Remembering John Loxley

The progressive economics community, in Canada and around the world, lost a wonderful colleague, comrade and friend with the passing of John Loxley on July 28, 2020. Here I would like to share some personal reflections on John’s impact on my life as a progressive economist, and the very rich legacy he has left our shared community. (I also commend […]

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David Hulchanski class discussion

I recently participated in a panel discussion in David Hulchanski’s graduate-level social housing and homelessness course at the University of Toronto. Points raised in the blog post include the fact that all English-speaking countries of the OECD have relatively low levels of public social spending, relatively low levels of taxation, and serious affordable housing challenges. The link to the full […]

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Ten things to know about CMHC’s Insured Mortgage Purchase Program

In March 2020, the Trudeau government launched a new version of the Insured Mortgage Purchase Program (IMPP). According to CMHC’s website: “Under this program, the government will purchase up to $50 billion of insured mortgage pools through CMHC.” Here are 10 things to know: 1. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is a federally-owned crown corporation. Many of us know […]

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Federal Support Package: The Pros, the Cons, and the Next Shoe to Drop

Here are some quick thoughts on the extensive package of emergency measures announced today by Prime Minister Trudeau, Finance Minister Morneau, and Bank of Canada Governor Poloz: The Pros: The government has worked quickly and creatively to find ways to deliver support to Canadians, and fast – using the infrastructure of existing benefits, and developing new channels where needed. The […]

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Economic Response to Pandemic: Go Big, Go Fast

The health emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic is of course the primary concern of Canadians, and the first priority for government to address. But it is increasingly clear that the economic fallout from the pandemic is also going to constitute an emergency. And it requires government to respond as urgently and powerfully in the economic sphere, as they are […]

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Cost savings associated with Housing First

I’ve written a summary of a recent study I co-authored on savings to the health and justice sectors associated with Housing First (i.e., the immediate provision of subsidized housing, along with social work support, to persons experiencing long-term homelessness). The study, based on a large sample size from Calgary, finds that every $1 spent on Housing First is associated with […]

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Why Keynes was a socialist

In an important new book Keynes Against Capitalism: His Economic Case for Liberal Socialism (Routledge, 2019) James Crotty argues that Keynes was a socialist who advocated a much more radical economic agenda than most mainstream economists and political analysts realize. Based on a very close reading of Keynes’ work, Crotty argues that core Keynesian economic ideas should inform democratic socialism […]

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income support for low-income households in Alberta

Next week, Jason Kenney’s UCP government will table its second budget. With that in mind, I’ve written a blog post titled “Ten things to know about income support for low-income households in Alberta.” Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Low income is associated with lower food expenditures, including fewer purchases of milk, fruits and vegetables. -Lone-parent families […]

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Assessing progress on St. John’s Plan to End Homelessness

I’ve written an assessment of the 2014-2019 St. John’s Community Plan to End Homelessness. The full assessment can be found here. Points raised in the assessment include the following: -Newfoundland and Labrador has the highest unemployment rate of any Canadian province. This pulls people into homelessness, while also making it more challenging for the provincial government to finance policy asks […]

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Ten things to know about poverty measurement in Canada

I’ve written a blog post providing an overview of poverty measurement in Canada. Points raised in the post include the following: -One’s choice of poverty measure has a major impact on whether poverty is seen to be increasing or decreasing over time. -Canada’s federal government recently chose the make the Market Basket Measure (MBM) its official poverty measure. -According to […]

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Behind Chile’s political crisis

More than one million people marched in Santiago on October 26 to protest the Government’s security response to Chile’s current political crisis and to demand structural economic reforms to reduce inequality and increase social services. In this post I analyze these grievances from a quantitative perspective and explore what it would take to translate them into policy. This is my […]

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Ending homelessness in St. John’s: Ten things to know

I’m co-author of a recent blog post about the fight to end homelessness in St. John’s (Newfoundland and Labrador). Points raised in the blog post include the following: -Recent increases in federal funding for homelessness have made a very important difference to St. John’s homeless-serving sector. I’m referring here to increases brought in by the Trudeau government. -The corrections sector […]

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Canadian Political Economy on Staple Thesis

In an impressive overview of the state of Canadian Political Economy, a new book Change and Continuity ed. by Mark P. Thomas et.al. includes two important articles on the continuing relevance of the staple thesis. On the one hand, Jim Stanford’s “Staples Dependence Renewed and Betrayed: Canada’s Twenty-First Century Boom and Best” does just as its title tells because of […]

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