Pierre Desrochers

GGR 209 – Economic Geography – Lectures

Period: Fall 2023
Instructor: Pierre DesrochersOffice: Davis 3273
Lectures: Wednesday 1-3PMLecture room: DH 2060
Phone: (905) 828-5206E-mail: pierre.desrochers@utoronto.ca

Lecture 1 (Sept. 6): Introduction
Lecture 2 (Sept. 13): Economic Concepts
Lecture 3 (Sept. 20): Foundations of Spatial Economic Analysis
Lecture 4 (Sept. 27): Cities, Clusters and Economic Development
Lecture 5 (Oct. 4): The Death of Distance?
No class (Oct. 11): No class – Reading Week
Lecture 6 (Oct. 18 ): The End of Work?
Lecture 7 (Oct. 25): Food Supply Chain and Food Security, Part 1
Lecture 8 (Nov. 1): Food Supply Chain and Food Security, Part 2
Lecture 9 (Nov. 8): Housing Market Crisis, Part 1: Guest lecture
Lecture 10 (Nov. 15): Housing Market Crisis, Part 2: Facts and Diagnostics
Lecture 11 (Nov. 22): Housing Market Crisis, Part 3: (Urban) Zoning 
Lecture 12 (Nov. 29): Housing Market Crisis, Part 4: Urban Form, Containment Policies and Solutions
Final Exam (Dec. 7-20): TBA

Suggested videos

Will COVID-19 End Globalization?” The Agenda with Steve Paikin (April 1, 2020).

Geographer Thinking. 2018 (1) Economic Geography – what is economic geography.

Suggested readings

Economic Geography (Broad introduction)
Rogers , Alisdair, Noel Castree , and Rob Kitchin. 2013. “A Short Definition for Economic Geography.” In A Dictionary of Human Geography. Oxford University Press.

Poon, Jessie P. H. 2015. “Economic Geography” Oxford Bibliographies.

Aoyama, Yuko, James T. Murphy and Susan Hanson. 2013. “Introduction” In Yuko Aoyama et al. Key Concepts in Economic Geography, Sage, pp. 1-12.

Urban Data and Maps
Swanson, Ana. 2016. “Six Maps that will make you Rethink the World.” Washington Post (April 29).

Arwen Armbrecht, Arwen, World Economic Forum. 2015. “This map shows the world’s fastest growing cities.” Business Insider (November 26)

Ranked: The Fastest Growing Cities in the U.S. (2020-2025p) (visualcapitalist.com)

Pandemics and Globalization

  • Historical overview

Le Pan, Nicholas. 2020. “Visualizing the History of Pandemics.” Visual Capitalist (March 14).

Fiamengo, Janice. 2021. “Anne of Green Gables Meets the Coronavirus.” The Dorchester Review (Spring-Summer) 11 (1): 12-16.

  • Pandemics and the Case for More Globalization

Corcoran, Terry. 2020. “COVID-19 pandemic the product of bungled national government policies on massive global scale.” Financial Post (April 8).

Book, Joakin. 2020. “No, Capitalism Did not Fail.” AIER (April 7).

Taylor, Peter Shawn. 2020. “Our Next Pandemic Policy Mistake: Self-Sufficiency In All Things.” C2C Journal (December 23).

Pethokoukis, James. 2020. “Don’t let more isolationism and autarky be the legacy of this pandemic.” AEIdeas (April 8).

Boudreaux, Don. 2020. “Free Trade and Globalization are Good for your Health.” AIER (March 23).

Tupy, Marian L. 2020. “Coronovirus and Human Progress. A Poorer World Would be a Sicker World. Let us hope that we have the wisdom to recognize that.” Human Progress (March 22).

Geloso, Vincent. 2020. “Globalization Does Not Increase Pandemic Risk.” AIER (March 22).

Lloyd, Colin. 2020. “Is this the End of Globalization?” AIER (March 29).

  • Pandemics and the Case for Less Globalization

Shuman, Michael. H. 2020. “Comparative Resilience: 8 Principles for Post-COVID Reconstruction.” (Undated).

Martin, Roger. 2020. “The Virus Shows that Making our Companies Efficient also made our Country Weak.” Washington Post (March 27).

Gindin, Sam. 2020. “Inoculating Against Globalization: Coronavirus and the Search for Alternatives.” The Bullet (March 12).

Auerback, Marshall. 2020. “Coronavirus Exposes the Cracks in Globalization.” TruthDig (March 10).

Linton, Tom and Bindiya Vakil. 2020. “Coronavirus Is Proving We Need More Resilient Supply Chains.” Harvard Business Review (March 4).

Suggested links

G-Econ Project (Yale University)

Worldmapper | rediscover the world as you’ve never seen it before


Required videos

Carden, Art. 2013. “Specialization and Trade: Because We Can’t Be Good At Everything.” Learn Liberty

MRU University. 2014. The Hockey Stick of Human Prosperity

MRU University. 2015 Price Ceilings: Shortages and Quality Reduction

MRU University. 2015 Price Ceilings: Lines and Search Costs

Free To Choose Network | Johan Norberg’s New and Improved – Money (2022)

Required readings

Concise Encyclopedia of Economics

  • Free trade debate

Carden, Art. 2023. “Four Ways to Get What You Want.” AIER (January 28)

Fletcher, Ian. 2011. “The Famous (and Almost Never Understood) Theory of Comparative Advantage.” Huffington Post (June 7)

Fletcher, Ian. 2011. “The Theory That’s Killing America’s Economy – and Why It’s Wrong.” Huffington Post (April 7).

Munger, Michael. 2015. “Comparative Advantage: An Idea Whose Time Has Passed.” Fee.org (December 28).

Cass, Oren. 2020. “Comparative Disadvantage.” Law and Liberty (January 15).

Suggested videos

Boudreaux, Don. 2012. MR University Principles of Economics: Microeconomics – Division of labor.

Boudreaux, Don. 2012. MR University Principles of Economics: Microeconomics – Comparative Advantage.

The Conservative Online. 2017. “I Sandwich by Danial Hannan.”

Davies, Antony. 2012. “Why not Print More Money?” Learn Liberty

Whittle, Bill. 2017. “1. Money

Suggested readings
  • Humanity’s uniqueness

Pooley, Gale. 2023. “Sorry Jane, Chimps Don’t Innovate.” Human Progress (February 8)

Hanley, James E. 2021. “Smithian Exchange Among Non-human Animals,” Adam Smith Works, The Liberty Fund​. Feb. 2021.

Holly Root-Gutteridge. 2016. The Songs of the Wolves. Aeon (May 25)

  • Comparative advantage controversy

Gregg, Samuel. 2023. “ Make Trade Free Again.” Law and Liberty (August 17)

Gregg, Samuel. 2020. “How Economic Nationalism Hurts Nations.” Law and Liberty (January 6)

Kling, Arnold. 2016. Specialization and Trade. A Re-Introduction to Economics. Cato Institute.

  • Canada and free trade

Dictionary of Canadian Biography – National Policy

Routley, Samuel. 2023. “How Canada’s Conservatives Should Solve Their Free Trade Confusion.” C2C (July 10).

Suggested links

Econlib Guides – College Economics Topics

Required videos

Mr Sinn

Ted-Ed. 2012. Why do competitors open their stores next to one another? – Jac de Haan

Required readings

Spatial concepts and theories

Concise Encyclopedia of Economics

Encyclopedia Britannica

Oxford Bibliographies

Rodrigue, Jean-Paul. 2020. The Geography of Transport Systems, 5th edition. Routledge

Box, Sarah. 2000. Economic Geography – Key Concepts, New Zealand Treasury Working Paper, No. 00/12, New Zealand Government, The Treasury, Wellington (Note: Read pp. 1-22)

Laskow, Sarah. 2016. “Here Are the Real Boundaries of American Metropolises, Decided by an Algorithm.” Atlas Obscura (November 30).

