CEA 2015 Panel on Communicating Economics to the Public and Policy Makers

Together with the UofC School of Public Policy, CWEN is organizing a panel on Communicating Economics to the Public and Policy Makers – How, What and Why?

Saturday, May 30, 2015, 8:30 am – 10:00 am.

We have secured a fabulous lineup for the panel – Andrew Leach (UofA), Tammy Schirle (Wilfrid Laurier), Lindsay Tedds (UVic), and Mike Moffatt (Western) are well known Canadian economists, who are working with policy makers to shape Canadian public policy, and have a strong presence in the media and social networks.

Andrew Leach is an energy and environmental economist and is Associate Professor and Academic Director of Energy Programs at the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta.  Here is what he has to say about his motivation to spend time engaging with policy makers/the wider public: “I started using Twitter and a blog to engage with my students, and for a long time, they were the only people who followed me and read my work (I assume some of them read it, anyway).  One of those students convinced me to make my blog public (and still hosts it for me today) and from that point onward, I’ve been hooked and have found the experience incredibly rewarding.  I can say without any doubt that I’ve learned more about economics and policy from my Twitter addiction and blogging than from any other source – it’s forced me to read, to test my ideas outside of the bubble of academic discussion, and to speak to a broader community of experts.  I hope others have learned something from me along the way as well. The downside, as you’ll see if you look at my CV, is that it’s very addictive.  The push to get something out right now and then to move on to the new new thing has been overwhelming, and I’ll talk a lot about that on the panel as well. In short, I think my public engagement has made me a better economist, but I have a languishing academic CV to show for it.” Andrew is on Twitter as @andrew_leach.


Tammy Shirle is an Associate Professor of Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University, Director of the  Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis (LCERPA), and a member of the C.D. Howe Institute’s Pension Policy Council. She is a labour economist and applied econometrician with interests in public policy. She currently blogs with IRPP Policy Options, occasionally writes for the Globe and Mail, and is on twitter as @tammyschirle.  According to her own words, “I became an economist because of my interest in the potential for public policy, so engaging with policy makers and voters just seems like part of my job and provides a forum for all those interesting things that don’t fit in journal articles.”


Lindsay Tedds is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria. Her primary research and teaching area is applied economic research and policy analysis, with a particular focus on tax policy. Lindsay has also held several posts with the Government of Canada in Ottawa in the areas of public economics and policy implementation. What motivates her to engage with policy makers and the public through social media is the opportunity to inform public policy debates with the hope of changing public policy for the better.  Lindsay blogs on tax policy on her blog Dead for Tax Reasons and you can also find her on Twitter as @LindsayTedds.


Mike Moffatt is an Assistant Professor in the Business, Economics and Public Policy group at Ivey Business School at Western University where he teaches courses in international trade and firm-level strategy. In addition, Mike is Chief Economist at The Mowat Centre is an independent public policy think tank located at the School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Toronto and Ontario’s non-partisan, evidence-based voice on public policy. Mike writes for the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab and Maclean’s Magazine. He also blogs on economics for Worthwhile Canadian Initiative and is a frequent media commentator on radio and television. His twitter handle is @MikePMoffatt.