Home/Micro Chapter 6

Why Toronto Is Not Building Rentals

Why don't more apartments get built when markets rents rise? Even without rent controls, there are powerful financial incentives that favour building condominiums (where presales generate returns on investments immediately) over rental apartments (where rental income tickles in slowly over decades). Condos have other advantages -- property taxes [...]

Why Toronto Is Not Building Rentals2020-05-09T12:36:17-04:00

Removing Rent Controls Won’t Ease Toronto’s Housing Crisis

The Ontario government changed rent controls with the aim of protecting existing tenants. But the policy change allows landlords to raise rents for new tenants. The unintended consequence provides landlords with incentives to try and get existing tenants to move. This may lead to reduced maintenance, ignoring tenant rights, [...]

Removing Rent Controls Won’t Ease Toronto’s Housing Crisis2020-05-10T09:42:05-04:00

Benefits to Raising Ontario Minimum Wages

While simple demand-and-supply economic models predict that an increase in the minimum wage increases unemployment, this story looks at what happens to those predictions when you take into account how the increased incomes of minimum wage workers leads to increased demand for business products and services. [...]

Benefits to Raising Ontario Minimum Wages2020-05-10T09:04:50-04:00

Taxing Housing Negative Externalities?

Many cities, including Seattle, have rising housing and rental prices because of demand from hi-tech workers who earn good salaries and want to live in downtown neighbourhoods. This op-ed suggests that we look at the higher housing prices as a negative externality caused by the tech businesses. Accordingly, the [...]

Taxing Housing Negative Externalities?2020-05-10T08:50:34-04:00

Why Surge Pricing Makes Us So Mad

This article addresses tradeoffs between efficiency and equity by examining what gives when prices don't. There are examples of concert tickets, essential supply prices following natural disasters, Uber surge pricing,  and more. Richard Thaler, Nobel Prize Winner in Economics for work in behavioural economics, is quoted extensively. [...]

Why Surge Pricing Makes Us So Mad2020-05-10T08:18:58-04:00

Planned Rentals Turned to Condos after New Rent Controls

In 2017, the Liberal Government in Ontario decided to expand rent controls beyond apartments built before 1993 to cover all apartment buildings. The housing industry objected, and argued that expanded rent controls would discourage new apartment construction by reducing profitability.  All other things equal, that is a [...]

Planned Rentals Turned to Condos after New Rent Controls2020-05-10T07:28:53-04:00

Do Higher Minimum Wages Benefit Workers AND Employers?

Andrew Jackson, of the Broadbent Institute, argues in a Huffington Post article that the recent increase in Alberta's minimum wage to $12.20 (on a path to $15 in 2018) not only benefits workers, but also employers. He presents the cons and pros of minimum wages, including a claim by the [...]

Do Higher Minimum Wages Benefit Workers AND Employers?2020-05-09T10:37:28-04:00

Uber Teaching Moments Galore!

After meeting an Uber developer at a University of Waterloo hackathon, a student posted a paper - "The Effects of Uber's Surge Pricing - A Case Study" - by Jonathan Hall (Head of Economic Research, Legal and Public Policy at Uber Technologies), Cory Kendrick (Data Scientist at Uber Technologies) and Chris Nosko [...]

Uber Teaching Moments Galore!2020-05-09T11:18:01-04:00