My Twitter Account

Many of you have noticed that I suspended my Twitter account over the weekend.  I expect that this will be a temporary decision, at least in some respects, although I am not sure what my re-engagement will look like. I’ve used Twitter for many years now, and I love the medium for news, learning, and interacting […]

Finite Resources and Infinite Growth

Finite Resources and Infinite Growth

Today’s Globe and Mail featured a column by Gary Mason on a world without oil.  ”If you believe that the economy is structured in such a way that it needs to grow continually in order to survive,” it states, “then it will take an endless supply of energy to feed it. ” The article then […]

Can we dismiss this `economists only care about GDP’ crap, once and for all?

Yesterday, the Pembina Institute and Equiterre released a report entitled Booms, busts, and bitumen: The economic implications of Canadian oil sands development.   The report opens with a foreword from University of Ottawa economics professor Serge Coulombe. His opening paragraph states that, “Environmentalists don’t accept gross domestic product (GDP) as a complete measure of well-being in the […]

Extraction vs Upgrading

The NDP put forth a motion in the House last week which states that, “the Keystone XL pipeline would intensify the export of unprocessed raw bitumen and would export more than 40,000 well-paying Canadian jobs, and is therefore not in Canada’s best interest.” This motion provided me with the motivation to dig into a question – if […]

Fort Hills tale of the tape

This morning, Suncor held an investor conference call to discuss the decision announced late last night that it would proceed with the development of the Fort Hills mine – a joint venture with Total and Teck. Everything associate with this project is huge – it’s expected to produce 180,000 barrels per day and to cost […]

Chicken Wings and Beer

My latest at Macleans.

Carbon pricing is not a panacea

Pretty well every economist you talk to will agree; if you want to reduce pollution, carbon or otherwise, the most cost-effective way to do so is with a price on the emissions of that which you seek to reduce. They’ll also tell you that, under some basic assumptions, the cost-effectiveness result holds whether you impose that price through a […]

Transparency and Credibility

Tonight, I was a little surprised to read the following tweets from Marc Lee, Senior Economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), and Co-Director of the Climate Justice Project: “I’m appalled by your acceptance of Enbridge professorship. You’ve lost credibility.“ and “If I recall correctly you also own Enbridge stock. So a double […]

Common sense, sample selection, representative samples, and sample sizes

As Statistics Canada continues to roll-out the results from the National Household survey, I seem to become involved in arguments at least once a week as to the importance of sample selection in survey data.  This week, my argument was with IPSOS CEO Darrell Bricker – someone who should know a lot about statistics.  In […]

The Decline of Canadian (Academic) Economics?

The Decline of Canadian (Academic) Economics?

The IRPP released a report today on the decline of economics papers by Canadian academics looking at Canadian issues.  Today’s report, authored by the University of Calgary’s Herb Emery, the University of Manitoba’s Wayne Simpson, and the IRPP’s Stephen Tapp  draws on earlier work  by Simpson and Emery published in the journal Canadian Public Policy.  The gist of the […]