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29th Graham Lecture was delivered by Dr Herb Emery
29th John F Graham Memorial Lecture
The Graham Memorial Lecture is an (annual) event supported by a memorial fund established in memory of John F. Graham, a long-time member of the Department of Economics at Dalhousie University, who died unexpectedly in 1990. John Graham was a member of the Department from 1949 to 1990, and Chair of the Department from 1960 to 1970. He was a public finance economist who specialized in intergovernmental fiscal relations. He was a consultant to the Byrne Royal Commission on Finance and Municipal Taxation in New Brunswick and to the Newfoundland Royal Commission on Education, Public Services and Provincial-Municipal Relations in the 1960s, and chair of the Nova Scotia Royal Commission on Education, Public Services and Provincial-Municipal Relations in the 1970s. He was President of the Canadian Economics Association in 1970-71 and Vice-President of the Royal Society of Canada in 1977-78. John Graham was, perhaps above all else, an educator who was deeply committed to teaching.
This year’s Graham Lecture was delivered by Dr. Herb Emery, Vaughan Chair in Regional Economics, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, and as part of the 48th Atlantic Canada Economics Association Meetings hosted by the Economics Department at Dalhousie University. Dr. Emery holds an MA and PhD in Economics from the University of British Columbia. Prior to joining UNB, Dr. Emery was Professor of Economics and Research Director at the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary as well as the Svare Professor in Health Economics, a joint position in the Department of Community Health Science in the Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Economics. From 2010 to 2015, he served as the Managing Editor of Canadian Public Policy/Analyse de politique. Recently, Dr. Emery has led a major initiative, the JDI Roundtable on Manufacturing Competitiveness in New Brunswick, aimed at exploring policies and strategies for invigorating the province’s longstanding economic engine of manufacturing exports. Dr. Emery’s work is wide-reaching and incorporates political, historical, cultural, and institutional factors that have shaped development processes within Canada.
Graham Memorial Lectures are on a topic related to Canadian public policy. In Canada, we live in times of prosperity and precariousness. We know that government policies, such as comprehensive, universal health care, reduce precariousness and improve societal well being. However, we are often less sure about how government policies can improve prosperity. For someone like me, steeped in notions such as structural transformation, industrialization, and mixed economy, informed by the histories of countries such as Japan, South Korea, and Turkey, there has always been a space for public policy. However, looking into the future where planetary problems are intermingled with social anxiety, what room is there for meaningful social policy? Dr. Emery’s talk “Back to the Future or the End of History? Lessons for the Future of Atlantic Economy from Government Economic Development Strategies of the Past” provided an excellent launching pad to discuss the precise meaning of economic growth and generated a lively debate about what indicators matter for our shared prosperity.
It is my pleasure to share Dr. Emery’s presentation for the 29th John F Graham Memorial lecture with our wider community.
Chair, Department of Economics
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