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Cooperation, Economic Performance, and Public Policy:  Lessons from Canada and Abroad

A number of jurisdictions that are home to some of the OECD’s most successful economies have developed institutions and mechanisms that encourage cooperation and build consensus on key economic, social, and political questions. The products of other jurisdictions’ cooperation mechanisms include:
• broad social and public policy consensus;
• public policies that perform as they were designed to do with a minimum of inter-jurisdictional wrangling complemented by private sector action that goes well beyond mere compliance;
• flexible and adaptive firms that compete effectively by investing in people and technologies for the long term;
• a flow of technological innovation and productivity improvement supported by workers and their unions; and
• education and training systems that provide graduates and workers with the skills they, and their employers, need.
Through roundtable discussions and interviews with more than 130 experts from across Canada and the United States, and Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, and Japan, the experience of 37 of such institutions and mechanisms was documented and analyzed.
Conclusions address how and why these institutions contribute to broad social consensus and improved long-term economic progress and identify the lessons Canadians can learn to achieve the same results in our country.

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