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Archive for 'regulation'

The Novel Observations of Jean Tirole?

French economist Jean Tirole has won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Economics for his work on industrial organization and regulation, in particular his insights into oligopolies.  “Who is Jean Tirole?,  many non-economists and some economists are asking today.  The MIT-educated, Toulouse-based professor is a key figure in the New Industrial Organization (IO) movement.  The movement, […]

Rental Housing in Yellowknife

Yesterday I blogged about rental housing in Yellowknife, over at the Northern Public Affairs web site.  Specifically, I blogged about a recent announcement by the city’s largest for-profit landlord that it plans to “tighten” its policies vis-a-vis renting to recipients of “income assistance” (which, in most parts of Canada, is known generically as social assistance).  […]

OECD Findings on Employment Protection and Jobs Performance

Further to my earlier post on the OECD’s new data on employment performance across its 34 member countries (and Canada’s relatively poor ranking in that regard), another part of the OECD Employment Outlook 2013 that is also worth reading in detail is Chapter 2. 

Glass-House Mortgages

A letter appears in today’s Globe and Mail in response to recent direction given by Minister Flaherty to private mortgage lenders over mortgage rates.  The letter was written by Steve Pomeroy, one of Canada’s leading housing policy experts. Here is the full text of the letter: – Glass-house mortgages Twice in recent weeks, the Minister […]

Canada’s Emissions Deception

The federal government released an updated Canada’s Emission Trends 2012 report today. In a remarkable shift in federal rhetoric just this past week, the Harperites now appear to be more sensitive to concerns about the Enbridge pipeline and climate change more generally. But appearances can be deceiving and there is good reason to believe the current […]

Canada’s Self-Imposed Crisis in Post-Secondary Education

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 […]

Mining in the NWT: Who Gets What?

In a recent blog post at Northern Public Affairs, Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox looks at the issue of ‘who gets what?’ when a mine is developed in the Northwest Territories (NWT). Here is an excerpt from the post: – The resource extractor: they pay royalties (the NWT has the lowest royalties in the world), and costs of […]

Deregulation: A Bad Idea Crosses the Atlantic

The Harper government announced today that federal “regulators will be required to remove at least one regulation each time they introduce a new one that imposes administrative burden on business.” At the risk of imposing a proofreading burden on communications staff, that sentence is missing the word “an.” I first heard this idea at a […]

Tuition Increases by Stealth

On Tuesday night, Peterborough City Council approved a plan for a for-profit corporation to own and operate a new student residence at Trent University.  I’m concerned that this may signal a new trend at Canadian universities; about a year ago, I blogged about a similar plan at the University of Toronto. I am not opposed […]

Might the proposed new federal securities regulator weaken regulatory oversight?

The front page of today’s Globe and Mail reports the latest chapter in the federal attempt to create a national securities regulator. (Premiers push back against national securities regulator plan).   Part of the Harper government’s response to the financial crisis was to promise to remedy the patchwork of provincial securities regulators.  If securities regulators […]

Bank Economist Proposes Higher Tuition Fees

A globeandmail.com article posted last night discusses a recent report on post-secondary education in Nova Scotia.  The report itself, released yesterday, was written by BMO’s former Chief Economist, Tim O’Neill.  According to the article, O’Neill’s report calls for “complete deregulation of tuition fees” in Nova Scotia.  Moreover: He believes that higher tuitions are more equitable because they […]

Debating Interprovincial Trade

Over at the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, Robert Knox has tried to rebut my rebuttal of his C. D. Howe Institute paper. (I am still waiting for a rebuttal of my rebuttal of his more recent Macdonald-Laurier Institute paper.) Knox’s post sheds light on how his side of the debate sees the issue. But I begin with […]

The Privacy Issue that Harper Should Focus on – Credit Info

Since Stephen Harper and David Cameron seem to be on the same wavelength, and the UK thinks it can trash census and turn to isources like credit records for its information needs, the story below on privacy, from Alberta, may be of possible interest. Report of an Investigation into the Security, Collection and Retention of […]

The Business Case for Tough Regulation

This toughly argued lead article in Bloomberg Business Week on the BP oil leak disaster is a keeper – it sets out a very strong endorsement of the key regulatory role of government in curbing the dangerous excesses of capitalism. “This is a moment to think big and creatively. As distant as risky drilling rigs […]

Canada’s Regulatory Obstacle Course

The CCPA released a report of mine, critiquing federal regulatory policy. Called Canada’s Regulatory Obstacle Course, the brief looks at the latest development in federal deregulation, the Cabinet Directive on Streamlining Regulation (CDSR, announced in the 2007 budget), but situates it in the context of ongoing deregulation that has been underway since the 1980s. The […]