Suggested readings

Gaspar, José M. 2021. “New economic geography: History and debate.” The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, 28 (1): 46-82.

Thisse, Jacques- François. 2011. « Geographical Economics: A Historical Perspective. » Recherches économiques de Louvain 77 (2/3): 141-168.

Barnes, Trevor J. 2001. “In the beginning was economic geography’ – a science studies approach to disciplinary history.” Progress in Human Geography 25 (4): 521–544.

Scott, Allen J. 2000. “Economic geography: the great half-century.” Cambridge Journal of Economics 24 (4): 483-504.

Fischer, Kathrin. 2011. “Central Places: The Theories of von Thünen, Christaller, and Lösch.” In  H. A. Eiselt and Vladimir Marianov. Foundations of Location Analysis, Springer, pp. 471-505.

Required videos

– Cities and Economic Development

Vivid Maps. 2019. The most populous cities in the world (1500 – 2018)

OECD. 2020. Cities in the World: A new perspective on urbanisation

– Clusters
Cremona (Italy)
Hantang Culture. 2018. “Cremona, the Italian City of Violins.”

Brill Building (New York City)
Music Theories. 2021. Mass Produced Pop Music? – The Brill Building Method

Silicon Valley (California)
Protin, Corey, Matthew Stuart and Matt Weinberger. 2020. “Animated timeline shows how Silicon Valley became a $2.8 trillion neighborhood.” Business Insider (December 18).

Required readings

Cities and Economic Development
Tupy, Marian. 2018. “Cities are Central to Human Flourishing.” CapX (April 18)

UN Habitat. 2011. The Economic Role of Cities (Read the following:

  • The Role of Cities (pp. 3-23)
  • The Role of City Regions (pp. 33-40)
  • Conclusions (p. 41)

OECD/European Commission (2020), Cities in the World: A New Perspective on Urbanisation, OECD Urban Studies, OECD Publishing (look up the following):
Policy Highlights
Web Tool (Cities in the World) (Browse)

École de Paris

Music industry
Encyclopedia Britannica

Tin Pan Alley

The Brill Building: Assembly-line Pop

Silicon Valley
Warsh, David. 2006. “Secrets of Silicon Valley.” economicprincipals.com, March 26.

Sorman, Guy. 2010. “The Silicon Lining.” City Journal, Vol. 20, no 2.

Jacobs externalities and related variety
Knowledge spillover, Wikipedia

Dekker, Erwin. 2016. “How Viennese Culture Shaped Austrian Economics.” Fee.org (July 31).

Suggested readings

McGuinness, Paul. 2022. “The Best of The Brill Building: 30 Timeless Pop Gems. An introduction to some of the best pop music of the 20th century, a style that was both innocent and sophisticated.” Udiscovermusic.com (March 15)

Noack, Rick. 2016. “Where Europe is most and least innovative, in 6 maps.” Washington Post (August 1)

Oki, Yuko. 2010. The Competitive Advantage of the Violin Industrial Cluster in Cremona. ESA Research Network Sociology of Culture Midterm Conference: Culture and the Making of Worlds.

Wu, JunJie. 2019. “Agglomeration: Economic and Environmental Impacts.” Annual Review of Resource Economics 11: 419-438.

Rifkin, Jeremy. 2006. “The Risks of Too Much City.” Washington Post (December 17).

Friedman, Matti. 2023. “When Did Humans Start Settling Down?” July-August, Smithsonian Magazine.

Southern Ontario
Eisen, Ben and Steve Lafleur. 2019. “Uneven Job Creation in Ontario’s Urban Centres from 2008 to 2019.” Fraser Institute (January 5).

Spencer, Gregory M. 2018. Economic clusters in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and their relationship with the region’s transportation infrastructure. Metrolinx

Neptis Foundation
Clusters in the Ontario and Central Zone economies | Neptis Foundation

Knowledge spillovers
Barber, John. 2019. “A Quiet Overthrow.” Literary Review of Canada (March).

Suggested Links

Human Progress – Centers of Progress (Interesting historical vignettes of the most dynamic cities in history)

Required videos

– Telecommuting
Fox Business. 2020. ‘NYC is Dead Forever’ author responds to Seinfeld, ‘Don’t know why he attacked me’ (August 25)

Good Morning America (ABC). 2013. “New Yahoo Rule Sparks Work-at-Home Debate.”

FORA TV (Wired). 2013. “Marissa Mayer Responds to Yahoo Work-from-Home Criticism.”

Required readings

Broader considerations

Glaeser, Edward and David Cutler. 2021. “Perspective: You may get more work done at home. but you’d have better ideas at the office.” The Washington Post (September 24).

Schwartz, Richard. 2021. “The Death of Density? To survive and thrive, cities will have to overcome a number of formidable trends.” City Journal (March 29).

Cox, Wendell. 2020. “Highest Salaries for Software Developer Remote Work (Metro Areas).” New Geography (June 12).

Henderson, David R. 2021. “Wisdom on Cities from Edward Glaeser.” Econlib (December 21)

DeAngelis, Stephen. 2021. “Does Geography Matter in the Digital Age?Enterra Solutions (September 13)

Telecommuting: Pros and Cons

  • Before COVID

Villanova University. 2019. “Telecommuting Benefits and Drawbacks for Employers.” (May 26).

Pickett, Patricia. 2019. “The Pros and Cons of Telecommuting.” Careers (May 14).

Goman, Carol Kinsey. 2017. “Why IBM Brought Remote Workers Back to the Office, and Why Your Company May Be Next.” Equities (October 25).

  • During COVID

-COVID 2020: James Altchuler vs Jerry Seinfeld
Altucher, James. 2020. “NYC is Dead Forever, Here’s Why.” LinkedIn (August 13).

Seinfeld, Jerry. 2020. “So You Think New York Is ‘Dead.’ (It’s not.)” The New York Times (August 24).

Altucher, James. 2020. “Sorry, Seinfeld: Your love of NYC won’t change the facts about its crisis.” New York Post (August 24).

  • After COVID
  • Overview

Josephson, Kimberlee. 2022. “‘Work From Home’ Is Much Easier Said Than Done.” Real Clear Markets (March 16)

  • Pro Telecommuting

Kling, Arnold. 2023. “Productivity down as Remote Work up? It’s an easy story to tell–too easy.” In my Tribe (June 15)

Kotkin, Joel. 2023. “The death of the great American city. The flight of office workers to the hinterlands will have profound effects on society.” Spiked (August 20)

Chaker, Anne Marie. 2023. “The Biggest Holdouts on the Five-Day Office Week: Bosses.” Wall Street Journal (June 19)

  • Pro Face-to-face communication

Thompson, Polly. 2023. “Billionaire CEOs said working from home made them happier. Some now want to fire workers who don’t show up to the office.” Business Insider (August 28)

Murphy, Jon. 2023. “Productivity and Work From Home: A Response to Arnold Kling.” Econlib (June 24)

Suggested readings

Information Technologies and Geographical Space
– Historical perspective
Wenzlhuemera, Roland. “The dematerialization of telecommunication: communication centres and peripheries in Europe and the world, 1850-1920.” Journal of Global History (2007), 2:345-372.

Lahanas, Michael. Undated. Ancient Greek Communication Methods.

