By Allen Head & Huw Lloyd-Ellis, Queen’s University
Building on the research behind a recent article in the Canadian Journal of Economics (Head and Lloyd-Ellis, 2016), we develop an economic model of housing markets and use it to rank Canadian cities based on the percentage difference between predictions and real world prices. This gives us the following excess valuations by year.
Table: Excess Valuations (% deviation from 1984-1998 average)
The Blockchain revolution is here. And, in many ways, it is like the Internet was when it started 20 years ago. We did not know how we would be affected, but we all had a feeling that this is going to be big. After watching a movie classic — the “Terminator” — I realized that three questions stand out when gauging the potential of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology more broadly.
How big are the cost savings?
Is there a need for privacy?
Can we rely on independent, safe and smart communication between IT systems?
By Frank Lewis, Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics, Queen’s University
A chambermaid in Canada has a wage more than twice that of a chambermaid in South Korea; a pharmacist earns four times what a pharmacist in India earns; and a registered nurse receives six times the earnings of a registered nurse in the Philippines. These approximate purchasing-power-parity comparisons typify the large wage gaps between Canada and many other countries; and lead to the question: why doesn’t the chambermaid in South Korea, the pharmacist in India, and the registered nurse in the Philippines move to Canada? Read More »
Yesterday, The New York Times published an article explaining why it is would be more efficient if the social norm involved everyone standing when riding escalators. The current norm in many countries involve those on the right standing, while leaving the left side of the escalators for walkers. The NYTs argues that we’d be better off as a society if both sides were used by standers alone.Read More »
Monetary policy may focus on price level targeting (PLT) or inflation targeting (IT). The distinction between the two frameworks is that under IT, the central bank does not respond to temporary deviation of prices from trend. Bygones are bygones. In contrast, with PLT, past inflation performance matters and past deviations must be undone to restore the price level to the target path.Read More »
Eric Richert summarizes his essay, “Estimating an Effort Coordination Game Between Parents and Their Children,” which was a co-winner of the 2016 Scarthingmoor Prize for best MA essay in economics. Eric is currently a PhD student in the Queen’s Economics Department.
By Eric Richert, Queen’s University
Student learning typically requires effort provision by parents, teachers, and students. However, the early education literature all too often ignores student effort focusing only on the effort of parents and teachers. The effort decision of the child is often excluded from the optimization problem that is solved by the parent, or is a decision made by the parent. The traditional model strangely ignores the child’s decisions. This assumption may make sense in early childhood but is less believable as students move into high school and beyond, where they are able to make their own decisions.
In my research, I examine the effects of allowing children to make their own decisions regarding the amount of effort they put into their studies.
Justin Trudeau’s government is set to introduce changes to the rules governing political fundraising activities. The prime minister has faced heat for the so-called “cash-for-access” fundraisers it has held featuring the prime minister and cabinet ministers. A news report suggested the new legislation will require fundraising events to take place at public locations, rather than private homes or clubs; be announced ahead of time and summarized in reports following the events; and be open to the media. Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould has said any changes will revolve around making the fundraisers more transparent.
So, what is the likely impact of these reforms, what do they accomplish, and what else could be done?
By Andrea Craig, JDI Student Fellow, Queen’s University
Housing prices, housing affordability, and the impact of offshore money on residential real estate in Vancouver are not new topics. However, policies to address these issues are new. Beginning last August, foreign purchases of residential real estate in Metro Vancouver are subject to an additional 15 percent property transfer tax. In addition, last month, the provincial government announced repayable down-payment assistance for first-time homebuyers in B.C.
As consumers we associate higher tax rates with higher prices. In the usual case of a tax imposed on all consumers, this is correct. However, in the case of the foreign property transfer tax, prices will decrease (or appreciate less). Here is a stylized analysis showing how the foreign property transfer tax decreases housing prices.Read More »
U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, Donald Trump’s pick for budget director, has attracted attention for asking, “Do we really need government funded research at all?” Although it’s not clear whether Mr. Mulvaney is against all government research funding, the question raises concerns of academics and proponents of evidence based policymaking.
Coauthor Arnaud Dellis (UQAM) and I speak to the impact of government funded research (or the lack thereof) in a research article (ungated) published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.Read More »
In 1980, Canadian men with a bachelor’s degree earned approximately 32% more than those with a high school degree. For women, the equivalent figure was 44%. By 2005 the university to high school wage premium had increased to about 41% for men and 51% for women (see Figure 1). The rise in the wage premium over this time period shows just how important post-secondary education has become at an individual level.
Wage gap for men. Figure from Boudarbat, Lemieux, and Riddell (2010).
Wage gap for women. Figure from Boudarbat, Lemieux, and Riddell (2010).