The Case Against Ticketmaster

Anti-trust lawyer David Balto, with the Center for American Progress, recently made the case against Ticketmaster’s proposed merger with LiveNation in testimony to the US Congress. The testimony also provides an excellent summary of Ticketmaster’s existing monopoly, some of which I excerpt below: Let’s be straightforward about one transparent fact: Ticketmaster is a monopolist and […]

Milton and the Meltdown in Iceland

I was intrigued by what is happening in Iceland, so the following is a piece I’ve written on it.  It has some introductory macro-economics in it, which I think it is good to keep in perspective as we consider the frantic attempts being made to prevent an economic depression. The economic and financial collapse of 2008 […]

Deregulation under the Conservatives

The recent outbreak of listeria cast a glaring pre-election light on food safety, and made public the Conservative government’s plans to deregulate food inspection. Because regulation is what happens after legislation is passed, it is generally outside the purview of Parliament, and thus a minority government can engage in acts of deregulation rather quietly. For […]

Transportation and climate change

One of the big challenges in reducing greenhouse gas emissions comes from transportation. Here in BC, for example, transportation accounts for 40% of our annual emissions. Of that more than a third (14% of the total) is from personal transportation. So any serious emissions reduction plan has to eventually come to grips with cars. To […]

Social Murder and Conservative Economics

A salvo from University of Manitoba economists, and PEF members, Ian Hudson and Robert Chernomas, based on their new book, Social Murder and Other Shortcomings of Conservative Economics: The Myth of Conservative Economics January 2008 “The government can’t pick winners, but losers pick government.”  Former Canadian Deputy Industry Minister V. Peter Harder cited in The […]

Carbon tax and driving

Dave Sawyer, one of the authors of the National Round Table on Environment and Economy report, and blogger at EnviroEconomics.ca, makes some pertinent insider comments on the efficacy of a carbon tax in reducing emissions from personal transportation, a major source of emissions: While the carbon tax will “drive” some reductions in vehicle kilometers traveled, […]

The NRTEE and carbon pricing

The National Round Table on Environment and Economy made the news this week with its report to the federal government on how the feds’ own climate change targets could be achieved, and with minimal impact on the economy. The NRTEE was established way back when by Brian Mulroney, who a couple years ago was dubbed […]

Saskatchewan Election Results: Assessing the Damage (Updated Again)

The Saskatchewan Party won 37 seats with 51% of the popular vote and the NDP won 21 seats with 37% of the vote. Obviously, the Saskatchewan Party’s victory is bad news for progressives. The provincewide figures mask significant regional variations. Outside of the main cities, the Saskatchewan Party won 27 seats with 62% of the […]

Economists call for BC carbon tax

A group of BC-based academic economists have joined together to call for a carbon tax in a letter to BC Finance Minister Carole Taylor. BC is taking suggestions towards a climate change action budget this February. I’m not holding my breath that a carbon tax is likely; from what I’m hearing out of Victoria this […]

TILMA and the Ontario Election

During the provincial campaign, Dalton McGuinty seems to have changed his tune on TILMA. This change is somewhat reminiscent of the Saskatchewan Party’s “road to Damascus” conversion on the issue. Six months ago, McGuinty praised TILMA and mused about joining it. A couple of weeks ago, he wrote the following in response to a questionnaire […]

Chinese toys redux

I overheard on the radio that Mattel has made an apology to the Chinese government for its recall of numerous products – a huge symbol of just how mighty China is. At the time of recall mania there was a lot of China-bashing for its lax regulatory oversight (not so much what it meant for […]

Dion vs Harper: Who will be corporate Canada’s sweetheart?

Erin’s post that Liberal leader Stephane Dion wants more corporate tax cuts reminded me of a recent backgrounder from the Library of Parliament on corporate taxes. The primer has a nice table (that will not reproduce nicely in this space) showing federal corporate income tax rates going back to 1960. In both 1960 and 1970 […]

Dion-omics: Corporate Tax Cuts and Deregulation

“Dion Would Wield Tax Axe to Spur Growth” was the headline in Tuesday’s Financial Post. The story reported that “Mr. Dion said his party would look to cut taxes across the board” but that “He would not elaborate on which taxes he would cut.” However, Monday’s Liberal press release seemed quite clear about which taxes […]

The secrecy of the SPP

Linda McQuaig takes on the Security and Prosperity Partnership: Since the SPP initiative was officially launched in March 2005, the public has been effectively shut out of the process. There’s been little awareness, let alone public debate, about what’s going on. The key advisory body in the SPP is an all business group called the […]

Just how safe is our food?

Asks the Vancouver Sun with its banner headline today. There is a general expectation among the public that someone is looking out for their interests. Concerns generally only arise when there is an e-coli or SARS-like outbreak. Not overtly mentioned in the article below (though it promises to be part one of a series) is […]