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Jennifer Robson

Program Director and Associate Professor

Degrees:BA Hon. Psychology (Ottawa), MA Political Science (Carleton), Ph.D. Public Policy (Carleton)
Office:Working remotely. Please contact me by email.

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. Her primary areas of research are at the intersection of household finances, particularly for lower and modest-income people, and the design and implementation of public programs including tax policy, financial capability and financial services, income security and household liquid savings.

Recent courses taught:

POLM 5015: Public Policy for Political Advisors Course
POLM 5016: Applied Public Policy Analysis
PAPM 3000: Policy Research Methods
POLM 5012/PAPM 4012 and PANL 5703: Advocacy and Government Relations in Canada and Public Policy Advocacy

Selected research publications:

Robson, J. (2021). “Policy Forum: Should the Canada Revenue Agency also be a social benefits agency?Canadian Tax Journal (69:1).

Robson, J. (2021). “Helping low income Canadians to file taxes and access benefits” in D. Soman and C. Yeung eds. The Behaviorally Informed Organization, University of Toronto Press.

Robson, J. & S. Schwartz (2020). “Who Doesn’t File a Tax Return? A portrait of non-filersCanadian Public Policy 46(30).

Robson, J. (2020). “EI Failed So We Made CERB: Now what should we learn?Rebuild Canada, Public Policy Forum.

Robson, J. (2020).“Radical Incrementalism and Trust in the Citizen: Income Security in Canada in the Time of COVID-19Canadian Public Policy 46(S1).

Robson, J. & M. Jarvis (2020). “Policy forum: Public Costing of Party Platforms: Learning from international experienceCanadian Tax Journal 68(2).

Giordono, L., D. Rothwell & J. Robson (2020). “Public income transfers and wealth accumulation at the bottom: Within and between country differences in Canada and the United StatesSocial Policy and Administration 54(6).

Robson. J. & J. Peetz (2020). “Gender differences in financial knowledge, attitudes and behaviors: Accounting for socioeconomic disparities and psychological traitsJournal of Consumer Affairs 54(3).

Ben-Ishai, S., J. Robson & S. Schwartz (2019). “Eligible Non-participation in Canadian Social Welfare ProgramsMcGill Law Journal, 64(3).

Peetz, J. & J. Robson (2019). “The Perils of Living Paycheque to Paycheque” Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

Robson, J. & A. Loucks (2018). “Millennial Money: Financial Independence and Well-Being for the Next Generation”, Public Policy Forum.

Robson, J. (2018) “Building a tax review fit for purpose: Reconciling the tradeoffs between independence and impact” Canadian Tax Journal.

Robson, J. & J. Peetz (2018). “The impact of personality traits: A fresh look at gender differences in financial literacy“ Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.

Robson, J. (2018). “Post-Secondary Access” Transition briefing, Ontario 360, University of Toronto.

Robson, J. and P. Wilson. (2018). “Chapter 5: Public servants and political staff in the digital age: Still getting along”, in A. Marland, T. Giassson and A. Lawlor eds., Political Elites in Canada: Power and Influence in Instantaneous Times, University of British Columbia Press.

Rothwell, D. & J. Robson (2017). “The prevalence and composition of asset poverty in Canada: 1999, 2005, and 2012International Journal of Social Welfare, 27(1).

Robson, J. (2017).“Parental Benefits in Canada: Which way forward?IRPP Study 63, the Institute for Research on Public Policy.

Robson, J. (2016).“Enhancing Access to the Canada Learning Bond”, Discussion paper prepared for Employment and Social Development Canada, Government of Canada.

Robson, J. & J. Splinter (2015). “A new (and better way) to measure financial capability” research report under contract to Vancity Credit Union.

Robson, J. (2017).“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.

Robson, J. (2015).“Spending on Political Staffers and the Revealed Preferences of Cabinet”, Canadian Journal of Political Science vol.48(3), 675-697.

Robson, J. (2015). “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.

Rothwell, D. & J. Robson (2015).“A tale of two trends“, Policy Options, Institute for Research on Public Policy.

Robson, J. (2012).“The Case for Financial Literacy: Assessing the effects of financial literacy interventions for low income and vulnerable groups in Canada”, Social and Enterprise Development Innovations and the Canadian Centre for Financial Literacy.

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

Frennette, M. & J. Robson (2010). “Financial Literacy of Low-income Students: Literature Review and Environmental Scan”, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.

Robson, J., P. Nares & R. Shillington (2011). “How Ottawa Spends and How Canadians Save” in A. Maslove ed., How Ottawa Spends: 2009-2010: Economic Upheaval and Political Dysfunction, McGill University Press.

Leckie, N., T. Hui, D. Tattrie, J. Robson & JP. Voyer (2010). “Learn$ave Project: Learning to Save, Saving to Learn. Final Report of the Learn$ave Individual Development Accounts Project” Social Research and Demonstration Corporation.

Papers that are taking a little rest

Robson, J. (2019). “Assets in the new Government of Canada poverty dashboard: Measurement issues and policy implications”.

Robson, J. and D. Rothwell (2016) “Microdata on Financial Vulnerability in Canada: 1999 to 2014”.

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. In the 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, and I have reviewed and commented on policy documents shared by both Progressive Conservative and provincial NDP officials. I have provided occasional technical advice to the Government of Canada on a voluntary basis and have been called to testify to Parliamentary standing committees in both the Senate and House of Commons. I have not received any compensation for my participation in any federal advisory committee, but have previously received an honorarium for providing peer review services to the Department of Finance and ESDC. In 2018, I completed a contract for advice to the Privy Council Office on metrics in results and delivery priorities. My paper (listed above) 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, and recently completed two research projects funded by the Think Forward Initiative and ESDC respectively.