Feldman, Maryann. 2002. “The Internet Revolution and the Geography of Innovation.” International Social Science Journal 54 (2): 47-54.

Morgan 2004. “The Exaggerated Death of Geography: Learning, Proximity and Territorial Innovation Systems.” Journal of Economic Geography 4 (1): 3-21.

KASS. Kochi Arts and Science page:

Howes, Anton. 2022. “The Beacons are Lit!”

Marcum, Todd. Undated. “Telecommuting vs Face-to-Face Communication.” Access.

MacDonald, Glen M. 2016. “The End(s) of Geography?” AAG Newsletter.

Dixon, Nancy. 2015. “Combining Virtual and Face-to-Face Work.” Harvard Business Review (July 1).

Caramela, Sammi. 2018. “Communication Technology and Inclusion Will Shape the Future of Remote Work.” Business News Daily (Dec. 27).

Stevenson, Gary. 2017. “Working from Home: The Benefits and Drawbacks of Telecommuting.” OSG (May 25).

Economic Innovation Group. 2022. The Uneven Geography of Remote Work (September 20)

Dingel, Jonathan and Brent Neiman. 2020. “How Many Jobs can be done at Home?” NBER Working Paper 26948 HOW MANY JOBS CAN BE DONE AT HOME?

Tsipursky, Gleb. 2023. “Are You Favoring Your In-Person Students? That’s Called Proximity Bias. Here’s How to Fix It.” Harvard Business Publishing Education.

Neuroscience News. 2023 “Zoom Conversations vs In-Person: Brain Activity Tells a Different Tale.” (October 26).

Verner, Emma. 2023. “Americans Are Leaving These US Cities In Record Numbers.” Investing.com (July 18).

Amico, Laura. 2021. “The Realities of Remote Work.” Harvard Business Review (October 20).

-Pro Telecommuting
Corzo, Cynthia. 2019. “Telecommuting Positively Impacts Job Performance, Study Finds.” Phys.org (February 27).

Bakken. Rebecca. Undated. “Challenges to Managing Virtual Teams and How to Overcome Them.” Harvard Extension School Blog.

Mautz, Scott. Undated. “A 2-Year Stanford Study Shows the Astonishing Productivity Boost of Working From Home.” Inc.

Snir, David. 2020. “All remote or all office. Hybrids are problematic.” Remotely Working (July 30).

Snir, David. 2020. “Recreating the office chance-meetings.” Remotely Working (July 17).

Snir, David. 2020. “The Long, Unhappy History of Working From Home? An article published this week at the New York Times claims working from home will never worked. Let’s talk about that.” Remotely Working (July 3).

Wood, Therese. 2020. “The Future of Remote Work, According to Startups.” Visual Capitalist (July 8).

Woolridge, Adrian. 2022. “Workers Are Winning the Return-to-Office War Because They’re Right.”  Bloomberg (April 25).

-Pro Face-to-face Communication
Mokhtarian, Patricia L. 2009. “If Telecommunication is such a Good Substitute for Travel, Why does Congestion Continue to Get Worse?” Transportation Letters 1(1): 1-17.

Salyer, Kirsten. 2013. “Yahoo’s Risky Work-From-Home Memo.” Bloomberg News (February 26).

Swisher, Kara. 2013. ““Physically Together”: Here’s the Internal Yahoo No-Work-From-Home Memo for Remote Workers and Maybe More.” AllThingsD (February 22).

Grenny, Joseph and David Maxfield. 2017. “A Study of 1,100 Employees Found That Remote Workers Feel Shunned and Left Out.” Harvard Business Review (2017).

Useem, Jerry. 2017. “When Working From Home Doesn’t Work. IBM pioneered telecommuting. Now it wants people back in the office.” The Atlantic (November).

CommPRO Global Inc. 2017. “Why IBM Brought Remote Workers Back to the Office, and Why Your Company May Be Next.” Equities.com (October 25).

Irvine, James. 2019. “Why Big Companies are Turning their Back on Telecommuting in Favor of the Fastest, Most Reliable Communication Technology: Face-to-face Conversation.” TAG (February 27).

Sander, Libby. 2019. “It’s not just the Isolation. Working from home has surprising downsides.” The Conversation (January 14).

Greetly. 2018. “5 Benefits of Working in the Modern Office vs Telecommuting.” (February 27).

Orbi, Ryan. 2021. “Salesforce sticking with plans for 60-story Chicago tower, despite telling workers they can work remotely after COVID-19.” Chicago Tribune (February 10).

Streitfeld, David. 2020. “The Long, Unhappy History of Working from Home.” New York Times (June 29) [Denver Post, June 30].

Haider, Murtaza and Stephen Moranis. 2020. “Why Office Real Estate Landlords aren’t Panicking Just Yet.” Financial Post (June 4).

Fonseca, Ryan. 2023. “Inland Empire residents are fighting warehouse sprawl.” February 7, Los Angeles Times.

Riccardi, Gabriela. 2023. It’s not just conversation—Gen Z is missing some essential nonverbal skills, too Yahoo! News (May 10)

Taplin, Steve, 2023. “Is Remote Work Dying A Fast Death?Forbes (January 2).

Tsipursky, Gleb. 2022. “Workers Are Less Productive Working Remotely (At Least That’s What Their Bosses Think).” Forbes (November 3).

San Diego State University. (2018, July 18). “Despite Digital Revolution, Distance still Matters.” ScienceDaily (July 18).

Suggested links

Economic Innovation Group. 2022. Rise of Remote Series: Exploring Trends in Remote Work Post-COVID (July).

Required videos

Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell. 2017. “The Rise of the Machines – Why Automation is Different this Time.” (June 8)

Free Think Wrong. 2017. Will Robots Take Our Jobs? (December 7)

Required readings

Technology and (Un)Employment

  • Overview and historical perspective

United Nations. 2017. “Will robots and AI cause mass unemployment? Not necessarily, but they do bring other threats.” UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (October 2)

Stubbings, Carol. 2017. “Is the future about robots or humans?” PWC Blog (August 21)

Cowen, Tyler. 2017. “Industrial Revolution Comparisons Aren’t Comforting. More automation may be good in the long run, but history tells us there’ll be turmoil along the way.” Bloomberg News (February 16)

Akst, Daniel. 2014. “What can we learn from past anxiety over automation?” The Wilson Quarterly (Summer)

  • Pessimists (Unemployment)

Wolf, Zachary. 2019. “The Robots are Coming for your Job, Too.” CNN (September 3).

West, Darrell M. 2018. “Will Robots and AI Take your Job? The economic and political consequences of automation.” Brooking Techtank (April 18).

Galeon, Dom. 2017. “Experts: Because of AI, Millions of People Are at Risk of Unemployment. This looming labor disruption shouldn’t be taken lightly.” Futurism (March 10)

Thompson, Derek. 2015. “A World Without Work. For centuries, experts have predicted that machines would make workers obsolete. That moment may finally be arriving. Could that be a good thing?” The Atlantic (July-August).

  • Optimists (Employment)

Hazlitt, Henry. 2011 (1948). Economics in One Lesson. Ludwig von Mises Institute (Chapter 7: The Curse of Machinery, p. 33).

DiMatteo, Livio. 2019. “New Technology Creates More, Better Jobs than it Costs. If anything, automation may lead to labor shortages.” The Quarterly (Fall 2019) 14-15.

Globerman, Steven. 2019. “Artificial Intelligence Will Kill Jobs-and Create Them.” The Quarterly (Fall): 2-3.

