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QED economic projections behind new Canadian Shield COVID-19 policy proposal

Prof. Christopher Cotton, JDI Director and Jarislowsky-Deutsch Chair in Economic & Financial Policy, joined Global Canada’s COVID Strategic Choices group as the senior academic economist. The group worked to compare the costs and benefits of alternative COVID-19 mitigation and reopening scenarios being considered by federal and provincial governments across Canada to help guide policy. In December 2020, the group released a broad policy analysis and the “Canadian Shield” policy proposal, which has influenced the policy discussion across Canada.

The economic projections behind the analysis come out of an economic model developed by a team of Queen’s Economic Department and Limestone Analytics including Professors Huw Lloyd-Ellis, Christopher Cotton, and Bahman Kashi, along with Ph.D. candidate Frederic Tremblay and researcher Brett Crowley. The analysis provides economic projections based on epidemiological and policy projections that were being considered by the COVID Strategic Choices group. It shows how a stricter lockdown policy at the beginning of the year is likely to be less costly for the Canadian economy in the long run than a series of on-again, off-again lockdowns extending into spring and summer, suggesting that priority should shift away from a quick-as-possible reopening to instead focus on avoiding a third wave of lockdowns later in the spring.

For more information of the COVID Strategic Choices group and the Canadian Shield policy proposal: https://covidstrategicchoices.ca/

For various news articles related to the research:

Toronto Star. CBC Radio One, All in a Day with Alan Neal (https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-92-all-in-a-day/clip/15818252-why-longer-lockdown-benefit-economy)

TV & print: Global News coverage of the Canadian Shield proposal https://globalnews.ca/news/7555859/coronavirus-canada-third-wave-canadian-shield-approach/

Radio: Rob Snow Show coverage of The Canadian Shield proposal https://ottawa.citynews.ca/all-audio/the-rob-snow-show/hour-3-of-the-rob-snow-show-for-january-5-2021-3235699

Radio: Mike Farwell Show (today) coverage of the Canadian Shield policy proposal https://www.570news.com/audio/the-mike-farwell-show/

Chronicle Herald: https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/national-perspectives/john-ivison-a-bleak-winter-could-herald-a-grim-spring-537227/

Toronto Star: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2021/01/04/to-avoid-covids-third-wave-embrace-longer-lockdowns-gradual-relaxing-of-restrictions-group-urges-provinces.html

QED faculty named to the Royal Society of Canada COVID-19 Working Group on Economic Recovery.

Robin Boadway and Christopher Cotton were invited to participate on the RSC working group. Prof. Boadway is an Emeritus Professor and a leading authority on tax policy and basic income guarantees. Prof. Cotton is the Director of the JDI and the Jarislowsky Deutsch Chair in Economic Policy, and has been heavily involved in the modeling and analysis of COVID-19 lockdown policies since the beginning of the crisis. 

In December, the RSC working group released a Policy Briefing based on their work, “Renewing the Social Contract: Economic Recovery in Canada from COVID-19.” 

For more information of the RSC working group: https://rsc-src.ca/en/themes/economic-recovery

To read the report: https://rsc-src.ca/en/research-and-reports/covid-19-policy-briefing/renewing-social-contract-economic-recovery-in-canada

QED economists receive a major Digital Technology Supercluster grant from the Canadian government.

The $2.4 million Looking Glass project funded by Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster will bring together state of the art economic and epidemiological modeling into an online policy analysis dashboard. The objective is to allow decision makers to explore both the projected health and economic impacts of alternative lockdown and recovery policies. 

The project represents a collaboration between epidemiologists from the Queen’s Mathematics Department, economists from the Queen’s Economics Department and Limestone Analytics, and industry partners Kings Distributed Systems, aiSight, and Distributed Compute Labs. At the heart of the economic analysis behind the project is an economic model developed by members of the QED and Limestone Analytics including Professors Huw Lloyd-Ellis, Christopher Cotton, and Bahman Kashi, along with Ph.D. candidate Frederic Temblay and researcher Brett Crowley.   

For more information on the supercluster grant, please visit the supercluster site:

https://www.digitalsupercluster.ca/covid-19-program-page/looking-glass-protecting-canadians-in-a-return-to-community/

For more information on the economic model, please see the academic working paper. 

https://www.econ.queensu.ca/sites/econ.queensu.ca/files/wpaper/qed_wp_1441.pdf

QED Faculty release new economic modeling dashboard to assess the impact of COVID-19

A new economic model to measure the impact of COVID-19 lockdown policies has been developed by members of the QED and Limestone Analytics including Professors Huw Lloyd-Ellis, Christopher Cotton, and Bahman Kashi, along with Ph.D. candidate Frederic Temblay and researcher Brett Crowley.

The model captures the interconnections between different industries and communities within Canada to project how restrictions on production or economic activity in one area spills over throughout the economy. The model can provide short-to-medium term projections, allowing policy makers to explore the economic costs to different communities or regions under alternative policy scenarios. 

The model was applied by Limestone Analytics and Local Intel to develop an Economic Impact Explorer to provide local and provincial policymakers access to the model’s projections. 

Read the Queen’s Gazette article: https://www.queensu.ca/gazette/stories/examining-covid-19-s-economic-impact-ontario

Explore the Eastern Ontario Leadership Council’s COVID-19 dashboard based on the model’s projections. http://www.eolc.info/en/working-groups-and-projects/covid-19-economic-modelling.aspx 

For more information on the economic model, please see the academic working paper.