Public policy studies are the stock-in-trade of the Institute. Our studies are academically-rigorous examinations of important policy questions in Atlantic Canada, covering our wide range of research interests and receiving many awards for their scholarship and impact. All research papers meet academic standards for peer review and advance the public policy discussion in the region. Find below an archive of our policy studies.

A Valuation and Analysis of Atlantic Canadian Liquor Monopolies

A Valuation and Analysis of Atlantic Canadian Liquor Monopolies by Ian Madsen and Alex Whalen details the myriad problems with monopolies, places a value on our liquor corporations, and explores options for the future. “The study reveals that Atlantic Canadians pay higher than average prices for alcohol” said Whalen, adding, “the valuations demonstrate the liquor corporations to be massively valuable to government.” Through competition and market-based pricing, alcohol sales would more aptly benefit consumers and business owners. The analysis applies to other areas of government intervention as well, such as gambling and cannabis sales. All four Atlantic Provinces recently announced ...
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From Tax to Security: an Alternative to Employment Insurance

From tax to security:  an alternative to Employment Insurance – by Justin Hatherly proposes an alternative to the current employment insurance system that would discourage dependence on seasonal work, promote productivity and labour mobility, and end a practice that has damaged Atlantic Canada. Hatherly says that the Chilean system gives people a greater incentive to find longer-term stable jobs since they are, in effect, working for themselves and spending their own money whenever they draw benefits. This would address one current problem of worker shortages in some areas and job shortages in others that occurs even within the same province under ...
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What’s Still Missing From Your Wallet?

What’s Still Missing from Your Wallet by Marco Navarro- Génie is an analysis that returns to a previous study done in 2009, in which the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies examined the adverse effects of gasoline price regulation in Atlantic Canada. Just as What’s Missing from Your Wallet proved, this current study demonstrates how controlling prices are not economically useful: these regulations create market distortions, add external costs and promotes the notion that government policies should adhere to popular demand rather than economic evidence. Navarro-Génie argues for the case against price control in this updated study, as the empirical evidence ...
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Revisiting the Minimum Wage in Atlantic Canada

Legislating further increases to the minimum wage would likely worsen youth unemployment in Atlantic Canada. Evidence shows that minimum wages price low-skilled persons out of work and reduce the opportunity for training and experience among young people. Given these effects, raising the wage floor is bad policy. New research published by the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) examines minimum wage legislation in Atlantic Canada. Authors Matthew Lau and Marco Navarro-Génie find that the Maritime Provinces have a higher-than-average proportion of workers earning wages at or near the existing minimum wage. The ratio of the minimum wage to the median ...
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The Value of Tax Exemptions on First Nations Reserves

All Canadian provinces face mounting health expenditures, owing in part to the cost of tobacco smoking. Yet, tobacco sold on First Nations reserves is not subject to taxes, unlike off-reserve purchases. Even though exemptions are not enshrined in the constitution or in any treaty with aboriginals, they are a loophole in the tax system. According to a new research paper, led by the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) and co-published with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy (FCPP), the value of the tobacco exemption for First Nations reserves across Canada is $686-million. Author Lee Harding estimates that the cost ...
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