Experts have roundly criticized BC Premier Christy Clark’s recent home ownership grant policy. A key part of the negative reaction has been based on fears that interest free grants will increase housing prices and drive a further wedge between incomes and housing costs, a divide already plaguing the Vancouver and lower mainland markets.
Inequality is a major theme of current research in economics throughout the world. The now-famous Capital by Thomas Piketty released in English in 2014 is a case in point. It is also a major focal point in Canada, as illustrated by the book Income Inequality: The Canadian Story published recently by the Institute for Research on Public Policy and in the ongoing work of the Broadbent Institute and other groups.Read more
In the October 2013 Speech for the Throne, the Canadian government announced it would introduce balanced-budget legislation. At the time this vague proposal attracted little interest from anyone, although a year later the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) did produce a substantial document analyzing the benefits and costs of such a proposal.Read more
The standard view in economics and in policy circles is that wage increases come at a cost that impacts individual firms negatively. According to this view, wage increases also lead to losses in a firm’s competitiveness in foreign markets. Thus, until the advent of the global financial crisis, mainstream authors paid little attention to the fact that wage growth had lagged behind the sum of productivity growth and inflation, in most countries and for several decades, and that as a result wage shares had fallen. There was also little concern with the rise in wage dispersion— the gap between the income share of the top 1% and the rest that became a part of the lexicon during the Occupy Wall street movement.Read more
Marc Lavoie is Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Ottawa, where he has taught for more than 30 years. He is also an IMK Research Fellow at the Hans Böckler Foundation in Germany.
He has written nearly 200 journal articles or book chapters and several books dealing with post-Keynesian and heterodox economics, some of which have been translated into Spanish, Japanese or Chinese.
He recently completed a research project on behalf of the International Labour Office, which has led to the publication of the book: Wage-led Growth: An Equitable Strategy for Economic Recovery (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2013).*
Marc Lavoie est professeur au Département de l'économie à l'Université d'Ottawa.
Une biographie sera bientôt disponible.