Blog Profile / Worthwhile Canadian Initiative


URL :http://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile_canadian_initi/
Filed Under:Business & Finance / Economics
Posts on Regator:1444
Posts / Week:4.7
Archived Since:April 1, 2011

Blog Post Archive

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...

How to write an email that will get you what you want

Most of my day-to-day social and professional interactions take place over email. It's my primary form of direct, one-on-one contact with students, colleagues, and co-authors. Consequently, my impressions of people are shaped by their emails. Are their emails polite or...

Hume's Sailing Ships correcting Samuelson's Icebergs

Paul Samuelson said (PITA gated) that David Hume's price-specie flow mechanism (ungated) was wrong. And I am saying, nervously biting my fingernails, that Samuelson was wrong. Assume that durable sailing ships are costly to build, but have low (or zero...

AD/AS: a suggested interpretation

Many macroeconomists don't like the Aggregate Demand/Aggregate Supply framework often used in Introductory macro textbooks. Maybe that's because it isn't explained properly. So I am going to explain it my way. If you explain the AD/AS framework my way, you...

Infrastructure Overbuilds: Past and Present

Thomas Gunton of Simon Fraser University’s Resource and Environmental Planning Program had a piece in yesterday’s Globe and Mail raising the question if the statement of support for the Keystone XL pipeline and the approval of two other pipelines was...

Tony

Tony Atkinson died January 1, 2017. He was my PhD supervisor when I was at LSE in the 1980s, and we kept in touch occasionally afterwards. What follows are some personal reflections on his life and his work. In his...

Happy New Year....Really!

Well, it’s the start of a New Year and traditionally there should be a sense of optimism to a fresh start. Indeed, at least one forecasting company feels that the global outlook for 2017 is at least stable despite the...

Economists don't get SSHRC money, grad student edition

The other day a colleague was explaining how SSHRC-funded Canada Graduate Scholarships are awarded at my university. "It's mostly driven by GPA," he said. "Grades in economics are so low that your students don't get a look in." I spent...

No Health Deal. Now What?

Well, I just finished watching the federal health and finance ministers discuss the failed federal transfer health deal on the news. I suppose coming just a few days before Christmas, a dispute over federal health transfers can become a new...

Staghunt and (the) IRS

"IRS" stands for "Increasing Returns to Scale". It means if you double all the inputs, you more than double the output. I first worried that US readers might think "IRS" stands for Internal Revenue Service (the US tax people). Then....

New CIHI National Health Expenditure Numbers Out

The Canadian Institute for Health Information has released the latest version of its annual report on public and private health expenditure at both the provincial and federal levels. As always, the CIHI provides a wealth of health data and information...

Understanding Banks and Two Monetary Policy Instruments

Sometimes I write posts about things I don't understand and want to understand. (Or don't understand very well and want to understand better.) This is one of those posts. Suppose the government nationalises all the commercial banks, and merges them...

John Cochrane On Neo-Fisherianism, again

First I am going to give you the intuition behind the model in John Cochrane's new paper. It's a very good paper, though I confess I've only skimmed it, because it's very long, and I don't understand all the math....

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