Vallée, Luc and Gaël Campan. 2019. “Artificial Intelligence will Create more Jobs than it Displaces – and Better Ones.” The Globe & Mail (November 4).

Khurana, Ryan. 2018. “Job Automation Should Be Celebrated, Not Feared. Transitioning to a world in which different skills are valued might be difficult, but in the long run, everybody benefits.” Fee.org (March 25)

Nowak, Peter. 2017. “Are machines coming for our jobs? Probably not.”  Globe & Mail (October 17)

Desjardins, Jeff. 2019. “Visualizing 150 Years of U.S. Employment History.” Visual Capitalist (February 22).

Suggested readings

Technological (Un)Employment
Bordot, Florent. 2022. “Artificial Intelligence, Robots and Unemployment: Evidence from OECD Countries.” Journal of Innovation Economics & Management 37 (1) : 117-138.

Campa, Riccardo. 2018. “Technological Unemployment. A Brief History of An Idea.” Orbis Idearum 6 (2): 57-80.

United Nations. 2017. Frontier Issues: The impact of the technological revolution on labour markets and income distribution. UN  Department of Economic and Social Affairs – Economic Analysis.

McKinsey Global Institute. 2017. Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: What the future of work will mean for jobs, skills, and wages.

Ford, Martin. 2015. “The Rise of the Robots: Is this Time Different?” LinkedIn (December 5).

Smith, Aaron and Janna Anderson. 2014. “AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs.” PEW Research Center (August 6).

Woirol, Gregory R. 1996. The Technological Unemployment and Structural Unemployment Debates, Praeger, ISBN 978-0313298929.

Hayek podcast. 2019. Glen Weyl on the Myths and Benefits of Automation.

Bix, Amy Sue. 2002. Inventing Ourselves Out of Jobs? America’s Debate over Technological Unemployment, 1929–1981. Johns Hopkins Press.

Gallacher, Guillermo and Iqbal Hossain. 2020. “Remote work and employment dynamics under covid-19: Evidence from Canada.” Canadian Public Policy 46 (s1) (July 1).

Dizikes, Peter. 2023. “An AI challenge only humans can solve.” MIT News (May 17).

Dizikes, Peter. 2020. “How many jobs do robots really replace?” MIT News (May 4).

Arntz, Melanie, Terry Gregory and Ulrich Zierah. 2016. The Risk of Automation for Jobs in OECD Countries : A Comparative Analysis | OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers | OECD iLibrary (oecd-ilibrary.org) (May 14).

Globerman, Steven. 2019 (ed). Technology, Automation and and Employment. Will this Time be Different? Fraser Institute.

Metten, Nico. 2018. “Answering Jordan Peterson on Low IQ Productivity.” Libertarian Home (May 23).

Hunter, Brittany. 2017. “The “Curse” of Labor-Saving Machinery Is Nothing New.” Mises Wire (January 10)

Mabry, R. H. and A. D. Sharplin. 1986. “Does More Technology Create Unemployment?” Policy Analysis No. 68 (Cato Institute).

Bartlett, Bruce. 1984. “Is Industrial Innovation Destroying Jobs?” Cato Journal 4 (2): 625-650 (See also Yeager, Leland B. 1984. “Is Industrial Innovation Destroying Jobs?: A Comment.” Cato Journal 4 (2) : 645- 650).

Wikipedia – Technocracy Movement.

Reception of the New Deal – The Technocrats’ Magazine (1933).

Frey, Carl Benedikt and Osborne, Michael A. 2017. “The future of employment: How susceptible are jobs to computerisation?” Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 114: 254-280. doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2016.08.019.

Kim, Young Joon, Kim, Kyungsoo and Lee, SuKyoung. 2017. “The Rise of Technological Unemployment and its Implications on the Future Macroeconomic Landscape.” Futures 87: 1-9.

Piva, Mariacristina, Vivarelli, Marco. 2017. “Technological Change and Employment: Were Ricardo and Marx Right?” Institute of Labor Economics.

Miailhe, Nicolas. 2017. “The Policy Challenges of Automation.” FACTS Reports.

Dreyfuss, Emily. 2017. “Hate to Break It to Steve Mnuchin, But AI’s Already Taking Jobs.” Wired (March 24).

PWC Group. 2017. Workforce of the future. The competing forces shaping 2030

Illing, Sean. 2016. “Why we need to plan for a future without jobs.” Vox (November 24).

Ford, Martin. 2015. Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future. Basic Books.

Leonard, Andrew. 2014. “Robots are Stealing your Job: How technology threatens to wipe out the middle class.” Salon (January 17).

Rotman, David. 2013. “How Technology is Destroying Jobs.” MIT Technology Review (June 12).

Rifkin, Jeremy. 1995. The End of Work: The Decline of the Global Labor Force and the Dawn of the Post-Market Era. Tarcher-G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Other factors: Offshore Outsourcing
Trefler, Daniel and Elhanan Helpman. 2010. “Canadian Policy Responses to Offshore Outsourcing” in Daniel Trefler (ed.) Offshore Outsourcing: Capitalizing on Lessons Learned. Toronto: Rotman School of Management and Industry Canada, pp. 1.1-1.30.

Trefler, Daniel and Elhanan Helpman. 2010. “The New World Division of Labor.” In Offshore Outsourcing: Capitalizing on Lessons Learned in Daniel Trefler (ed.) Offshore Outsourcing: Capitalizing on Lessons Learned. Toronto: Rotman School of Management and Industry Canada, pp. 2.1-2.25.

Trefler, Daniel. 2006. “Service Offshoring: Threats and Opportunities.” In Susan M. Collins and Lael Brainard. Brookings Trade Forum 2005: Offshoring White-Collar Work, Brookings Institution Press, pp. 35-60.

Trefler, Daniel 2005. “Think Globally, Invest Locally: Responding to the Rise of Offshoring.” Rotman Magazine (Fall): 42-45. (Full-length version at Industry Canada Working Paper Series #2006-01 click here. Powerpoint slide show click here.

-On Job Destruction
That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen by Frederic Bastiat, 1850.

Substantial Pieces

Amiti, Mary, and Wei, Shang-Jin. 2004. “Fear of Service Outsourcing: Is it Justified?NBER Working Paper 10808.

Balaker, Ted and Adrian Moore. 2005. “Offshoring and Public Fear: Assessing the Real Threat to Jobs.” Reason Foundation, Policy Study 333.

Bartel, Ann, Saul Lach and Nachum Sicherman. 2005. “Outsourcing and Technological Change.” NBER Working Paper 11158.

Blinder, Alan S. 2006. “Fear of Offshoring.” Princeton University.

Lindsey, Brink. 2004. “Job Losses and Trade: A Reality Check.” Center for Trade Policy Studies, Briefing Paper No. 19.

Mankiw, N. Gregory and Phillip Swagel. 2006. “The Politics and Economics of Offshore Outsourcing.” NBER WP 12398.

Overby, Stephanie. 2003. “The Hidden Costs of Offshore Outsourcing.” CIO.com, Sept. 1.

Paul Craig Roberts Vs Jagdish Bhagwati on Outsourcing (originally published in The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2004).

Shorter Pieces
Offshoring” and “Offshore outsourcing” on Wikipedia

Anderson, William L. 2003. “The Myth of ‘Exporting Jobs.’” Mises Institute Website, June 27.

Boland, Brian, and Block, Walter. “The Benefits of Outsourcing.” The Freeman: Ideas on Libety, January 1997.

Bartlett, Bruce. “India May Have Solved the Outsourcing Issue for Us,” Townhall, May 18, 2004.

