifically utilizing The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC).

  • James Stutely is a first year PhD student working with Dr. Byron Spencer on the Longitudinal Administrative Databank. His research interests include the Economics of Aging.

  • Alexander Thomson is a first year PhD student who is currently examining skill and labour shortages in the ICT sector


Working Paper

Differences in Firm Growth across Countries: Does it Explain GDP Differences?
M. Jahangir Alam,  HEC Montréal. Jahangir is the a post-doctoral fellow with the Partnership working on the development of synthetic data project.


Paper: The Impact of Immigrant Business Ownership
Partnership co-applicant, Loretta Fung (National Tsing Hua University) with Douwere Grekou (Statistics Canada) and Huju Liu (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada) presented their paper at the 2017 Comparative Analysis of Enterprise Data conference at Seoul, Korea on September 23, 2017.

Project: Modelling Firm Dynamics and the Creation of Synthetic Data
This project was presented by Lydia Couture (Economic Analysis Division) and Mohammad Jahangir Alam (HEC Montréal) to Statistics Canada’s Analysis Coordination Committee (ACC) on September 8th, 2017.

The presenters highlighted the project objective (to create an analytic valid synthetic version of the Longitudinal Employment Analysis Program (LEAP)), the research methods, and the major outputs of the projects. Afterwards, committee members discussed evaluating the scope and internal coherence of the synthetic data and, given its fitness-for-use, the importance of moving forward with the development of a file that can be used in the Research Data Centers (RDCs).

Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series, Statistics Canada

As part of the Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series at Statistics Canada, two papers have been released:

The Changing Importance of Foreign Control in Canadian Manufacturing
  • John R Baldwin, Partnership collaborator and Director, Statistics Canada
  • Jiang (Beryl) Li, Productivity Partnership & Statistics Canada Liaison Researcher

Multinationals and Reallocation: Productivity Growth in the Canadian Manufacturing Sector
  • Wulong Gu, Senior Advisor for Statistics Canada
  • Jiang (Beryl) Li, Productivity Partnership & Statistics Canada Liaison Researcher


Pierre Therrien from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada presenting ideas on how to move forward with research to address key policy questions.

Ottawa Partners Meeting of the
Productivity, Firms and Incomes Network

In conjunction with partners: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and the Bank of Canada, a workshop was held on September 26 at the Bank in Ottawa. This workshop opened with remarks from Eric Santor, Managing Director, Canadian Economic Analysis Department, Bank of Canada and Mike Veall, Project Director for the Partnership, McMaster University.   In the morning, research was presented by:

Afternoon consisted of discussions from partners about their key policy-relevant questions for research, particularly from:

  • Pierre Therrien, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
  • Claude Lavoie, Finance Canada
  • Angella MacEwen, Canada Labour Congress
  • Ben Tomlin, Bank of Canada
  • Jonathan Will, Employment and Social Development Canada
  • Tony Stillo, Ontario Ministry of Finance
  • Cam Vidler, Business Council of Canada

On Wednesday September 6, Dr. Wessel Vermeulen (Newcastle University, London) gave a talk at McMaster University on Adapting to within-country export barriers: Evidence from the Japan 2011 Tsunami where he discussed how exports respond to changes in domestic trade costs. 
On Friday September 15, the Partnership presented a discussion at McMaster University with Hooker Distinguished Visiting Professor, Dr. Penny Goldberg (Yale)on her paper, The Effects of Trade Policy (co-authored with Nina Pavcnik and a contribution to the Handbook of Commercial Policy edited by Kyle Bagwell and Robert Staiger).

Need support to attend a conference?
 Visit our website to learn more about how to apply for conference support funding.
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