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Nick Rowe

How to value Aboriginal language television programming

Aboriginal programming is one of Canada's most worthwhile initiatives, from the classic radio program Dead Dog Cafe to Nick Rowe's favourite show, Moosemeat and Marmalade. But what is it worth? If you were asked to do an economic impact assessment of Aboriginal media - especially Aboriginal language programming - how would you do it?  A lot of economic impact assessments work on the principle that the costs are the benefits - so the benefits of Aboriginal language...

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Quebec is a distinct society, parental leave edition

My colleague Jennifer Robson has recently published a study on parental leave for the Institute for Research on Public Policy. It provides a detailed comparison of parental leave in Quebec and the rest of Canada (ROC), and provides a number of recommendations for changing the way that parental leaves are delivered through Canada' Employment Insurance system.  As Professor Robson describes in her study, Quebec's parental leave policies are quite different from those...

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150 Years of Canadian National Defence Spending

Canada’s federal government is going to deliver a new defence policy that is expected to guide Canada’s military for the next generation. While in the works for months, it comes in the wake of President Donald Trump’s recent exhortation at the NATO meetings that NATO members are not spending enough and Tuesday’s speech by Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland that Canada must rely more on itself for defence signaling that today’s defence policy release will involve a significant...

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Remembering Peter George

Peter James George (1941-2017) died at home April 27th after a short illness. His passing leaves a remarkable legacy as an economic historian and academic leader. Peter grew up in the Toronto Islands, graduated from the University of Toronto, took up a faculty position in the Economics Department at McMaster University in 1965 and served his entire career there until retiring as President Emeritus in 2010. He became McMaster’s longest serving President and a tireless advocate for the...

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Job tenures and the gig economy

A few weeks ago, Alex Usher drew my attention to this post by the Pew Research Center, on job tenure patterns of 18-35 year-olds in the United States. The takeaway point was that, contrary to an oft-repeated narrative about the "new gig economy", job tenure patterns among millennials resemble those of the generation previous. Of course, Canada is not the United States: what do job tenure data look like for younger cohorts up here? It turns out that this may be one of those rare...

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Five things that can help you get your conference submission accepted

Over the past few months, I've been putting together the program for the upcoming Canadian Economics Association meetings: http://economics.ca/2017/en/.  It's a reasonable sized conference - this year we had almost 900 submissions - and quite a few papers were rejected. Yet often papers were not accepted for conference program simply because the author made an easily avoidable mistake when submitting the paper. Here is a list of simple things that anyone can do to increase...

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Trade Wars: Then and Now

I've got a new op-ed in the Globe, arguing that, to pull away from the US, Canada must look to its immigrants.  The first draft of that article was much longer, and begun with a long discussion of the Smoot-Hawley act. I've reproduced that first draft below: “What ifs” that were unthinkable six months ago are now chillingly plausible. What if President Trump imposes a big border tax on Canada or Mexico? What if he tears up NAFTA? What if President Trump’s unilateral actions...

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PhD Vouchers

Canadian universities have strong incentives to create PhD programs, and admit students into those programs. This is because provincial governments typically provide generous funds for each PhD student a university takes in. Also, PhD students are useful and cheap workers. Moreover, having a PhD program raises an academic unit's status, by signalling that it is a "research" unit  rather than a "teaching" unit. For individual faculty members,...

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Statistics Canada’s historical housing cost data is wrong

In the early 1960s, Canadian economic historian Marvin McInnis started digging through the Dominion Bureau of Statistics archives, looking for city-level information on rental prices. While there, he discovered something strange and disturbing:  A prominent theme of my career has been to reveal anomalies in what has been put forward as evidence. One instance is known only to me. In 1961 I was doing research for my doctoral thesis at what was then called the...

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Milk is mind-bogglingly cheap.

The Canadian Cook Book was first published in 1923. My copy is the twentieth edition, published in 1949. It dates from the heyday of home economics, a time when scientific principles were being applied to domestic life. Recipes are mixed in with nutritional information, guidance on the finer points of etiquette, and what we could call today "financial literacy". Below the fold I have reproduced a recommended food budget for the 20th century homemaker: Noteworthy in the Canadian...

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