This was the message delivered in a dramatic presentation by Professor James Buchanan, 1986 Nobel Laureate in Economics at a conference in Montreal on October 25, 2001. The conference was co-hosted by the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, the Montreal Economic Institute and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and explored the realities of equalization in the modern context.
Known as one of the “fathers of equalization” because his early writings were highly influential in the design of equalization programmes such as Canada’s, Buchanan took this opportunity to revisit his arguments of 50 years before. He said that he didn’t take enough account of how political interference with the operations of such programmes can outweigh the good intentions behind them.

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