The Double Diamond Design Process for Policy

How a framework from product and service design would help policymakers find the right programs and regulations to solve societal problems Through my many years working with regulators and policymakers, I have heard that they often struggle at the earliest stages of designing regulation. Often the impetus to develop a new program or regulation starts… Read More

Reducing Regulatory Red-Tape Prevents Corruption

Regulations, like building codes and permitting, are ostensibly designed to protect the safety and well-being of citizens. These licences and permits ensure that buildings are safe for its occupants. However, the lengthy process puts critical financial and economic power in the hands of a few bureaucrats. Read More

Road to Ruin: Tesla vs. Auto Dealers

Tesla Motors, the famed electric vehicle startup from billionaire Elon Musk, is feeling the full brunt of auto dealers associations wielding antiquated regulations. On March 11th, the state of New Jersey, facing complaints from the New Jersey Auto Dealers Association, banned Tesla from selling its electric cars directly over the internet from the factory to… Read More

An Economist’s Take on Digital Paywalls

From premium newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times to made-up news weeklies like Weekly World News to the satirical magazine The Onion, nearly all news websites have adopted, or at least tested, a paywall for online readers. Yet, prominent economists have discovered gaping holes in a business strategy that has… Read More

The Argument for Better Access to AEDs

I recently took my very first First Aid course with CPR and AED certification for St. John’s ambulance and I was astounded to learn how effective Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) are at saving lives. In cases of cardiac arrest, an AED can double the rate of survival from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (Weisfeldt et. al.).… Read More

Why Egypt Could Fail

I’ve finally had a chance to read Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson. It provides a useful tool for looking at the President Morsi’s attempt to centralize power in his own office could damage Egypt’s fragile economy. In Why Nations Fail Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson reiterate throughout that politically inclusive institutions,… Read More

The Cost of Regulatory Opacity

The Canadian government’s recent blocking of the sale of Progress Energy Resources to Malaysian state-owned Petronas has raised calls to act on the vagueness of the “net benefit” test applied to mergers in Canada over $331 million. The lack of clear criteria for this net benefit test has serious economic implications for investment in Canada.… Read More

Quebec and the Riot Index

The Quebec government is now at it’s second impasse in negotiations with students over tuitionĀ  hikes. The Quebec government, which is mired in $159 billion in debt (up from $99 billion in 2004), is attempting to make spending cuts and generate new revenues wherever it can. The proposed 75% increase in tuition that would have… Read More