August 10, 2020
The Royal Society of Canada has established a new economics working group to study COVID-19. The group is charged with exploring policies that may help the economy and society recover from the crisis, avoid future disasters, and prosper in the post-pandemic world.
The group brings together a small group of Canada’s leading economists from institutions across the country. The members specialize in a diverse array of research areas, from health to education to universal basic income to macroeconomic policy. The intention of the Royal Society is to bring together prominent experts with a diverse set of viewpoints and expertise in order to facilitate collaboration and develop actionable recommendations policymakers.
The Royal Society has appointed Christopher Cotton, Limestone Analytics’ Principal Economist, to the working group. Dr. Cotton is also a Professor of Economics at Queen’s University, where he holds the Jarislowsky-Deutsch Chair in Economic and Financial Policy and serves as the Director of the John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy. He is an expert on evidence-based policymaking, education policy, and economic development. For the past several months, he has been jointly leading a team of researchers from Queen’s and Limestone Analytics to model the impact of the economic shutdown and compare the economic impact of reopening and recovery policies.
Also joining the group from Queen’s is Robin Boadway, an Emeritus Professor of Economics and one of the world’s leading experts in public finance, including tax policy and universal basic income. Dr. Boadway is a member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
The Royal Society working group will gain insights from the Limestone Analytics Studio model, developed to study the economic impact of major disasters and pandemics. The model is designed to help local and provincial policy makers understand the outcomes associated with different policy choices. It is also the economic model behind a major federally-funded, multi-partner initiative to develop an AI-driven analytics platform for policy makers to explore both the economic and health projections associated with alternative reopening and recovery strategies.
Over the next several months, the Royal Society of Canada’s COVID-19 working group will collaborate to develop a series of policy recommendations for creating a Canadian economy and society that is more resistant, resilient and responsive to future shocks. These recommendations will be released in a public report in the fall.