PEF home page and weblog
(The following is something I’ve prepared for the next issue of CUPE’s Economy at Work, a popular economics quarterly publication I produce.) In his annual Economic and Fiscal Update (EFU), finance minister Joe Oliver told Canadians that while the federal government will finally record a surplus next year after seven years of deficits, we can’t […]
A guest blog post from Louis-Philippe Rochon: Dear friends and colleagues, The new issue of the Review of Keynesian Economics (ROKE) is now out, and you can find it here. It features an interesting symposium on ‘Steve Keen and his critics’, and contains not only a paper by Steve Keen, but replies by Marc Lavoie, […]
This piece was originally published at the Globe and Mail’s online Report on Business feature, EconomyLab. There are two reasons why it is difficult to comment on the legacy of a finance minister. 1) It is a tremendously challenging job, anywhere, any time. Stewarding one of the largest economies in the world through a […]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under budgets, Conservative government, deficits, federalism, fiscal federalism, global crisis, housing, IMF, income distribution, income tax, inequality, macroeconomics, OECD, public infrastructure, Role of government, StatCan, stimulus, taxation, TFSA, World Bank.
March 20th, 2014
As I discussed in an earlier post, Niall Ferguson, the Harvard historian and author of numerous bad books about economics, is prone to writing and saying completely ignorant things, making one wonder about the intellectual heft of so-called academic “stars” who populate our institutions of higher learning. The latest bit of idiocy uttered by Ferguson […]
1. He’s Number Two: Stephen Poloz was widely acknowledged in economic and political circles as the second-best choice for the top job at the Bank of Canada. So the surprise was not that he was chosen. The surprise was, Why Not Tiff Macklem? Will someone please find out and tell the rest of us? 2. […]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under Bank of Canada, Conservative government, economic growth, free markets, free trade, G-20, inflation, interest rates, international trade, macroeconomics, monetary policy, Role of government, stimulus, unemployment.
May 3rd, 2013
In a guest post at the Broadbent Institute, I flesh out some of the impacts of EI changes with three (fairly typical) hypothetical stories of unemployed Canadians. There are certainly more extreme consequences felt by some already. At least these folks have access to the Board of Referees. Many fear that access to natural justice […]
Today the CCPA released a new big picture report by myself and student researcher Amanda Card calling for a Green Industrial Revolution. The report builds on work done for the BC-focused Climate Justice Project, bringing to bear a national analysis of green and not-so-green jobs. We take a close look at GHG emissions and employment […]
Posted by Marc Lee under carbon pricing, ccs, climate change, economic growth, employment, energy, environment, housing, industrial policy, investment, labour market, macroeconomics, oil and gas, progressive economic strategies, public infrastructure, public transit, tar sands, transportation.
June 12th, 2012
On June 7, I gave a keynote address to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Education Sector Conference. My PowerPoint presentation (with full references) can be found at this link. Points I raised in the address include the following: -Canada’s economy has been growing quite steadily over the past three decades, even when one adjusts […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under BC, competition, Conservative government, corporate income tax, debt, demographics, education, fiscal federalism, fiscal policy, household debt, income distribution, income tax, inequality, macroeconomics, Newfoundland and Labrador, P3s, part time work, post-secondary education, privatization, productivity, public infrastructure, Quebec, rankings, regulation, Role of government, social policy, student debt, student movement, taxation, user fees, working time, young workers.
June 7th, 2012
In the context of student protests over Quebec tuition fees, my friend Luan Ngo has just written a very informative blog post on Quebec’s fiscal situation. While I encourage readers to read his full post, I do want to use the present space to make mention of three important points he makes: -On a per […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under Bank of Canada, budgets, Conservative government, corporate income tax, debt, deficits, economic crisis, economic growth, economic literacy, economic models, economic thought, education, equalization, financial crisis, fiscal federalism, fiscal policy, heterodox economics, inflation, interest rates, macroeconomics, monetary policy, post-secondary education, progressive economic strategies, Quebec, social policy, student movement, user fees.
April 28th, 2012
Take a look at the picture below. Take it in. Now scan your eyes to the far right…there, in faded blue you’ll see the initials MMT. Now zoom out. Take it in again. Notice: a few hundred people. Spending their time learning about an economic theory called Modern Monetary Theory or MMT and its application […]
I was sorry to miss a celebration of the life and work of Ian Stewart organized by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards last Friday night. Ian was a former senior economic official back in the now distant days of Keynesian dominance, including a stint as Deputy Minister of Finance which will be […]
The federal government has launched consultations on EI premium setting. This provides the opportunity to shift from a very ad hoc system to one that is more fair to workers, and more economically rational. The current worker premium is $1.78 per $100 of insured earnings and the employer premium is $2.49 per $100, adding to […]
Down south, the Obama administration is in a dangerous game of chicken with Republican congressional leaders, who are cynically holding the US economy hostage in order to impose a radical agenda of spending cuts. Obama has seemingly bought into the rhetoric of cutting debt, rather than focusing on the real US problem of unemployment. Yet, […]
Jack Layton unveiled the NDP’s policy platform today. Among other things, it promises to eliminate the deficit (i.e. balance the federal budget) within four years. I’m not sure it should. Several years back, I had the opportunity to take a directed reading course from John Smithin. In addition to being a long-time member of the […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under budgets, debt, deficits, economic growth, economic thought, election 08, election 2011, federal budget, GDP, interest rates, macroeconomics, monetary policy, NDP, party politics, PEF, progressive economic strategies, recession.
