About the Graham Lecture

The Graham Lecture is an annual event supported by a memorial fund established in memory of John F. Graham, a long-time member of the Dalhousie Department of Economics, who died in 1990.

John Graham was a member of the Economics Department at Dalhousie University from 1949-1990, and Chair of the Department from 1960-1970. He was a public finance economist who specialized, in particular, in the field of 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 1970-1971 and Vice-President of the Royal Society of Canada in 1977-1978.

John Graham was, perhaps above all else, an educator who was deeply committed to teaching. 

John F. Graham Memorial Lecture 2018-2019

The 2018-2019 John F. Graham Lecture, "The Collapse of Middle Class Wealth in the US... but its Rise (?) in Canada", was presented by Dr. Edward Wolff, New York University. The Graham Lecture was held Thursday, March 28 2019 in the Great Hall of the University Club.

Dr Wolff's lecture [PDF - 590kb] addressed developments in household wealth in the US over the years from 1983 to 2016 and provided some comparisons to the Canadian experience. Particular attention was placed on the period of the Great Recession and its aftermath in the US. During that time asset prices plunged in the US between 2007 and 2010 but then rebounded from 2010 to 2016, with median wealth plummetting by 44% over these years. Canada, in contrast, experienced much less volatility in asset prices over years 2007 to 2010 and as a result median wealth continued to rise and surpassed the US.

About Edward Wolff

Edward Wolff received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1974 and is professor of economics at New York University, where he has taught since 1974. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and is an editorial board member of Economic Systems Research, Journal of Economic Inequality, and Review of Income and Wealth. He served as Managing Editor of the Review of Income and Wealth from 1987 to 2004.

He was a Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College (1999-2011), a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation (2003-04), President of the Eastern Economics Association (2002-2003), and a council member of the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth (1987-2012).

His principal research areas are income and wealth distribution and productivity growth. His most recent books are: The Transformation of the American Pension System: Was It Beneficial for Workers? (2011); Productivity Growth: Industries, Spillovers and Economic Performance (2012); Productivity Convergence: Theory and Evidence (2014); Inheriting Wealth in America: Future Boom or Bust? (2015); and A Century of Wealth in America (2017).

Past Graham Lectures

March 28 2019 Edward Wolff
New York University
The Collapse of Middle Class Wealth in the US... but its Rise (?) in Canada [PDF - 590kb]
November 30 2017 Kevin Milligan
University of British Columbia
Federal-Provincial taxation for Canada's next 50 years
March 9 2017 David Green
University of British Columbia
Spillovers from Canada’s Resource Boom and How They May Have Staved off America's Fate (for now)
March 17 2016 Michael Wolfson
University of Ottawa
Freedom 55, Not: Prospects for Canadians' Retirement Incomes
March 5 2015 Miles Corak
University of Ottawa
'Inequality is the root of social evil,' or maybe not: Two stories about inequality and public policy
March 27 2014 Philip Oreopoulos
University of Toronto
How Behavioural Economics Can Help You at School and in Life
February 21 2013 Nicole Fortin
University of British Columbia
Leaving Boys Behind: Gender Disparities in High Achievement
February 16 2012 Mike Veall
McMaster University
The Top of the Income Distribution in Canada
November 25 2010 Arthur Sweetman
McMaster University
Immigrants in Canada's Workforce: How Do They Fare?
April 8 2010 Michael Baker
University of Toronto
Canada's Universal Children's Programs: A Case for Targeting?
October 30 2008 Robert Allen
Oxford University
The Industrial Revolution and the Rise of the West [PDF - 3.6 MB]
November 16 2007 Curtis Eaton
University of Calgary
Well-being, Income, Growth, and Measuring the Economy
March 9 2007 Paul Beaudry
University of British Columbia
Globalization and the Income Distribution
March 10 2005 Jim Stanford
Canadian Auto Workers
Canada's Industrial Structure: Why is it regressing, is it a problem and what can we do about it?
March 25 2004 Nancy Olewiler
Simon Fraser University
Can Prices Protect Nature?
March 13 2003 Charles Beach
Queen's University
Chances in the Canadian Income Distribution: Alternative Explanations & Policy Implications
March 7 2002 Pierre Fortin
Universite du Quebec a Montreal
Keynes Resurrected
March 15 2001 Robert Evans
University of British Columbia
Can Economists Speak Truth to Power? Ethics, Economics and Health Policy
March 23 2000 Bev Dahlby
University of Alberta
The Interdependence of Federal and Provincial Fiscal Policies
March 4 1999 Francois Vaillancourt
Universite a Montreal
Canada's Federal Arrangement: Is the Most Enough?
March 16 1998 Mike McCracken
Demise of Contracyclical Fiscal Policy in Canada
March 21 1997 Jacques Parizeau
former Quebec PM
Economic Implications of Quebec Sovereignty
March 14 1996 Robin Boadway
Queen's University
The Folly of Decentralizing the Canadian Federation
March 9 1995 Allan Maslove
Carleton University
Time to Fold or Up the Ante: The Federal Role in Health Care
March 16 1994 John Helliwell
UBC and Harvard University
Income Convergence and Migration Among Canadian Provinces
April 15 1993 Richard Bird
University of Toronto
Federal-Provincial Taxation in Turbulent Times
March 19 1992 Milton Moore
University of British Columbia
The Triumph of Capitalist Ideology