La libéralisation des marchés de l’électricité

The electricity industry has seen a lot of transformations since the 1980s. Privatizations, deregulations, opening of markets: new forms of organization have come up that question the model of regulation inspired by the theories of natural monopoly. This volume is an overview of a complex economic process which appears irreversible, despite the problems that badly conceived deregulations are causing in California and elsewhere.

La pauvreté n’est pas une condition permanente

Some public statements in the media on the topic of poverty contain exaggerations and even downright falsehoods. We often get the impression that low-income people are very numerous and that this is a permanent condition for most of them. This perception in fact runs counter to reality. The duration of poverty is one area where social mobility research can provide answers. Greater social mobility is allowing for better adaptation to continuing economic change.

La croissance profite aux pauvres

"The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer." Here is an oft-repeated assertion that serves as a ready-made conclusion for debates on various topics, from free trade to tax reductions. Indeed, one broadly held view is that economic growth does not benefit the poor. The revenue of the poor might not increase at all or not increase as fast as that of the rich, so that economic growth would create more inequality. What do the facts tell us?

The Scope of Government and the Wealth of Quebecers

This Economic Note examines the growth of Canadian government over the last few decades and provide some empirical estimates of the cost of this government expansion on the lives of Canadians generally and Quebecers in particular. Like many medicines, a small dose of government may lead to a healthy and vigorous society, but it can be a dangerous poison if taken in too large a dose.

Ce que tous les Québécois devraient savoir sur l’économie

Few of you intend to spend much time learning new terms and memorizing formulas. You don’t like the idea of getting lost in details that concern only professional economists. What you want are summaries of economic issues that really matter – those that help you make better personal choices and improve your understanding of the complex world we all live in. And you want these summaries to be presented clearly and precisely, with a bare minimum of economic jargon. This little book aims to achieve these two goals.

Les taxes de vente et le commerce électronique

Electronic commerce is becoming a major element in the competitiveness of industrialized economies. Among other advantages, it reduces the transaction costs of economic agents, raises the productivity of organizations, and facilitates international exchanges. Electronic commerce also ensures greater transparency in price mechanisms since all you need are a few clicks of the mouse to compare offers from different producers. This increases competition in various markets to the benefit of buyers. A more competitive economy ensures a better allocation of resources, bringing benefits to all economic agents.

Une évaluation de la proposition de taxation à deux taux de l’Alliance canadienne

The Canadian government’s recent leaps in tax revenues were a pleasant surprise for voters following an extremely long and unusual period of budget deficits. If these increases are not temporary but result from economic growth that will remain stronger than in the past on a permanent basis, the question arises of how to use these budget “surpluses.” This Note looks at these questions, first presenting the potential impact of introducing a dual-rate tax system as proposed by the Canadian Alliance party and then identifying elements in a tax system to support rises in productivity, employment and living standards.

The Report Card on Quebec’s Secondary Schools 2000

The Report Card on Quebec’s Secondary Schools provides an annual, independent measurement of the extent to which each school meets basic needs. The Report Card thus serves several purposes. For one thing, it facilitates school improvement, and for parents who have a choice between several educational institutions, it can help them make an enlightened decision.

L’État-providence et les pauvres

A widely held view suggests that the main function of government is to help the poor. Do the data we have for Canada justify this opinion? Slightly under one-third of spending by all levels of public administration in Canada is devoted to social services, in other words to the various transfer payments supporting individual incomes along with related administrative expenses. If social programs are defined more broadly, we would have to add the 28% of spending that goes to health care and education (in roughly equal proportions). In Canada we thus have about 60% of public spending going toward social programs in the broader sense.

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