Blog Profile / Worthwhile Canadian Initiative


URL :http://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile_canadian_initi/
Filed Under:Business & Finance / Economics
Posts on Regator:1457
Posts / Week:4.6
Archived Since:April 1, 2011

Blog Post Archive

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...

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...

Should professors tell students exactly what they expect?

Imagine, for a moment, that students acquire valuable human capital during their time at university. Imagine that the grades on a student's transcript reflect his or her level of human capital. Imagine that, every term, a professor uses examinations, term...

A Very Brief History of Federal Cash Transfers: Canada 1867 to 2017

This is a post in celebration of Canada’s 150th and similar in time span to my previous one on housing supply and dwelling starts. Canada is a federation and a key feature of its operation is a system of intergovernmental...

High Wages encourage Innovation?

High wages increase the benefits of an innovation that increases labour productivity. The higher the wage, the bigger the benefits of saving an hour of labour to produce the same quantity of goods. But if that innovation itself requires labour...

L'affaire Potter

You are all, I think, familiar with the details of L'Affaire Potter, so I need not enumerate them here. If you aren't already familiar with this story, you probably don't care what I have to say about it, so you...

Old and New Keynesian Multipliers: Cross-Section and Time-Series

Suppose you had an economy where half the agents are "Hand-To-Mouth" and have a Marginal Propensity to Consume of one (Ct=Yt), and the other half are "Autonomous" and have a Marginal Propensity to Consume of zero (Ct=At where At is....

Real Interest on Reserves

A central bank issues currency and wants to target the price of apples in terms of that currency. So it opens an apple window, and posts a sign promising to buy or sell unlimited quantities of apples at $1 each....

We Are Adding Less to Housing Supply

Housing prices particularly in places like Toronto and Vancouver are still a big issue and what is driving them is the subject of debate. There is Josh Gordon’s recent policy paper, which places the main emphasis on demand side factors...

Federal Budgetary Comparisons: Canada and the United States

It is federal government budget season in both Canada and the United States and I thought it might be useful to provide a few visual comparisons on federal government finance for the two countries. While the expenditure responsibilities and composition...

Econoblogging - still a Worthwhile Canadian Initiative?

This Friday I will be joining colleagues in international affairs, journalism, public policy and political science to talk about "Academics in the Media Landscape: The Role of Scholar-Columnist-Bloggers". The panel is part of Carleton's Visions for Canada, 2042 conference, which...

Long Run Growth and the end of The End of (Monetary Policy) History

Suppose everyone believes that we have reached the End of History, as far as monetary policy is concerned. The new inflation-targeting regime adopted by central banks has finally solved the age-old problem of the business cycle. There will be no...

Internal migration flows in Canada

Discussions about demographics are typically focused on trends in fertility/morbidity and immigration/emigration, and these are what matter at the national level. But at the local level, trends on internal migration are also important. Statistics Canada has been publishing data on...

Economists making spectacularly bad forecasts, 1961 edition.

Back in the 1960s, the Ontario government's Department of Economics dutifully cranked out annual population forecasts. What is remarkable about these forecasts is how far wrong they were. The economists completely failed to predict the demographic changes that were about...

A forgotten cost of the gold standard.

While waiting for the kettle to boil in the Economics department lounge, I searched for something - anything - to read. Then I spotted the 1961 Ontario Economic Survey on the departmental bookshelf. Opening the old volume at random, I...

Suuply Contraints and Ontario Housing Prices

A key feature of housing markets in Canada over the last decade is the sustained increase in prices particularly in larger urban centers such as Vancouver and Toronto. Data from Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) on average MLS housing prices...

Apple Prices and Core Inflation

An economy produces two goods: apples and haircuts. The production function for apples shifts up or down every year at random, depending on the weather. The production function for haircuts never shifts. The weather causes relative prices to change. When...

Path-dependence of measuring real GDP?

I normally try to avoid index number theory. Don't trust me on this. It is well understood that real GDP is a very imperfect measure of welfare. We teach that in first year macro. That is not what this post...

Variety and Growth

A closed economy produces only apples, using fixed amounts of labour and land. Suppose there is an exogenous increase in the number of varieties of apples produced. With a constant returns to scale technology, GDP stays the same. But if...

The Mary Tyler Moore Effect

In 1970, every Justice on the Supreme Court of Canada was male. Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau had an all-male cabinet. Canada had never had a female premier - or even a female television newsreader. Little girls across the country...

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