2018 Galbraith Prize in Economics awarded to Dr. Jim Stanford, Director of Centre for Future Work

The Progressive Economics Forum has awarded the 2018 Galbraith Prize in Economics to Dr. Jim Stanford, Director of the Centre for Future Work.

Awarded every two years, the Galbraith Prize recognises a demonstrated contribution in combining economic analysis with a commitment to social justice.

The nomination statement of Dr. Jim Stanford by Marc Lee (CCPA-BC) and thirteen other signatories, does an excellent job of summarising his extensive career, and makes us feel not only lucky to have him here in Australia contributing to economic debate, but also proud to count him as a colleague as the Director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work.

We nominate Jim Stanford for his outstanding contributions to progressive economic thought and movement-building in Canada over the past two decades.

Jim’s PhD dissertation at the New School developed a CGE model using real-world assumptions leading to results that challenged the mainstream view about the benefits of NAFTA.

Jim rose to prominence as a public intellectual as Economist for the Canadian Auto Workers union and Unifor (for which he played a significant role in its founding). His work at the bargaining table supported the interests of hundreds of thousands of workers in Canada.

Also during this time, Jim was a key Research Associate and Board member of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. He published accessible op-eds and research papers on a wide range of economic policy topics, including the federal budget, free trade deals, industrial policy, labour markets and regional development.

At the CCPA, Jim was a guiding force behind the Alternative Federal Budget. His AFB forecasts regularly embarrassed the federal government, whose “prudence” often caused greater-than-necessary austerity. Jim’s track record was perhaps the single most influential reason why Canada now has a Parliamentary Budget Officer.

Jim’s first book, Paper Boom, published in 1999, was an early critique of financialization — the split between the real economy of work and wages and the paper economy of speculation and finance. His second book, Economics for Everyone, is a guide for activists, trade unionists and the general public, and is notable for its inclusion of the history of economic thought and discussion of capitalism as an economic system.

In recent years, Jim has been a respected contributor to economic debates via The Globe and Mail and CBC news panels, among other outlets. He has always done so with great compassion and humour.

All the while Jim managed to contribute papers to academic journals and conferences, and has mentored dozens of students and young economists.

Finally, Jim’s role in starting the Progressive Economics Forum cannot be understated. His efforts to build a social network of Canadian economists spanning academia, labour, research institutes and independent researchers is an enduring legacy from which we have benefitted.

All told, Jim’s accumulated body of work and contributions to labour and social movements make him an ideal winner of the 2018 Galbraith Prize.

The selection committee included Fletcher Baragar (Manitoba), Hassan Bougrine (Laurentian), Toby Sanger (Canadian Union of Public Employees), Christine Saulnier (CCPA-NS) and Kevin Young (University of Massachusetts at Amherst), and was chaired by David Pringle (PEF).

In accepting the Prize, Dr. Jim Stanford will deliver the Galbraith Lecture at the Canadian Economics Association meetings at McGill University, Montreal on Saturday, June 2. Many thanks to the judges and to the Galbraith family.

an independent think-tank based in Canberra > australia.org.au

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