Staff

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson is the Broadbent Institute's Senior Policy Advisor.

In September, 2012 he retired from a long career as Chief Economist and Director of Social and Economic Policy with the Canadian Labour Congress.

In 2011, he was awarded the Sefton Prize by the University of Toronto for his lifetime contributions to industrial relations. Educated at the University of British Columbia and the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he earned a B. Sc. and an M.Sc. in Economics, Andrew is the author of numerous articles and five books, including Work and Labour in Canada: Critical Issues, which is now in its second edition with Canadian Scholars Press.

Posts & Activities by Andrew Jackson


  • Canada-China trade agreement no deal for Canadian workers

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    Global Affairs Canada is conducting public consultations on a possible Canada-China Free Trade Agreement. Based on the record since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, further liberalization of trade and investment on the current model would not benefit most Canadians.

    Following the ground breaking work of Branko Milanovic at the World Bank, economists increasingly accept that the rules of the liberal global economy have produced both winners and losers. The big winners have been the top one percent around the world who have benefited from a global rise in corporate profits and senior executive incomes and, to a degree, workers in developing countries who have enjoyed rising real wages. 

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  • published Its time to change the rules of global trade in Blog 2017-04-30 13:36:35 -0400

    Its time to change the rules of global trade

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    It is now three months into the Presidency of Donald Trump, and policy makers around the world are still unsure how to respond to the new administration's challenge to the liberal global order and the looming threat of “America First” trade  policies. 

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  • published Fighting corporate concentration in Blog 2017-04-18 14:19:43 -0400

    Fighting the ills of corporate concentration

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    Economics textbooks generally begin with a simple model in which prices of goods and services are determined by supply and demand in competitive markets and firms are “price-takers.” Yet it is much closer to reality to view the world we live in as one in which a handful of very large companies dominate most markets and have the power to administer prices so as to earn well above average profits or “rents.”

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  • published Public investment and the innovation agenda in Blog 2017-03-31 17:49:00 -0400

    Public investment and the innovation agenda

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    In response to recent rethinking of economic development policy, the 2017 federal budget announces a more interventionist innovation agenda. However, it marks only a modest shift in direction.

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  • published On Trumponomics and China in Blog 2017-03-25 22:04:00 -0400

    On Trumponomics and China

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    While Canadians are understandably focused on what the election of President Trump means for our bilateral trading relationship and the future of NAFTA, a much bigger issue for the global economy is the pending clash between the United States and China.

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  • published 2017 federal budget: End of Progress? in Blog 2017-03-23 09:14:43 -0400

    2017 budget falters on progress, tax fairness

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    The major challenge for the federal government in the budget was to maintain its commitment to progressive social and economic policies in the face of criticism from the right for its supposedly profligate fiscal policies and unwise promises to make the tax system more progressive. The government was also urged to trim its sails in the face of pending tax cuts in the United States.

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  • Touchstones for a Progressive Federal Budget in the Age of Trump

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    The major challenge for the federal government in the budget expected this month is to maintain its commitment to progressive social and economic policies in the context of a major shift to the political right in the United States.

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  • published Governments and Charities in Blog 2017-02-15 15:38:50 -0500

    Governments and Charities

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    Every year, just before Christmas, the Fraser Institute publish a “Generosity Index” which compares charitable giving in Canada and the United States. The widely-publicized message in 2016 was that Canadians are relative tightwads, with just 21.3% of us making tax deductible charitable donations in 2014 compared to 23.5% of Americans, and total donations amounting to just 0.6% of Canadian family incomes compared to 1.2% in the United States

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  • published Life after NAFTA? in Blog 2017-01-20 15:45:49 -0500

    Trump, Canada and life after NAFTA

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    The election of President Trump and the potential imposition of border taxes and other protectionist measures is clearly of great concern to Canadian exporters, the workers they employ and the communities they support. This underlines just how much NAFTA and the wider liberalization of trade with rising economic powers such as China have shaped our economy and made us highly vulnerable to forces outside our control.

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  • Big cities much more unequal than Canada as a whole

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    It is no secret that big, global cities like London and New York are highly unequal and display harsh extremes of wealth and poverty. This is increasingly true of Canada's largest cities, as shown by recently released Statistics Canada data on the geographical distribution of high income earners.

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  • published The digital economy will not power a recovery in Blog 2016-12-01 09:00:06 -0500

    The digital economy will not power a recovery

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    Economists and pundits are at odds over medium term prospects for the global economy. Pessimists see stagnant growth, rising inequality and growing unemployment and underemployment, widely held to be responsible for the rise of right-wing populists such as US President elect Donald Trump. 

