Roy Culpeper

Expertise: Economic Inequality, Globalization, International Development

Roy Culpeper is a Senior Fellow of the University of Ottawa’s School of International Development and Global Studies, Adjunct Professor at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, and a Fellow of the Broadbent Institute. He is Chair of the Group of 78, and founding Chair of the Coalition for Equitable Land Acquisitions and Development in Africa (CELADA). From January until May 2011 he was Fulbright Canada Visiting Research Chair at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Previously he was President and Chief Executive Officer of The North-South Institute, Ottawa. Earlier in his career he was an official at the World Bank in Washington, the federal Departments of Finance and External Affairs in Ottawa, and the Planning Secretariat of the Government of Manitoba in Winnipeg.

Roy Culpeper obtained his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Toronto. He has published widely on the issues of international development, finance and global governance.

Posts & Activities by Roy Culpeper

  • U.S Federal Reserve’s blindspot means Canada’s eyes should be wide open

    Since the 1980s, financial crises have erupted about once a decade. The last one erupted in 2008. And there are disturbing parallels between the 1980s debt crisis in Latin America, the 1990s financial crisis in Asia, and the deepening financial turmoil in emerging markets such as Turkey today. Which is why it is surprising that the subject of the next crisis was missing from this year’s agenda at the annual economic policy symposium, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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  • Does Trump signal the end for free-market capitalism?


    Donald Trump’s ascension to the US presidency is being hailed by some as the end of globalization as we have come to know it in the last four decades. Others see in Trump’s electoral victory the end of neoliberal economic policy, which promoted free trade and free markets, and limited the scope of government. But German sociologist Wolfgang Streeck discerns in the demise both of globalization and neoliberalism the end of capitalism itself, at least the variety of capitalism that exists in North America and Western Europe.

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  • Happy 80th Birthday Ed Broadbent!

    Sign Ed's Birthday Card

    We will hand deliver Ed's messages to him - help us make his 80th special.

    Ed has been working for a more inclusive, fair and just Canada for more than 50 years. On his 80th Birthday, let’s celebrate his life & accomplishments! 


  • Youth unemployment and Canada's jobless non-recovery


    When Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz commented recently that unemployed youth can advance their careers by volunteering their services instead of expecting to be paid, he inadvertently unleashed a firestorm of criticism.

    At the same time, he was merely giving voice to a rather obvious fact confronting younger job-seekers. 

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  • Dodge, Carney and the return of pragmatic economics


    Central bank governors are not normally known for being outspoken or critical of prevailing economic policies. Not the case, it seems, for Mark Carney and David Dodge, former governors of the Bank of Canada.

    Mr. Dodge, in a report for the legal firm Bennett Jones, has recently warned against premature fiscal tightening in the current economic climate. Indeed, he and his coauthors advocate an expansion in infrastructure spending — in ports, roads and transit systems — among other things. Even though this will mean continuing fiscal deficits, they say that “in the current environment of low long-term interest rates, fiscal prudence does not require bringing the annual budget balance to almost zero immediately”. Such counsel flouts the current policy stance of the federal Conservative government, which is to eliminate the budget deficit next year.

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  • On industrial policy and free trade


    The current debate over the proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU typically pits “free-traders” against “protectionists”. Free-trade proponents are depicted as those who accept the alleged benefits of globalization — more jobs for everyone, lower consumer prices and more consumer choices. Protectionists, on the other hand, are characterized as those who oppose any trade and want to preserve today’s jobs and consumer choices at any cost.

    Framing the issue in these terms, however, is no longer meaningful. The debate has moved on, thanks both to the work of certain economists, as well as the experience of a number of Asian countries that have pursued different policies.

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  • The humanist tradition in economics and the Canadian connection


    Canadian development economist Kari Polanyi Levitt has a reputation in Canada and abroad as an advocate for economic policies rooted in social justice and distributional equity. Levitt has worked tirelessly to build development studies as a multi-disciplinary field of scholarly endeavour, in which development economics plays an essential role but must be complemented by essential contributions from other social scientists and historians. Now in her ninety-first year, the Professor Emerita of Economics at McGill University has published a new book entitled From the Great Transformation to the Great Financialization: On Karl Polanyi and Other Essays


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  • A disappeared aid agency in search of a non-existent policy mandate


    The decision to terminate CIDA as an independent agency of the federal government was not mentioned in Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s budget speech on March 21. Furthermore, it is somewhat obscured in the text of the budget document, appearing, rather oddly, on page 241, in a chapter on “Supporting Families and Communities.”

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  • Roy Culpeper: Inequality and economic liberalization


    Increased inequality is a phenomenon that has affected many countries since the 1980s—industrial, emerging market and developing. At the same time, some countries have become more unequal than others. Thus, it is important to try to distinguish factors that have been at work universally from factors that have served either to retard or to exacerbate inequality at the national level. The latter category comprises, among others, income transfers, progressive income taxation and active labour market policies aimed at generating decent jobs and full employment. However, this note focuses on the former—the universal factors.

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