Cowen, Tyler, and Irons, John. 2004. “The Rise of Outsourcing.” The Wall Street Journal, November 9.

Holodnak, Stas. 2008. “Downward Dollar Delivers Blow to Outsourcing.” Ludwig von Mises Institute, February 13.

Irwin, Douglas A. 2004. “‘Outsourcing’ is Good for America.” The Wall Street Journal, January 28, p. A16.

Irwin, Douglas A. 2004. “Free-Trade Worriers.” The Wall Street Journal, August 9, p. A12.

Landsburg, Steven E. 2008. “What to Expect When You’re Free Trading.” The New York Times, January 16.

Mankiw, N. Gregory, and Phillip Swagel. “The Politics and Economics of Offshore Outsourcing.” March 2006.

McKay, John. 2004. “Outsourcing: Separating Fact from Hysteria.” TCS Daily, December 23.

Mihlar, Fazil. 2008. “Saint Wal-Mart? Well, Let’s Look at the Record.” Vancouver Sun, February 9.

Reh, F. John. “Offshoring – Outsourcing to Extreme.” About.com.

Roberts, Russell. 2004. “The Great Outsourcing Scare of 2004.” Hoover Digest no 2, Spring Issue.

Rockwell, Lew. 2003. “Job Overseas? Another Attempt to Explain.” Mises.org, November 27.

Williams, Walter. 2006. “Foreign Trade Angst.” Jewish World Review, October 18.

Ikenson, Daniel. 2007. “Thriving in a Global Economy. The Truth about U.S. Manufacturing and Trade.” Trade Policy Analysis no. 35, Cato Institute.

Elder, Larry. 2005. “Lou Dobbs to outsourcing: Drop dead.” World Net Daily, March 10.

Balaker, Ted, & Adrian T. Moore. 2005. “Offshoring and Public Fear: Assessing the Real Threat to Jobs.” Policy Summary of Study 333, Reason Foundation. (Policy Summary | Executive Summary)

Bartlett, Bruce. 2004. “The debate over outsourcing needs some facts,” www.townhall.com, October 12.

Drezner, Daniel. 2004. “The Outsourcing Bogeyman.” Foreign Affairs, May/June.

Gumpert, David E. 2004. “An Atlas of Offshore Outsourcing.” Business Week, February 18.

Hazlitt, Henry. 1948. “The Curse of Machinery” in Economics in One Lesson.

Mankiw, Gregory. 2006. “Outsourcing Redux.” Greg Mankiw’s Blog. May 7.

Roberts, Russell. 2007. “Remember When They Were Going to Take All Our Jobs?Café Hayek, April 08.

Stossel, John. 2005. “Truth trumps outsourcing hysteria – Clueless claims about job losses from Lou Dobbs, unions don’t stand up.” The Orange County Register, February 27.

Strong, Michael. 2006. “Forget the World Bank, Try Wal-Mart.” TCS Daily – TCS Daily, August 22.

The Jobs Of Yesteryear: Obsolete Occupations.” NPR.

Barriers to Development
Bureaucratic Barriers to Entrepreneurship,” part of an interview with Peruvian economist and social thinker Hernando de Soto.

Harford, Tim. 2005. “Yes, We Have Bananas. We Just Can’t Ship Them.” The New York Times (December 16).


Economic Policy Institute on Offshoring

Reason Public Policy Institute’s Offshore Outsourcing Resource Center.

The Facts about Insourcing, Organization for International Investment

Bringing the Jobs Home: How the Left Created the Outsourcing Crisis, and How We Can Fix It. Heritage Foundation. March 9, 2005.

Lincoln Network (2017) – Innovation, Automation, and the Future of Work w/ Charles Murray.

C-SPAN 2017. Automation and the Workforce.

Required videos

Free To Choose Network. 2022. Johan Norberg’s New and Improved – Cold Chain

City News. 2019. The Future of Ontario Food Terminal

Capstone Logistics. 2012. What is Logistics?

W.P. Carey School of Business (Arizona State University). 2010. “What is Supply Chain Management.”

Required readings

Logistics and supply chains

Westland, Jason. 2022. “An Introduction to Supply Chain Management (SCM).Project Manager (February 18)

Plumer, Brad. 2016. “This is an Incredible Visualization of the World’s Shipping Routes (Updated).” Vox (August 6).

Wholesale and retail trade

Canadian Encyclopedia

Gill, Vijay. 2013. Fast and Fresh: A Recipe for Canada’s Food Supply ChainsThe Conference Board of Canada.

Food inflation

Lau, Matthew. 2022. “Parliament’s economic blockheads weigh in on food prices.” Financial Post (December 14)

Charlebois, Sylvain. 2022. “Food price study must cast wide net.” Western Producer (October 20)

Charlebois, Sylvain. 2022. “Food inflation tightens grip in Canada. Western Producer (October 6)

Charlebois, Sylvain. 2022. “Food inflation turns into major issue.” Western Producer (July 7)

Suggested readings

Supply chains (overview of key issues)

KPMG International. 2013. The agricultural and food value chain: Entering a new era of cooperation.

Supply chains (Canada)

Ontario Food Terminal

Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance (GHFFA). 2019. The Ontario Food Terminal (OFT): A Priceless Hub in Ontario’s Food Value Chain.

Wholesale and retail (Canada)

Boothman, Barry E. C. 2011. “Mammoth market: the transformation of food retailing in Canada, 1946-1965.” Journal of Historical Research in Marketing 3 (3): 279-301.

Boothman, Barry E. C. 2007. ““A More Definite System”: The Emergence of Retail Food Chains in Canada, 1919—1945.” Journal of Macromarketing 29 (1): 13-23.

Suggested links

Ontario Food Terminal Board

Required videos

Global News. 2023 India rice export ban prompts panic buying: “We are expecting many, many countries to run out”  (August).

Required readings

Self-sufficiency vs greater trade

Hintze, Michael. 2020. “How the COVID-19 Crisis Could Spark an Era of Economic Self-Sufficiency.” Milken Institute (April 14).

Schneider-Petsinger, Marianne. 2020. “Globalization is Not a Binary Choice.” Chatham House (June 29).

Lacalle, Daniel. 2022. “And Now for a Really Bad Response to Political Calamity: AutarkyMises Wire (June 4).

Food: Autarky / Protectionism vs International Trade


Our World in DataFamines


  • News

Wiener-Bronner, Danielle. 2023. “India’s recent rice ban sent people into a panic. Here’s what’s going on now.” CNN Business (August 3)

  • Overview

FAO. 2021. International trade and the resilience of national agrifood systems. FAO Agricultural Development Economics Policy Briefs, No. 41. Rome.

Clapp, Jennifer. 2015. Food Security and International Trade: Unpacking Disputed Narratives. FAO.

  • For greater self-sufficiency

Hopewell, Kristen and Matias Ezequiel Margulis. 2023. “World Trade Organization rules hamper public food stockholding.” Nature Food 4: 196–198

Suggested readings

Autakic Thought and Practice (General)

  • Historical overview (Autarkic thought and practice)

Helleiner, Eric. 2021. “The Return of National Self-Sufficiency? Excavating Autarkic Thought in a De-Globalizing Era.” International Studies Review 23 (3): 933–95.

Farsund, Arild Aurvåg, Carsten Daugbjerg and Oluf Langhelle. 2015. “Food security and trade: Reconciling discourses in the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Trade Organization.” Food Security 7: 383–391.

Mulligan, Robert. 2022. “Lessons from the Tokugawa Shogunate 1603 – 1868.” AIER (February 5).

