Improving the economic position of low-income people has been a consistent interest over the years. Recently, my focus has been on efforts to help low-income debtors resolve their debt problems. That resolution might come through a new low-cost bankruptcy procedure, through impartial debt advice or through automatic enrolment in benefit programs. Dealing with the debts of the elderly is an important part of this work, given the increasing debts that the elderly carry.
A related interest is illustrated by a book of essays that I’m editing on the personal debts that citizens owe to governments: criminal justice fines and fees, local taxes and student loans. With an international cast of authors, this will the first book to bring together papers analyzing a range of debts owed to government.
Social policy; economics of education; consumer debt; policy evaluation; behavioural economics; labour economics
- Vandercamp Prize for the Best Paper in Canadian Public Policy for “Who Doesn’t File a Tax Return? A Portrait of Non-Filers” (with Jennifer Robson), 2020
Cooperatives and Renewable Energy – potential lessons learned from Alaska for Nunavut, 2017-present
(co-supervisor with advisor James Meadowdroft)
Canadain Public Administration: Special Issue on Procurement and Public Policy
Over the past year, procurement in the public sector has attracted increased attention as governments have fought COVID-19—first by trying to provide the vast array of equipment needed by the medical system and then by buying and distributing vaccines. At the same time, large government projects in Canada continue, ranging from the Site C hydroelectric project in British Columbia to new fighter jets and Navy ships for the Canadian Forces. These examples illustrate the overall relevance of public procurement. In this special issue, we have brought together a number of articles that address important aspects of public procurement in Canada
Oppressed by Debt: Government and the Justice System as a Creditor of the Poor
This edited collection brings together essays that explore personal debts to government. Intensive collection efforts by governments in need of revenue often cause hardship, whether it is the poor in the United States going to jail because of unpaid fines, low-income English people being evicted because they paid their council taxes but could then not pay their rent, or poor former students having tax refunds or social benefits taken by the government when they have defaulted on their student loans.
- September 2, 2021
There are better ways to help student loan borrowers than zero-interest loans (Finances of the Nation)
- May 18, 2020
A simple, low-cost bankruptcy option for Canada’s insolvency system (Policy Options)
- April 22, 2020
Dear Canada Revenue Agency, Please File My Taxes For Me! (First Policy Response)
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