Good Reads

Economists estimate that border delays cost Canada up to $27 billion per year

Trien T. Nguyen and Randall M. Wigle (2011), “Border Delays Re-Emerging Priority: Within-Country Dimensions for Canada,” Canadian Public Policy 37, 1: 49–59.  The authors estimate that border delays increase the costs of goods and services trade by between 1 and 2 percent for the businesses involved.  This translates into shortfalls in total trade of between 3.6 and 6.8 percent. The total cost to the Canadian economy is between 1 and 1.8 percent of total GDP.  In 2010, Canada’s GDP was $1.5 trillion.  If Nguyen and Wigle are correct, border delays cost Canada between $15 and $27 billion last year.

 Suggestions don’t build productivity, competition does

Tom Jenkins (2011), “A simple solution to Canada’s innovation problem,” Policy Options, September.

“Exhortations from well-meaning policy participants that ‘industry should be more productive” or that ‘industry should do more R&D since the OECD says that you should” do not resonate with executives that manage firms. The motivation to be productive and to innovate is a primal one related to competition and the need to survive against another market participant. If we want to have better productivity in our economy, we can- not ‘suggest’ to our executives that it would be a good idea. Instead, we must ‘force’ these firms to change and become more productive by increasing the competitive intensity” (17).

 Canada spawns innovation but can’t hold onto IP

Karen  Mazurkewich (2011) “Rights and Rents: Why Canada Must Harness Its Intellectual Property Resources,” Canadian International Council, September.

Canada produces innovators, sends them abroad and then rents the knowledge back at a cost of $4.5 billion a year.  What can be done? As a first step, CIC advocates a broad review of Canada’s patent framework at home and abroad.

Looking at Canada’s remote communities differently

Canadian Chamber of Commerce (2011), “The Business Case for Investing in Canada’s Remote Communities,” September.

Canada’s resource rich remote communities have much to offer but much is needed to fulfill their economic and social potential. CCC and GE Canada offer a blueprint for the future that focuses on investment in infrastructure, education, IT connectivity, and community-level ownership of reforms.

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