Torkanovskiy, Evgeny. 2020. “AUTARKY 2.0: Global Ecological Agenda, COVID-19 Pandemic and New Normality.”

Von Mises, Ludwig. 1919. “Nation, State, and Economy (1919), “War and the Economy,” Part 3, “Autarky and Stockpiling.”

  • Pro trade thought

Online Library of Liberty. Undated. “Did Bastiat say “when goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will”?

Congressional Research Service. 2021. Export Restrictions in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 23)

Lund , Susan. 2020. “Risk, Resilience, and Rebalancing in Global Value Chains.” McKinsey Global Institute (August 6).

Guenet, April. 2022. “How to Use Supply Chain Collaboration to Minimize Disruption.” APriori (May 19).

  • Pro-trade (recent debates)

Alden, Edward. 2020. “The World Needs to Reopen Borders Before It’s Too Late.” Foreign Policy (August 25).

Boudreaux, Donald J. 2020. “The Top Economic Takeaway of the Coronavirus Panic.” AIER (March 18).

Ikenson, Daniel J. and Simon Lester. 2020. The Pandemic does not Justify Protectionism or Deglobalization. Cato Institute.

  • Pro-self-sufficiency (recent debates)

Black, Conrad. 2023. “Canada must return to being a grown-up nation, now and post-COVID-19. We must jettison this government’s insane energy policy and ensure national self-sufficiency.” Financial Post (April 13).

CSIS. 2018. Economic Security as National Security: A Discussion with Dr. Peter Navarro (November 13).

Agricultural policy

  • Historical overview

Chang, Ha-Joon. 2009. “Rethinking Public Policy in Agriculture: Lessons from History, Distant and Recent.” Journal of Peasant Studies 36 (3): 477-515.

  • Recent development

Margulis, Matias E., Kristen Hopewell and Edi Qereshniku. 2023. “Food, famine and the free trade fallacy: the dangers of market fundamentalism in an era of climate emergency.” The Journal of Peasant Studies 50 (1): 215-239.

Erokhin, Vasilii and Tainming Gao. 2020. “Impacts of COVID-19 on Trade and Economic Aspects of Food Security: Evidence from 45 Developing Countries.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17 (16): 5775.

Suggested links

WTO on food security

WTO | Trade Dialogues on Food

UN OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights). Toolkit on the Right to Food.

UN Committee on Global Food Security

FAO Committee on World Food Security

GGR 489 – Long Distance Trade and Food Security – Pierre Desrochers (utoronto.ca)

Guest lecturer: Ash Navabi (PP slides)

Required videos

Toronto City Planning. 2019. Inclusionary Zoning Toronto

Long, Ryan. 2023. Boomer Real Estate Tutorial (August)

Required readings
  • Global Overview

Kotkin, Joel and Wendell Cox. 2022. “Serfing the Future?” Quillette (April 21)

  • Canada
  • Overview

Alexandris, Matthew. 2023. “How the ‘housing theory of everything’ explains Canada’s many converging crises.” The Hub (August 18)

Czitron, Tom. 2023. “Canada’s Housing Crisis: Inevitable Crash and Economic Turmoil Predicted.”  Epoch Times (June 18)

Whitzman, Carolyn. 2023. “Canada’s progressive parties have lost the plot on the housing crisis.” Globe and Mail (August 18)

CBC Radio. 2022. ‘If I lived in Toronto, I would be broke’: How owning a home feels increasingly unaffordable for many.” (May 8)

  • The free market is the problem

Pomeroy, Steve. 2021. “Want to solve the housing crisis? Address super-charged demand.” The Conversation (November 25)

Rozworski, Michal. 2019. “The roots of our housing crisis: Austerity, debt and extreme speculation.” Policy Note (June 14)

Canada Housing Crisis. Undated. Housing for all. Not just speculators. It’s time to fight back against speculators

  • Government is the problem

Cox, Wendell. 2022. “Policy restrictions have caused the housing crisis.” Financial Post (April 28) (also available as Cox, Wendell. 2022. “Policy Restrictions have Caused the Housing Crisis. The choice we face is clear: a modest expansion of greenfield development or greater housing poverty.” Frontier Centre for Public Policy (May 2)

  • Catch-22 and trade-offs!

Russ, Geoff. 2023 “Can the housing crisis be fixed without lowering current property values? Analysts are skeptical.” The Hub (August 23)

Suggested Readings

Lack of supply

Lafleur, Steve. 2023. “Canada has two housing crises. One requires more government, the other less.” The Hub (September 13)

Required videos

CBC News: The National. 2023. Rent Rage: You need to earn how much to live in Toronto?

CTV News. 2023 Rentals now unaffordable for those in the middle class | HOUSING CRISIS IN CANADA (August)

Required readings


Filipowicz, Josef and Steve Lafleur. 2023. “Housing policy across Canada failing existing Canadians and newcomers alike.” Globe & Mail (July 1)

Tombe, Trevor.  2023. “We could be undergoing the sharpest housing contraction ever—and homes are still historically unaffordable.” The Hub (February 23)

Haider, Murtaza and Stephen Moranis. 2022. “Canada’s housing market isn’t melting down as you’ve been led to think. More nuanced statistics show the magnitude of sale and price movements is in the expected range.” Financial Post (September 2)

CHMC. 2022. Canada’s Housing Supply Shortages: Estimating what is needed to solve Canada’s housing affordability crisis by 2030 (June) (Read the Executive Summary)

Hristova, Bobby. 2021. “Vancouver, Toronto and Hamilton are the least affordable cities in North America: Report.” CBC News (May 20)

Carmichael, Kevin. 2017. “For many young Canadians, home won’t be a house. Canada is building fewer single-family homes and pricing young people out of their communities—the sort of housing inequality could take us down a dangerous path.” MacLean’s (August 14).

Toronto and the GTA

Lafleur, Steve. 2023. “The Conservatives talk tough on housing—But even their plans are far too timid.” The Hub (August 29)

Filipowicz Josef, Steve Lafleur.2023. “Ontario set to fall far short of homebuilding goal.” Fraser Institute Blog (April 13)

Moffatt, Mike, Alison Dudu, Alison and Maryam Hosseini. 2022. Ontario’s Need for 1.5 Million More Homes. Smart Prosperity Institute (August) (Read the Ten Key Points)

Moffat, Mike. 2022. One Million new Ontarians. Where are they living and how they got here. Smart Prosperity Institute. (February) (read the Executive Summary and the Ten Key Points)

Cox, Wendell. 2022. “The GTA’s Housing Affordability Crisis: Inequality is the Issue.” Frontier Centre for Public Policy (June 1)

Leon, Scott and James Iveniuk. 2021. Widening inequities: Long-term housing affordability in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area 1991-2016Wellesley Institute (December) (read the Executive Summary and the Key Findings)

The Financialization of Housing Debate

Taylor, Peter Shawn. 2022. “Marxism Won’t Solve Canada’s Rental Housing Crisis – Despite What Ottawa Thinks.” C2C (October 31)

Luck, Shaina et al. 2022. “Why Canada is losing affordable rental housing faster than it’s being built.” CBC News (March 10).

Perks, Gord. 2019. “The risks of the financialization of housing.” Spacing Toronto (July 9)

Spoke, Chris. 2021. “Don’t overthink it. The solution to our housing problem is to build more.” The Hub (June 7)

Suggested readings


Demographia International. 2023. International Housing Affordability – 2023 Edition Urban Reform Institute and FCPP (pdf version available at http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf)

Kotkin, Joel. 2022. “America is quietly reinventing itself. Millennials and minorities, priced out of Democratic metropolises, are now thriving in Florida and Texas.” Spiked (May 3).

