We need a Covid DEW Line

Public health experts and politicians are suggesting that we can see a point when restrictions could relax. But any relaxation must be careful and measured, quickly reversible if COVID reappears.  Everyone maintains that wide scale testing is a key to controlling the reopening of the economy. Most of the proposed approaches, such advocated by Harvard […]

Will a successful Covid-19 vaccine reduce vaccine hesitancy?

Part of me wants to believe that Covid-19 is scaring the pants off everyone.  But some family members are anti-vaxxers (the pejorative term for vaccine hesitancy) and I see their attitude to the present virus, I am less hopeful. My medical friends are certain a vaccine will emerge in the next 18 months, and for good reason.  […]

The moral hazards of our economic response to COVID-19

Little doubt exists that COVID-19 represents an existential challenge. But could our economic policy responses complicate the return to “normalcy” whatever that may mean? Governments everywhere are introducing massive subsidies to individuals and business, replicating the standard response in previous recessions. But what if government did much less, or even nothing?  What might that look […]

Implementing a basic income will be complex

The drumbeat for a basic income continues. Canada’s business sector has recently promoted the idea, and reaction to the cancellation of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot Project has been almost uniformly negative, with a few exceptions. The idea of a basic income — which guarantees a minimum income to all, regardless of employment status — has always […]

The role of Statistics Canada in a post truth world

How often do we hear or read the phrase “Statistics Canada reported today that…”? As the publisher of official statistics for Canada, we rely on Stats Can for valid and reliable facts. Surely this national resource is one antidote for the increasing flim-flam that marks current political and social discourse. By any measure, Statistics Canada […]

Does the volatility of the Labour Force Survey render it useless as a leading indicator? (September 19)

The recent sharp decline of 52,000 jobs in the Canadian Economy (Labour Force Survey of Canada, August 2018, raises questions about how to interpret such changes. Some commentators see the LFS as volatile and advise against reading too much into month-to-month changes. This is conventional counsel, but does this variability render it less useful as […]

Fallacies in analysing the impact of gas prices

Fallacies in gas price sensitivity Dec 27, 2017 Writing in the Financial Post, Terence Corcoran argues (read original article here) that gas prices have had no impact on the demand for gasoline.  He presents the proof positive as the following chart         This is a classic example of simultaneous equations bias, which typically […]

Next Page »