The hypothesis of an equalization of sectorial rates of profit has an important role to play in the economic theory. Though it has been formulated a long time ago (A. Smith, D. Ricardo…), now as a definite principle (with its mechanism) and now as a postulate, it is however contradicted by statistical observation. There have been various answers to this problem. We propose to study it in a new light, emphasizing that the formulation of this "law" as well as its empirical evidence are registered within the traditional framework of activity sector. Then, we have to think about the latter as it has a fundamental role to play. But the activity sector is no longer a homogeneous category, for firms can considerably differentiate the conditions (technological and financial ones) of capital allowance, independently of any reference to the notion of product. Then, we must think over this problem, no longer wondering where this allowance of the capital is produced, but how. This brings us to propose the elaboration of a new classification of the firms, that leads to an analysis at an "intermediary level" other than the insufficient level that results from the division of the economy into activity sectors.
The Canadian federal government calls upon substantial fiscal incentives between 1965 to 1974 to increase the flow of capital expenditures in the manufacturing sector, in order to reduce regional disparities, to alleviate an excessive unemployment rate and to insure a higher growth rate. The objective of our research is to evaluate the effectiveness of these incentives in inducing larger investment expenditures. We use econometric investment functions based on neoclassical and "hybrid" models of firm behavior, applied to Canadian yearly manufacturing time series from 1946 to 1974.
The neoclassical and hybrid models agree that the incentives have a substantial impact during the years 65-69; and a marginal impact during the 69-74 years.
The neoclassical model explains the marginal impact of incentives in the 69-74 period by a displacement through time of investment projects; there is an acceleration-deceleration effect attributed to the incentives. Investment expenditures of the 69-74 period are submitted to an upward pressure because of the 69-74 incentives, and to a downward pressure because of a deceleration effect associated with the 65-69 incentives.
We conclude that the incentives are effective in the short run in stimulating investment expenditures (the mean lag of their impact is approximately eighteen months) but that an acceleration-deceleration effect shows up after three years.
The importance of the governmental sector increased at a particularly high rate. This has been made possible by higher taxes, especially taxes on personal income. Those taxes increased at an average annual rate of 18% since 1965. One may question on the possibility of increasing again taxes without deteriorating the general performance of the economy. In other words, is it possible to maintain in the future the present scenario, that is to increase the relative importance of the public sector without this being detrimental to the other sectors of the economy? In this article, the author tries to answer these questions.
Considering the Caisses populaires as a financial system, we propose an econometric model of its consolidated balance sheet built around the following four major blocks. The first one presents a dynamic sub-model of the Caisses' asset portfolio, which emphasizes their intermediation among assets on the basis of the latter interest rates. In a second block, these rates are endogenized with respect to the key variables of both the real and monetary sectors of the economy. On the liability side, the Caisses' deposit market is dealt with in a third block, namely a demand for deposits or flow equation and a supply of deposits or rate setting operation. Finally, adjustment equations for the balance sheet items not already considered, are grouped in a fourth block. The overall model is dynamized through the deposit equation.
From the model's econometric estimation, we arrive at the following conclusions about financial management and liquidity policies. On the asset side of the balance sheet, the Caisses aim mainly at satisfying their members' needs for mortgages and, to a lesser but growing degree, for consumer loans. Next, for the funds remaining after satisfying internal needs, the institution proceeds to some sort of secondary, medium-term intermediation, then preferring quasi-liquid and higher yielding bonds to reserves. On the liability side, the Caisses seem to set their rate on deposits on the basis of the one for chartered banks (price leadership) as well as on the basis of the most representative asset rates, i.e. the ones on consumer and mortgage loans. Finally, the public demand for the Caisses' deposits, is more a function of the borrowing privileges offered to the members than of the intrinsic competitive rate paid on them.