    Meanwhile, techno optimists such as Erik Bryjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, the authors of The Second Machine Age, argue that the digital economy will drive rapid productivity growth and underpin the gradual emergence of a post scarcity economy capable of providing prosperity for all.

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  • Private infrastructure bank not in the public interest

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    The Advisory Council on Economic Growth chaired by Domenic Barton has proposed to federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau the creation of an independent Canadian Infrastructure Development Bank (CIDB) to help finance $200 billion of public infrastructure projects over the next decade. There is an argument for improved financing tools, but no case for such a lever for massive and costly privatization.

    The report of the Council reiterates the consensus view that investment in public infrastructure such as roads, mass transit, railways, ports, water and waste water treatment, clean energy and power grids has been too low, and that a major increase could drive immediate job creation while also boosting longer term economic growth.

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  • Rising right-wing populism and the failure of global economic governance

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    With the global economy mired in slow growth and right-wing, nationalist populism in the ascendant in many of the advanced industrial countries, one might have hoped that the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China would have come up with a real plan to promote a sustainable, shared recovery. 

    If so, one would be very disappointed since the final communique consisted mainly of empty rhetoric and evaded the key issues of competitive fiscal austerity and increasing income inequality. 

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  • Federal tax review must target loopholes for wealthy, boost fiscal capacity

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    Progressive tax reform to promote both greater distributional fairness and increased fiscal capacity to fund social programs and public services should be squarely on the agenda for the 2017 federal budget. Indeed, with faltering growth, the federal Liberals will be hard-pressed to meet their commitments to new investments,while still ensuring a promised decline in the federal debt to GDP ratio, if they do not significantly increase revenues.

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  • published Canada's middle-class jobs challenge in Blog 2016-07-21 16:19:43 -0400

    Canada's middle-class jobs challenge

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    Good jobs are a central mechanism in the creation of shared prosperity.

    What matters for workers is not just being able to find any job but also security of employment, level of pay, working conditions, and the opportunity to develop talents and capacities. 

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  • Brexit vote underlines need for a reformed globalization model

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    The narrow victory of the leave side in the Brexit referendum demands a profound rethinking of the liberal globalization agenda.

    At one, highly disturbing level, the majority for leave was a clear victory for the nativist, often overtly racist, populist right, and a clear defeat for the economic and political elites who overwhelmingly backed the remain side. As widely noted, this underlines the lack of broad popular support for deep economic and political integration which seems to be increasingly pervasive in both Europe and the United States. 

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  • Yet another unjustified attack on worker rights

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    The newly elected Progressive Conservative government in Manitoba has moved quickly to cement its anti-worker bona fides with the radical right-wing by making it more difficult for non-union workers to join a union, and by opening up bidding on large scale public construction projects to non-union companies. Changes in these areas were announced in the Pallister government’s Speech from the Throne on May 16.

    Under the current system in Manitoba, a union can be automatically certified by the Labour Board if 65% of the workers in a proposed bargaining unit indicate their support by signing membership cards. As in other jurisdictions with a “card check” system, signed membership cards are subject to independent scrutiny.

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  • Energy Transition Can Drive Global Jobs Recovery

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    It is now often said, with reason, that the environment and the economy are not in conflict. But it is even more true to say that seriously addressing the crisis of global climate change could revive a moribund global economy.

    The World Economic Outlook (WEO) released by the International Monetary Fund in April of this year once again forecast very slow growth, and argued that economic stagnation is likely to be self-sustaining. This is due to very low levels of business investment, combined with high levels of household and public debt which constrain household and government spending. 

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  • PBO sheds new light on federal budget with transparency push

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    The Liberal election platform promised to “make the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) truly independent” of the government and to make sure that the office is properly funded. The platform also promised to make government accounting “consistent and clear.”

    It was, then, a bit surprising that the PBO had to make a formal request for information normally provided in the federal budge, and was forced to provide its own estimates for the missing numbers in its report to Parliament on April 6.  The Department of Finance finally released the requested information only on April 8, more than two weeks after the budget was delivered in the House of Commons (on March 22nd.)

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  • Why we need a practical approach in the basic-income debate

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    The idea of a basic income guarantee for all Canadians has again moved to the front burner with the House of Commons Finance Committee and the Ontario government supporting further study and experimentation. This could be an important step forward, but incremental reform towards an income tested guarantee for working age Canadians delivered through the tax system will be the best path forward as opposed to more visionary “big bang” solutions.

    The concept of a basic income has won support from both the political right and left. For the former, it promises to simplify complex income security programs and to replace most if not all welfare state programs with a single cash payment which would allow individuals to meet their needs in the market. For the latter, it is a means to free people from dependence upon the job market, a tool for social solidarity amidst a rapidly changing world of work, and a means to abolish poverty.

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