Photo of Marc-André Gagnon

Marc-André Gagnon

Associate Professor, School of Public Policy and Administration

Phone:613-520-2600 x 1690
Office:5201 Richcraft Hall

BA in Political Science (Université du Québec à Montréal)
Certificate in Economics (Université du Québec à Montréal)
MA in Political Science (Université du Québec à Montréal)
Master of Advanced Studies in Economics (ENS Fontenay/St-Cloud and Université Paris-I Sorbonne)
PhD in Political Science (York University)

Dr. Gagnon’s empirical research focuses on the political economy of the pharmaceutical sector: business models, innovation policies, corporate influence over medical practices, health and drug insurance regimes.

From a more theoretical standpoint, his research analyzes capital accumulation and corporate competition in terms of how firms capitalize not only their productive capacity but also their capacities and their business network powers to influence laws, public policies, culture and socio-institutional settings in order to accrue monopolistic differential gains.

I am a political economist, which means that I take the power dimension in the economy seriously. Markets do not emerge naturally out of thin air as institutions maximizing social welfare due to the absence of state intervention. Markets are social and political creatures; they are the products of a complex political and regulatory process involving a diversity of agents working at influencing that process according to their interests, and determining the forms and details of each market.

In many markets, the financial incentives are not aligned with the desired social outcomes, creating incentives for dominant actors to obtain net gains at high costs and risks for the rest of the community. The pharmaceutical sector, where profitability depends more on marketing strategies than on therapeutic innovation, is in many ways a poster child of such a market. It is the role of public policy to understand the flaws in each market and find ways to re-align financial incentives and desirable social outcomes.

Refereed Journal Articles


Recent Teaching

PADM 5228: Social Policy
PADM 5672: Policy Seminar on Pharmaceutical Policy
PADM 5129: Capstone course
PECO 5061: Methodology of Political Economy

Recent Supervisions

Co-supervision of Adrienne Shnier’s PhD Dissertation (Graduate Program in Health, York University):  Medical Education and Financial Conflict of Interest Relationships with the Pharmaceutical Industry in Canada: An Analysis of Four Areas of Medical education. (Completed 2016).

Co-supervision of Mathieu Charbonneau’s PhD Dissertation (Sociology, Carleton University): Insurance Risks as Fictitious Commodities: The Institutional Constitution of Insurance Markets. (Completed 2016).

Supervision of Russel Burgess’ MA Dissertation (Institute of Political Economy): Competition or Liberation? Implications of Labour Automation in the Context of Cognitive Capitalism. (Completed 2016).

Supervision of Jason Dolny’s MA Thesis (Institute of Political Economy): Gramsci and Ghostwriting: Revisiting Medical Journal Conflict of Interest Policies in an Age of Neoliberal Science. (Completed 2014).

Recent Editorships and Academic offices

Fellow with the WHO Collaborating Centre for Governance, Accountability and Transparency in the Pharmaceutical Sector, since 2016

Co-lead and researcher for the Rational Therapeutics and Medication Policy Research group, since 2015

Recent Awards and Distinctions

Public Commentary Award, Faculty of Public Affairs, Carleton University, 2015

Ethel Meade Award for Excellence in Healthcare Research, from Ontario Health Coalition, 2014

“Rising Star Award” from the Institute of Health Services and Policy Research, 2010

Yumiko Iida Memorial PhD Prize for best dissertation in political science, 2010