Photo of Jennifer Robson

Jennifer Robson

Associate Professor

Degrees:BA Hon. Psychology (Ottawa), MA Political Science (Carleton), Ph.D. Public Policy (Carleton)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 8384
Office:2433R RB

Prior to joining Carleton, Jennifer Robson was director of policy for the non-profit SEDI (now Prosper Canada) and worked in the federal public service. Between 1994 and 2000, she worked in several political (exempt staff) roles. In 2016, Jennifer served as a member of an Advisory Panel on Tax Expenditures to the Minister of Finance. From 2015 to 2018, she was a member of the National Research Committee on Financial Literacy for the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. She is currently a member of the board of a charitable foundation and is a member of the Advisory Committee on Learning at Employment and Social Development Canada. Jennifer also regularly collaborates with community-based organizations through the Asset-Building Learning Exchange.

Research interests:

  • Poverty and inequality
  • Social policy and tax policy
  • Financial inclusion, capability and behavior
  • Asset-based instruments for public policy
  • Gender equity
  • Role and governance of political staff

Courses taught:

POLM 5015: Public Policy for Political Advisors NEW! Course outline available : POLM 5015 outline
POLM 5016: Applied Public Policy Analysis
PAPM 3000: Policy Research Methods
POLM 5012 and PANL 5703: Advocacy and Government Relations in Canada and Public Policy Advocacy

Selected publications:

“Eligible Non-participation in Canadian Social Welfare Programs”, with Stephanie Ben-Ishai and Saul Schwartz, McGill Law Journal (forthcoming)

The Perils of Living Paycheque to Paycheque” with Johanna Peetz, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, 2019.

Policy Forum: Building a tax review fit for purpose: Reconciling the tradeoffs between independence and impact”, Canadian Tax Journal, 2018.

The impact of personality traits: A fresh look at gender differences in financial literacy“, with Johanna Peetz, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, 2018.

“The prevalence and composition of asset poverty in Canada: 1999, 2005, and 2012”, with David Rothwell, International Journal of Social Welfare, June 2017.

Parental Benefits in Canada: Which way forward?“, IRPP Study 63, the Institute for Research on Public Policy, Montreal, March 2017.

“Enhancing Access to the Canada Learning Bond”, Discussion paper prepared for Employment and Social Development Canada, Government of Canada, November 2016. Download the paper

“Microdata on household vulnerability in Canada: 1999 to 2014”, with David Rothwell, Canadian Economics Association, June 2016, Ottawa. Download the slides

“A new (and better way) to measure financial capability”, with James Splinter, research report under contract to Vancity Credit Union, December 2015. Download the report

“Boutique brand: The unique alignment of the Conservative brand and boutique tax credits” in Stoney, C. and Doern, G.B. eds. How Ottawa Spends 2015-2016: The Liberal Rise and the Tory Demise, e-book, School of Public Policy, Carleton University, Ottawa.

“Spending on Political Staffers and the Revealed Preferences of Cabinet”, Canadian Journal of Political Science vol.48(3), 675-697.

“Did Election 2015 Prove Kim Campbell Wrong?” in Marland, A. and Giasson, T. eds, Canadian Election Analysis 2015: Communication, Strategy and Democracy, UBC Press, 86-88.

A tale of two trends“, with David Rothwell, Policy Options, May 2015, Institute for Research on Public Policy.

“Recent federal boutique tax credits not helping those who need it most, or even most families with kids” blog post, Canada2020, April 26, 2015.

“Financial Literacy Research Roundtable 2013: Summary report”, with Susan Murray, Carleton University.

The Case for Financial Literacy: Assessing the effects of financial literacy interventions for low income and vulnerable groups in Canada”, SEDI and the Canadian Centre for Financial Literacy, November 15, 2012.

“Poverty, vulnerability and exclusion in Canada: An environmental scan, 2012”, Social and Enterprise Development Innovations and the Canadian Centre for Financial Literacy.

“Financial Literacy of Low-income Students: Literature Review and Environmental Scan”, with Marc Frennette, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. Leckie, Norm, Taylor Shek-Wai Hui, Doug Tattrie, Jennifer Robson, Jean-Pierre Voyer (2010)

“How Ottawa Spends and How Canadians Save” with Peter Nares and Richard Shillington, in How Ottawa Spends: 2009-2010: Economic Upheaval and Political Dysfunction, Allan Maslove ed., McGill University Press.

Learn$ave Project: Learning to Save, Saving to Learn.  Final Report of the Learn$ave Individual Development Accounts Project, Social Research and Demonstration Corporation, Ottawa, November 2010.

Disclosure statement:

While it is common in most academic disciplines to refuse any partisan affiliation, in political management this is more of an occupational requirement than hazard. That said, I am happy to share and discuss my research with anyone interested. I have no official title or role with any political party. In the nearly 20 years since I left my last paid work as a political staffer, I have worked as a non-partisan public servant and as a senior staff member in two non-partisan charitable organizations. Since joining Carleton, I have provided (on a voluntary basis) occasional technical advice to the Liberal Party of Canada, spoken at a community event organized by the New Democratic Party of Canada, reviewed and commented on policy documents shared by Progressive Conservative and provincial NDP officials, provided testimony to Senate and Commons standing committees on Finance and prepared submissions to the Department of Finance. I have not received any compensation for my participation in any federal advisory committe, but have received an honorarium for providing peer review services to the Department of Finance. My paper on the CLB was completed as a research contract for ESDC. Research reports listed above as published by CPA Canada were written under a research contract. I am currently part of two research projects funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, a research project funded by the Government of B.C., a research project funded by Employment and Social Development Canada, and a research project funded by the Think Forward Initiative.