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Shadow banking: accounting for Canada's productivity gap

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Purpose ‐ The paper's purpose is to show that the reported (and growing) labour productivity gap between the G7 and OECD countries and the USA might be a factor of the rapid adoption of shadow banking structures and techniques in the USA versus the adoption of those structures in OECD and G7 economies. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper explains the concept and practice of shadow banking and explores the ways in which the various conventions adopted distort reported productivity figures. Findings ‐ The growing adoption of shadow banking over the period 1974-2007 has had the effect of increasing the metrics for labour productivity over the same period. Practical implications ‐ It is clear that those who wish to understand the apparent growing gap between labour productivity of the USA and other G7/OECD nations must look beyond the simple reported figures to identify the ways in which figures are calculated and reported. Originality/value ‐ The paper shows that reporting of figures to established conventions can be affected by a range of factors, not apparent from looking at those conventions themselves.

Keywords: Banking; Canada; Economic growth; Financial innovation; Labour productivity; Shadow banking; United States of America; Velocity of money

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2011

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