April 10th, 2011
With the Alternative Federal Budget (AFB) officially released, you’d think the budget gnomes at the CCPA would have some much deserved time off. Unfortunately with the snow still falling in Ottawa, we figured we’d put them back to work. Every year, the AFB puts together ideas from all of the partners involved. Once everything is […]
Conversation fragment overheard the other day: “This deficit thing. It worries me. My grandchildren you know?” To which his interlocutor replies: “Yes, it worries me too. We just can’t keep this up.” And so it goes. The grandchildren are trotted out. We shudder in collective guilt, thinking about the financial hardship that our selfishness imposes […]
Here’s a new take on bringing economic theory to the masses — a rap battle between Keynes and Hayek. What’s amazing about it is the amount of solid (if not plain nerdy) content this video packs into such a short time. It’s fun to watch for sure (very high production values), but you get that […]
Posted by Iglika Ivanova under economic crisis, economic growth, economic literacy, economic thought, fiscal policy, free markets, history of economic thought, industrial policy, inflation, interest rates, investment, labour adjustment, labour market, macroeconomics, media, monetary policy, prices, progressive economic strategies, public sector procurement, recession, Role of government, stimulus, unemployment, wages.
October 12th, 2010
At the end of May in Quebec City at the annual Canadian Economics Association conference, the PEF awarded the second John Kenneth Galbraith Prize in Economics to John Loxley. Below is the full text of John’s Galbraith Lecture (pdf version with proper footnotes and formatting here). Congrats again to John for a lifetime of amazing […]
Belatedly, two days after the fact, the Globe picked up on Bank of Canada governor Carney’s discussion of the Bank’s model of the world economy (I blogged about that speech here) at a speech to the Ottawa Economics Association (OEA) last Wednesday. The Globe spun the story in an unusual way by suggesting that the […]
When the global recession hit in late 2008, economic output and employment fell so steeply in such a short period of time that policy-makers were seriously concerned about the possibility of the downturn growing into a global depression. The sense of urgency led to unprecedented levels of multilateral economic coordination, with stimulus spending rolled out […]
Yesterday, the Fraser Institute published a new report, which argues that the government stimulus did not drive Canadian economic growth in the last two quarters of 2009 and suggests that government spending on infrastructure was useless for the economy. The report earned the scorn of Finance Minister Flaherty, who was quoted in the Vancouver Sun […]
Posted by Iglika Ivanova under budgets, economic crisis, economic growth, economic literacy, fiscal policy, Fraser Institute, GDP, macroeconomics, monetary policy, Role of government.
March 24th, 2010
In an important series of columns in the Financial Times, economics editor Martin Wolf has been making the argument that – to avoid a relapse into recession – governments must run deficits so long as the private sector is running large surpluses of savings over spending. “Jumps in fiscal deficits are the mirror image of […]
As the communique from the Pittsburgh G20 put it, “it worked.” Unprecedented macro-economic stimulus in the form of ultra low interest rates and large government deficits pulled the global economy back from the abyss. Canada has now joined most countries in exiting the recession, at least very tentatively. But what is next? The official line […]
I have enjoyed being one of the three economists appearing on the occasional “Bottom Line” panel which CBC TV has been running on its National News. My fellow panelists (Patricia Croft from RBC Securities and Mark Mullins of the Fraser Institute) are personable, informed, and for the most part non-dogmatic about things. (I know it […]
I was out of the country but have the impression that the extremely gloomy OECD forecast and critical recommendations for Canada released just before the G20 London summit were not given the attention they deserved. http://www.oecd.org/document/59/0,3343,en_2649_33733_42234619_1_1_1_1,00.html The OECD released its intermim outlook largely to push the case for more stimulus by G20 countries, particularly those, […]
The Canadian media didn’t pay much attention to this economic crisis before the stock markets plunged last fall, and that has continued to be a major focus. But this focus on the stockmarket and the mistaken perception that this crisis is all the fault of the U.S., is leading to the overly optimistic forecasts of […]
I really enjoyed a recent piece by Tom Palley “After the Bust: The Outlook for Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policy.” He argues with great assurance that only progressive Post Keynesian analytics can explain the crisis, and that we won’t get out of it with a bit of Keynesian tweaking of the neo liberal paradigm. http://www.levy.org/vdoc.aspx?docid=1116 “Change” […]
There’s a great article in today’s Vancouver Sun hammering on the fact that all major mainstream economists failed to anticipate the economic crisis. Provocatively titled Economics 101: Everything you know is wrong, the article quotes James Galbraith’s indictment on the mainstream of the profession that originally appeared in a New York Times Magazine article: “There […]
It strikes me that progressive economists should talk less about the need for immediate fiscal stimulus, and more about the case for an extended period of public investment led growth. Of course, as we slide into recession, Canadian governments will likely shift from surpluses to deficits simply by not cutting spending as much as revenues […]