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 […]

Crude costs and Energy East

My latest at Macleans digs into TransCanada’s analysis on crude cost savings for eastern refiners from Energy East. Check it out here.

Marginal and average costs, and the price of bike commuting

Marginal and average costs, and the price of bike commuting

One of the things which changed during my year in Ottawa is that I became a year-round bike commuter. I’ve decided to try to keep this up in Edmonton, despite some (potentially important) differences in climate and snow clearing between the two cities. One of the factors in my initial decision to ride to work […]

Canada: Petrostate or not?

Andrew Nikiforuk’s piece in the July/August issue of Foreign Policy claims that Canada has become a rogue petrostate. You can read my reply, and Mr. Nikiforuk’s response to it, here.

On my Enbridge Professorship

Update: As of March, 2015, I no longer hold the Enbridge Professorship. There are 4 major milestones in a professor’s career – you get your first job as Assistant Professor, you get tenure, then (or possibly jointly) get promoted to Associate Professor, and finally to (full) Professor. Outside of that formal structure, there are separate […]

The National Energy Program - A missed boom for the oil sands?

The National Energy Program – A missed boom for the oil sands?

After my post last night got me reading Budget 1980 and the National Energy Program, I stumbled upon something completely fascinating: the hated National Energy Program proposed an indexed price for synthetic crude from oil sands projects which, had it been followed until today, would have been above the Canadian dollar price of WTI in […]

Reading the National Energy Program

As a non-native-Albertan academic (in particular one from back east), I have learned that there are two golden rules to follow when in Alberta – don’t mention the National Energy Program, and don’t mention the National Energy Program.  This post, and my next one, are going to break both of those rules.