Mondragon, John A. and Johannes Wieland. 2022. “Housing Demand and Remote Work.” NBER Working Paper 20041 (May)

Oxford Economics 2021 – Research Briefing – North America (Housing)


Wendell Cox on housing affordability in Canada (2023)

Cox, Wendell. 2023. 2023 Edition of Demographia Housing Affordability in Canada. Frontier Centre for Public Policy (October 11)

Cox, Wendell. 2023. “New Report Highlights Housing Affordability Challenges Across Canada.” Frontier Centre for Public Policy (October 11)

Cox, Wendell. 2023. “Canadian Dream alive in smaller communities.” Troy Media (Feb 17)

Bay Street Group. Undated. The Worst Kept Secret Is Out: Canada’s Housing Market Is the Most Undersupplied in the G7

Cyca, Michelle. 2023. “The End of Homeownership.”  Macleans.ca (June 15)

Lafleur, Steve and Josef Filipowicz. 2023. “Government can’t do it alone.” MLI Commentary (August 22)

Wells, Victoria. 2022. “Posthaste: Canada’s housing affordability crisis is worse than ever. 62.7% of household income needed to cover home ownership costs — the worst level on record, RBC says.” Financial Post (December 21)

Cathcart, Shaun. 2022. “Canadian Housing Markets Starting to Cool as Mortgage Rates Rise.” Crea Café (May 26)

Wendoll Cox on housing affordability in Canada (2022)

Moffatt, Mike and Mohsina Atiq.2022. “Forecast for Failure. How a broken forecasting system is at the root of the GTAH’s housing shortage and how it can be fixed.” (January) (Read the summary)

Oxford Economics 2021 – Research Briefing – North America (Housing)

Pomeroy, Steve. CHEC

Neptis Foundation. 2014. Rethinking Sprawl

Steed, Nicholas. 1967. “The Car Downtown.” Maclean’s (September 1).

Steed, Nicholas. 1967. “The lingering death of the family house.” Maclean’s (May 1).

Toronto and GTA

Toronto Verse. 2022. How and where has the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area grown since 2016?

Cox, Wendell. 2022. “Toronto Solidifies Highest Density Ranking in North America.” New Geography (March 2)

Pasalis, John. 2022. What’s Really Pushing Up Toronto’s ‘Irrational’ Home Prices? Move Smartly (February 22)

Filipowicz Josef, Steve Lafleur. 2023. Tall and Sprawl: The distribution of housing stock growth in the Greater Toronto Area, 2016 – 2021. Ontario 360.

The Financialization of Housing

August, Martine. 2022. The Financialization of Housing in Canada. A Summary Report for the Office of the Federal Housing Advocate. Canadian Human Rights Commission. (June)

Housing Lab Report. 2021. Financialization and Housing. A Social Innovation Approach to a Better Housing System.

Suggested links

TVO – The Agenda with Steve Paikin (Housing)

CHMC – Housing Markets, Data and Research

Canadian Housing Evidence Collaborative (McMaster U)

University of Toronto School of Cities

The National Housing Accord: A Multi-Sector Approach to Ending Canada’s Rental Housing Crisis

Neptis Foundation

Wellesley Institute – Housing

Housing Policy Solutions Framework – Generation Squeeze (gensqueeze.ca)

Housing Matters

Frontier Centre for Public Policy – Housing Affordability and Wendell Cox

Fraser Institute – Housing

The Hub – Housing Crisis

Required videos

Oh the Urbanity! 2023. When The Housing Crisis Breaks the Political Spectrum – YouTube

CBC News – The National. 2023. Landlords vs tenants: Both sides of the housing crisis

TVO – The Agenda with Steve Paikin. 2021. Which Way Should Hamilton Grow?” (October 13) (Watch Beginning-4:20; 8:00-18:49; 24:20-32:23)

(Recommended, but not required, videos)

Oh The Urbanity! 2023. Five Dense “Missing Middle” Neighbourhoods in Montreal

Mercatus Center. 2021. Land Use without Zoning: Putting Ideas into Practice (May 18)

Life Where I’m From. 2021. “Why Japan Looks the Way it Does: Zoning.” (October 21)

Required readings

Zoning, Supply, and Housing Affordability

  • Zoning’s appeal

Sorens, Jason. 2023. “Politics as Self-Interest: Housing Is the Exception That Proves the Rule.” AIER (June 9)

  • Zoning is the problem
  • Canada

Geloso, Vincent. 2023. “Blaming foreigners will not resolve the housing shortage. Instead of blaming on foreign buyers for unaffordable housing, we should be talking about the source of the problem: the many obstacles put in place.” Toronto Star (January 12)

Taylor, Peter Shawn. 2022. “Let a thousand four-plexes bloom: How private property rights can fix Canada’s housing crisis.” Financial Post (March 30)

Housing Matters. 2019. Housing in Toronto is expensive because there’s not enough of it. (Or else see Housing Matters. 2019. Re-thinking the Yellow Belt (pp. 4-10))

Jeffords, Shawn. 2023. “Could converting empty office space help curb Toronto’s housing crisis? One councillor thinks so.” CBC News (October 21)

  • Japan

Durning, Alan. 2021. “Yes, Other Countries do Housing Better: Case 1 Japan.” Sightline Institute (March 25).

Beyer, Scott. 2018. “Tokyo’s Affordable Housing Strategy: Build, Build, Build. To accommodate more people, the city builds more housing.” Market Urbanism Report (August 7)

  • Zoning has benefits

Noble, Lilly. 2021. “Change in zoning could be a way forward on our housing crisis. We need transit-oriented development to ensure people can get around without a car.” Hamilton Spectator (November 8)

Pomeroy, Steven. 2021. Rebutting the Debunkers CHEC

Gordon, Josh. 2020. “The ‘supply crisis’ in Canada’s housing market isn’t backed up by the evidence.” Globe and Mail (September 13)

Florida, Richard. 2016. “The Flip Side of NIMBY Zoning. Yes, land-use restrictions make cities unaffordable. But they also keep inequality between regions from becoming even worse.” Bloomberg – City Lab (October 26).

Upzoning, Filtering and Housing Affordability

Beyer, Scott. 2022. “Do Upzonings Increase Home Prices? What really keeps getting in the way of building more housing?.” Catalyst (May 2)

Lee-Young, Joanne. 2022. “Vancouver is the third least-affordable city in the world: Survey.” Vancouver Sun (April 19)

Anonymous. 2021. “Patrick Condon: Density, Affordability, & The ‘Hungry Dogs’ of Land Price Speculation.” Planning Report (February 18)

Livable California. 2021. “Vancouver’s Smartest Planner, Prof. Patrick Condon, Says Upzoning is a Costly Mistake.” (February 7)

Beyer, Scott. 2016. “What Liberals Don’t Get About Affordable Housing: Filtering.” Forbes (February 19)

Zoning, NIMBYSM and the housing supply

  • “Gentle Density” and the Missing Middle
  • Overview

Herriges, Daniel. 2020. “Where the Missing Middle Isn’t Missing.” Strong Towns (August 5)

Baca, Alex, Patrick McAnaney and Jenny Schuetz. 2019. “Gentle” density can save our neighborhoods Brookings Institute

  • Toronto

Dingman, Shane. 2021. “The hard reality of increased density in Toronto.” Globe and Mail (October 21)

Housing Matters. 2019. Re-thinking the Yellow Belt (pp. 54-58) (Additional link available here)

City of Toronto. 2023. Planning Studies Multiplex Housing (May)

Inclusionary Zoning

City of Toronto. Undated. Inclusionary Zoning Policy: Overview

R2HTO. 2021. “Toronto City Council Finally Votes for Inclusionary Zoning.” (November 10)

Gladman, Randy. 2022. “Inclusionary Zoning Hidden Costs.” Financial Post (February 22)

Spoke, Chris. 2021. “Inclusionary zoning might not be the free lunch we’ve been promised.” The Hub (July 22)

Suggested readings

Zoning’s appeal

Fischel, William A. 2016. The Rise of the Homevoters: How the Growth Machine Was Subverted by OPEC and Earth Day Presented at the Kreisman Initiative conference “Bringing It All Back Home: Evidence and Innovation in Housing Law & Policy,” University of Chicago, June 2016.

