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PADM 5223: Economic Policy in Canada

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PADM 5115: Introduction to State and Society
PADM 5116: Policy Analysis and Contemporary Governance
PADM 5117: Public Sector Management and the Canadian Political System
PADM 5211: Canadian Intergovernmental Relations
PADM 5212: Public Policy and Civil Society - Options and Issues in Financing the Third Sector
PADM 5213: Gender and Public Policy
PADM 5214 Budgetary Policy in the Public Sector
PADM 5215 Benefit-Cost Analysis
PADM 5220 Regulation and Public Policy
PADM 5221: Health Policy in Canada
PADM 5223: Economic Policy in Canada
PADM 5224 Aboriginal Policy - The North
PADM 5225: Trade Policy
PADM 5229: The Health of Populations
PADM 5272: Risk Assessment and Management
PADM 5411 Organization Theory
PADM 5412 Ethics and Accountability in the Public Sector
PADM 5415 Strategic Management in the Public Sector
PADM 5416: Budget Management for the Public Sector
PADM 5417 Principles of Finance
PADM 5418 Human Resource Management
PADM 5420: Policy & Program Evaluation
PADM 5421: Globalizing Public Management - Measuring and Monitoring Governance
PADM 5422 Urban and Local Government Management
PADM 5423: Third Sector Governance and Management
PADM 5472: Managing Policy and Process in a Federal Government Policy Organization
PADM 5472: Technology and Public Administratin
PADM 5472: The Politics of Management: Thinking like a Manager
PADM 5510: Energy Economics
PADM 5515: Sustainable Energy Policy
PADM 5614: Natural Resource Management
PADM 5615: Policy and Politics of Energy in Canada
PADM 5618: Environmental and Ecological Economics
PADM 5672: Innovation Policy
PADM 5813 The Evolution of World Bank/IMF Policy
PADM 5814 Program and Project Management
PADM 5815: Civil Society Organizations and Development
PADM 5816 Program Evaluation in Developing Countries
PADM 5818 Theories of Development


Carleton University - School of Public Policy and Administration

PADM-5223: Economic Policy in Canada

DescriptionPolicy 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 (accessed 8 January 2014)


Teaching Topics Addressed in this Course, Organized by Public Policy and Management Subject



Commentary by the Atlas editors: The class titles provide excellent candidates for teaching topics to be developed:

  • Economic Policy Outputs – Overarching Indicators of Economic Activity
  • The Financial Meltdown of 2007 and Beyond
  • International/Comparative Perspectives on Economic Policy Dilemmas
  • Globalization - myth or reality
  • The Myth of the Powerless State
  • Stabilization Policy
  • Monetary Policy
  • Industrial Policy
  • Interests and Economic Policy
  • The Electoral Cycle and Economic Policy
  • The Myth of the Powerless State
  • Constraints on State Action in the Economy

Page created by: Ian Clark, 6 January 2014. The content presented on this page, except in the Commentary, is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases.




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© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance