The integration of public finance and collective choice

This longstanding research program combines the traditional concerns of public finance with the analysis of collective choice mechanisms, and explores the implications of the resulting frameworks for the positive and normative analysis of taxation, public expenditure and public policy generally. Most recently, this work includes the co-edited book with J. Martinez-Vazquez  Coercion and Social Welfare in Public Finance: Economic and Political Dimensions (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Political competition in mature democracies – meaning, measurement and consequences

Political competition is at the heart of liberal-democracy. In this research – with Stephen Ferris (Carleton), Bernard Grofman (U.C. Irvine), Lawrence Kenny (Florida) –  we are studying the meaning, measurement and explanation of variation in the degree political competition in the mature democracies of Canada and the United States. With colleagues in India this work is expanding to consider political competitiveness across states in India. The consequences of competitiveness for public finance and other policies in these countries is also on this research agenda .

Internal migration and public policy

Does public policy in ordinary times, such as the regionalized nature of unemployment insurance, substantially alter interregional migration in Canada? Do extraordinary events such as the election of a separatist government in Quebec or the closing of the east coast cod fishery affect individual migration decisions? The empirical relationship between public policy and interprovincial migration is the subject of my recent book Internal Migration and Public Policy in Canada: An Empirical Study, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2012, with Kathleen Day of the University of Ottawa. This body of research also includes some work on Canada-U.S. migration.

For current working papers, publications and some data sets in these areas, please see the list below, or contact me. Comments and questions are always welcome.

Current List of Working Papers