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about me

My name is Miles Corak and I am a full professor of economics with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, where I have worked since 2007 teaching principles of economics in a way relevant for public policy. I also teach labour economics, social policy, and statistical research methods. During the 2015/2016 academic year I am based in Cambridge Massachusetts as a visiting professor with the Department of Economics at Harvard University. Click here to obtain my contact information.

I write this blog to share information and viewpoints on current events with former students, to use economic principles to draw lessons for public policy in Canada and elsewhere, and to highlight major findings from my research and from the community of labour economists to which I belong.

Much of my research involves comparisons across countries. It focuses on labour markets and social policy, and is detailed in articles I have published on topics dealing with child poverty, access to university education, social and economic mobility, and unemployment. I am currently working on issues dealing with the socio-economic status of immigrants and children of immigrants, and also with comparisons in the development and well being of children in the rich countries.

I have also edited three books, the most recent—Generational Income Mobility in North America and Europe—was published by Cambridge University Press in 2004 and offers a comparative analysis of economic mobility.

I am affiliated with a number of research institutes and public policy think tanks as a research fellow or advisor, including the Institute for the Study of Labor (Bonn, Germany), the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality (Stanford University, United States), the Inequality Measurement, Interpretation, and Policy Network of The Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics (University of Chicago, United States),  the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (University College London, London UK)  the Institute for Research on Public Policy (Montreal, Canada), the C.D. Howe Institute (Toronto, Canada), and the Broadbent Institute (Ottawa, Canada). I served as a member of the Economic Council of Advisors to the Liberal Party of Canada.

Before joining the University of Ottawa I was a member of the senior management at Statistics Canada, Canada’s national statistical agency, and have also been a visiting researcher with the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence Italy, the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the University of London, the Office of Population Research at Princeton University, and with the Russell Sage Foundation in New York City.

My research has been cited by many of the major print and electronic media including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Economist, Bloomberg Business Week, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post as well as the BBC, the CBC, TVO and The Globe and Mail.

In 2012 I received the “Excellence in Media Relations Award” from the University of Ottawa, and a research paper I co-authored, “Economic Mobility, Family Background, and the Well-Being of Children in Canada and the United States,” won the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management’s “Best Comparative Paper Award” for 2009.

My paper “Income Inequality, Equality of Opportunity, and Intergenerational Mobility,” published in the Summer 2013 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, was awarded the Doug Purvis Memorial Prize for 2014. This is an annual award by the Canadian Economics Association  “to the authors of a highly significant, written contribution to Canadian economic policy.” In 2015 I received the Mike McCracken Award for Economic Statistics from the Canadian Economics Association.

For a time I wrote regularly for The Globe and Mail blog called Economy Lab, but these posts were usually abridged versions of articles I also posted here. I also write occasionally for the PBS NEWSHOUR blog MakingSen$e.

To learn more about my research and teaching look at my recent discussion papers, or visit my University of Ottawa web page. You can also view my curriculum vita, which is up to date to October 2015.

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