A partial productivity measure relates output to a single input. Total factor productivity (or TFP) relates an index of output to a composite index of all inputs. This report discusses the strengths and weaknesses of each type of productivity measure from theoretical and methodological perspectives. Different productivity measures may be useful for different analytical purposes, and no single measure provides a complete picture of an industry's productivity performance.
The report then presents estimates of TFP and a suite of partial productivity measures for a set of natural resource-related industries in Canada. The three forestry products industries and the crop and animal production industry exhibited the best productivity performance over the 1990-2012 period across a variety of productivity measures, while oil and gas extraction and mining experienced the worst productivity performance.
This paper was prepared for the Smart Prosperity Institute by The Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS).