Carleton University - School of Public Policy and Administration
PADM-5223: Economic Policy in Canada
Description: Policy is interdisciplinary – even economic policy. We will examine scholarly works by economists, political scientists, and political economists. Indeed, the objective of the course is not to make economists of the course participants, but to explore the inputs and outputs of economic policy and the choices and constraints that exert pressure on these processes. This course is designed to provide students with an appreciation of the factors that comprise the complexities of economic policy-making in Canada. We want to create a facility for the course participants to not only understand what is going on in the national economy (and the international economy too), but create a capability to critically question what commentators, the media, and policy advisors are saying about the economic conjuncture – from a policy and activity perspective.
There are certain precepts of good and bad economic policy, but the contextual character of the environment in which the economic policy is located must temper judgments about what is good and bad policy. Indeed, bad economic policy may be good politics. Thus, culture, state-society relations, business-state relations and political ideology are important determinants of economic policy outcomes.
Because Canada is an open economy it is subjected to the vagaries of economic developments elsewhere in the world. In this regard the course will be framed by the economic and financial meltdown that began in 2007 and from which Canada and the global economy more generally are now just emerging.
The course will begin with a review of some key economic concepts that help us understand what is going on in the economy (macro and micro). The course will begin with the key concepts and ideas of macroeconomics. In part, that boils down to dealing with the task of understanding national accounting. We will then proceed to an elaboration of the factors that gave rise to the economic crisis and how the major economies experienced the dislocations. We will look at these dislocations through the lenses of some globalization literature. We will then examine how the Canadian government responded to the crisis – initially and subsequently. In this regard students will see that economic policy is really politics. Moreover, we will examine the ideological issues surrounding the role of the state -- which has materialized as important explanatory variables in Canada’s economic policy stance (and elsewhere too). The big levers of economic policy (monetary and fiscal) will be examined in addition to industrial policy (competitiveness, productivity, trade) and finally, politics and economic outcomes will be explored.
Faculty: Stephen L. Harris (Summer 2010)
Source: Syllabus downloaded from http://carleton.ca/sppa/academics/course-information/201020-course-outlines/ (accessed 8 January 2014)