Working Papers

Under Review

More Publications

. The Aggregate Productivity Effect of Labour and Capital Market Distortions in Canada. Revision Requested, Canadian Journal of Economics, 2020.


Featured Publications

Macdonald-Laurier Institute Paper, 2022

Between 2000 and 2015, China’s aggregate income quadrupled, its provincial income inequality fell by a third, and its share of employment in agriculture fell by half. Worker migration is central to this transformation, with almost 300 million workers living and working outside their area or sector of ( extit{hukou}) registration by 2015. Combining rich individual-level data on worker migration with a spatial general equilibrium model of China’s economy, we estimate the reductions in internal migration costs between 2000 and 2015, and quantify the contributions of these cost reductions to economic growth, structural change, and regional income convergence. We find that over the fifteen-year period China’s internal migration costs fell by forty-five percent, with the cost of moving from agricultural rural areas to non-agricultural urban ones falling even more. In addition to contributing substantially to growth, these migration cost changes account for the majority of the reallocation of workers out of agriculture and the drop in regional inequality. We compare the effect of migration policy changes with other important economic factors, including changes in trade costs, capital market distortions, average cost of capital, and productivity. While each contributes meaningfully to growth, migration policy is central to China’s structural change and regional income convergence. We also find the recent slow-down in aggregate economic growth between 2010 and 2015 is associated with smaller reduction in inter-provincial migration costs and a larger role of capital accumulation.
Journal of Monetary Economics, 2020

Federal transfers are a central but ever-changing feature of Canada’s federation. Despite early hopes that transfer arrangements were ‘a final and unalterable settlement’ of provincial demands, complex economic and political pressures forced successive governments to negotiate. To explore this history and Canada’s various transfer programs, I compile uniquely detailed data from Confederation to today. Explicit transfers to provincial governments are large, but more equally distributed today than throughout most of Canada’s history. I also propose a uniform methodology to quantify and analyze both explicit and implicit fiscal transfers. Overall, federal tax and spending activities redistribute just under 2 per cent of Canada’s GDP across provinces; but this too is less than any point in the past six decades. This data, analysis and brief historical review reveal why today’s transfer programs are designed as they are, what pressures they must withstand, and what future reforms might consider.
Canadian Tax Journal, 2019

We study how goods- and labor-market frictions affect aggregate labor productivity in China. Combining unique data with a general equilibrium model of internal and international trade, and migration across regions and sectors, we quantify the magnitude and consequences of trade and migration costs. The costs were high in 2000, but declined afterward. The decline accounts for 36% of the aggregate labor productivity growth between 2000 and 2005. Reductions in internal trade and migration costs are more important than reductions in external trade costs. Despite the decline, migration costs are still high and potential gains from further reform are large.
American Economic Review, 2019

Does trade within a country affect welfare and productivity? What are the magnitude and consequences of costs to such trade? To answer these questions, we exploit unique Canadian data to measure internal trade costs in a variety of waysthey are large and vary across sectors and provinces. To quantify their consequences for welfare and productivity, we use a recent multi-sector trade model featuring rich inputoutput relationships. We find interprovincial trade is an important contributor to Canada’s GDP and welfare, though there are significant costs to such trade. Reducing interprovincial trade costs by 10% yields aggregate gains of 0.9%; eliminating our preferred estimates of costs, gains average between 3% and 7% – equivalent to real GDP gains between $50 billion and $130 billion. Finally, as policy reforms are often sector specific, we liberalize sectors one at a time and find gains are largest in highly interconnected industries.
Canadian Journal of Economics, 2016

Recent Publications

Academic Journals

More Publications

. Fiscal Sustainability and Diverging Fortunes in Atlantic Canada. Atlantic Canada Economic Review 3 (1): 1-18, July 2022, 2022.

PDF Journal Website

. Book Review: The Art of Sharing by Mary Janigan. Essays in Economic and Business History 39, 246-247, 2022.

PDF The Art of Sharing Journal

. Fiscal Integration with Internal Trade: Quantifying the Effects of Equalizing Transfers. Canadian Journal of Economics 54(2): 522-556, May 2021, 2021.

PDF Journal Article

. Attitudes, behaviours and barriers to public health measures for COVID-19: a survey to inform public health messaging. BMC Public Health, 2021.

Journal Website

Recent & Upcoming Talks

More Talks

York University
Nov 15, 2021 9:00 AM
Interprovincial Trade: The real barrier to post-COVID recovery?
Nov 9, 2021 10:00 AM
UC San Diego
Nov 4, 2021 9:00 AM
University of Victoria
Oct 29, 2021 3:00 PM
It's Debatable: Equalization Referendum
Oct 7, 2021 4:30 PM
Equalization 101: What Do You Know and What Do You Need to Know?
Sep 29, 2021 7:00 PM



Alberta Economic Conditions Index

This project compiles monthly data from a variety of courses to estimate real-time economic conditions in Alberta. It closely follows, as much as the data allows, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index.

Finances of the Nation

The Finances of the Nation team consists of researchers, students, and tax professionals from across Canada.

Alberta's Fiscal Future

The Alberta’s Fiscal Future (AFF) project is a two-year research/public engagement initiative providing the public and policy makers with in-depth analyses of Alberta’s fiscal situation and policy options to address it.

Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations Commission

An independent team of academic experts and policy practitioners from a variety of disciplines across the country to recommend practical reforms to the system of intergovernmental fiscal relations in Canada.


A full list of courses is available here

Winter 2021 Semester:

  • PPOL 615: Public Finance (MPP)
  • MGST 611: Managerial Economics (EMBA)

Fall 2020 Semester:

  • ECON 201: Principles of Microeconoimcs
  • ECON 621: International Trade (MA/PhD)
  • MGST 611: Managerial Economics (EMBA)

Winter 2020 Semester:

  • ECON 759: Advanced Macroeconomics Theory (PhD)
  • MGST 611: Managerial Economics (EMBA)
  • PPOL 615: Public Finance (MPP)