Missing Middle

School of Cities (UofT)

Crea Café. 2022 « What is Missing Middle Housing?” (December 9)


Munger, Michael. 2022. “All Housing is Affordable Housing.”  AIER.org (March 9)

Zoning is the problem, more supply is the solution

  • Overview of the argument

Galles, Gary M. 2023. ”Using and Abusing America’s Zoning Laws.”  Law and Liberty (May 16)

Gray, M. Nolan. 2022. “Cancel Zoning. If we want to fix the housing-affordability crisis, segregation, and sprawl, zoning must go.” The Atlantic (June 21) (See also Gray, M. Nolan. 2022. Arbitrary Lines: How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix It. Island Press)

Lens, Michael C. 2022. “Zoning, Land Use, and the Reproduction of Urban Inequality.” Annual Review of Sociology 48: 421-439

Galles, Gary M. 2022. “Fear of Hobgoblins Doesn’t Justify Zoning.” AIER.org (April 1)

Bryan Caplan on zoning and the “zoning tax”

Schumacher, Patrick. 2018. Only Capitalism can Solve the Housing CrisisAdam Smith Institute (April 25)

Herriges, Daniel. 2018. “Why are developers only building luxury condos?” Strong Towns (July 25)

Glaeser, Edward. 2017. “Reforming land use regulations.” Brookings Institution (April 24)

C2C Journal. 2022. Zoning and Markets

  • Case Studies
  • International

Henderson, David. R. 2021. “Review of Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America by Conor Dougherty (Penguin Press, 2020).” Regulation (Spring): 42-44.

One Final Effort. Undated. Auckland (NZ)

  • Houston and Dallas

Beyer, Scott. 2019. “How Houston Is Becoming America’s Next Dense City. More Than “Just Sprawl,” Houston’s Lighter Land-Use Regulations Are Helping it Grow Up.” Independent Institute (December 18)

Beyer, Scott. 2017. “Houston, Dallas & New York City: America’s Great 3-Way Housing Supply Race.” Forbes (March 20)

Desmet, Klaus and Cullum Clark. 2016. “The Dallas Way of Urban Growth.” New Geography (November 30).

Postrel, Virginia. 2007. “A Tale of Two Town Houses. Real estate may be as important as religion in explaining the infamous gap between red and blue states.” The Atlantic (November 1)

  • Canada

Dachis, Benjamin and Vincent Thivierge. 2018. Through the Roof: The High Cost of Barriers to Building New Housing in Canadian Municipalities C. D. Howe Institute Commentary No. 513 (May 18).

Macdonald-Laurier Institute. 2017. New National Housing Strategy should prioritize affordable and responsible homeownership: MLI report by Speer and Londerville (November 15)

Osborne, Dan. 2014. “Housing: The back door wealth transfer.” C2C (March 16).

Cooper, Sean. Undated. “Everything You Wanted To Know About The New Ontario Housing Strategy.”  Debt.ca.

  • Ontario

Ontario Housing Affordability Task Force. 2022. Report of the Ontario Housing Affordability Task Force.

Wudrick, Aaron. 2022. “Ford must steamroll NIMBY opposition to housing.” Financial Post (October 20)

OREA. 2021. “To Fix the Housing Affordability Crisis, Ontario Should End Exclusionary Single-Family Zoning in High-Demand Areas.” (September 29)

  • Federalism, subsidiarity and Canadian housing policy

Speer, Sean. 2022. “The conservative case for federal intervention in housing.” NIMBYism isn’t merely a local or neighbourhood issue.” The Hub (April 27)

Boessenkool, Ken. 2022. “Looking to fix housing? Run for mayor, not prime minister.” The Hub (April 27)

Critics of market solutions

Simon Fraser University’s Josh Gordon critique of market and supply-side explanations and policy proposals, along with suggested alternatives

Fuller, Roslyn. 2021. “The dismal future of housing.” Spiked (December 19)

YIMBY movement (Yes in my backyard)

Brown, Patrick T. 2023. “Yes in My Backyard—and in My Frontyard.” Public Discourse (July 16)

Russ, Geoff. 2023”Meet the Liberal YIMBY group that will meet with anyone ready to build.” The Hub (March 18)

Holleran, Max. 2022. Yes to the City: Millenials and the Fight for Affordable Housing. Princeton University Press

Heaney, James J. 2022. “Inside the Housing Hot Zone (Review of Yes to the City: Millennials and the Fight for Affordable Housing by Max Holleran) (Princeton University Press, 2022).” Law and Liberty (May 5).

Pearson, Cassidy, Jenny Schuetz. 2022. “Where pro-housing groups are emerging.” Brookings (March 31)

McCormick, Erin. 2017. “Rise of the yimbys: the angry millennials with a radical housing solution.” The Guardian (October 2)

Suggested links

City of Toronto. Zoning By-law 569-2013

Osler. Municipal land use planning and development

Make Housing Affordable! (Ottawa)

Required videos

TVO – The Agenda with Steve Paikin. 2023. What is the Greenbelt?

TVO – The Agenda with Steve Paikin. 2022. Is Politics the Enemy of Housing? (February 28) (Watch 8:20-11:45; 14:00-22:00)

Required Readings

Urban Form

  • Facts

Cox, Wendell. 2022. “Canada: Suburbs Dominate Growth – 2021 Census Commentary.” Frontier Centre for Public Policy (February 16)

  • Against suburbia

Siemiatycki, Matti and Myer Siemiatycki. 2023. “Housing crisis should not require trading bad policies for worse ones.” Toronto Star (September 5)

Gurney, Matt. 2022. “Ontario’s housing crisis isn’t about land. If we had certain things in place, we could double or even triple the population of the GTA without paving over a single acre of the Greenbelt.” TVO (July 11)

  • In defense of suburbia

Cox, Wendell. 2023. “Housing Affordability: Putting People First.” Public Discourse (July 18)

Cox, Wendell. 2022. “Cities have to expand for house prices to fall. The cost of actually building a house does not vary that much across Canada.” Financial Post (December 14)

Glock, Judge. 2021. “Sprawl Is Good. The Environmental Case for Suburbia.” Breakthrough Journal (November 30)

Filipowicz, Josef and Steve Lafleur. 2023. “Canada’s Housing Mismatch: Many Canadians prefer ground-oriented homes, but not enough are being built.” Fraser Institute (April 13)

  • Containment policies (Greenbelt)
  • News

Filipowicz, Josef. 2023. “Ontario government can accelerate housing supply—without eroding public trust.” Toronto Star (August 14)

  • Pro Greenbelt

Homegrown “Save Ontario’s food and farms from disappearing forever.”

Sushant, Christine Desrochers and Mike Moffatt. 2023. Greenbelt Under Threat: Why the Removal of Protected Lands is a Bad Idea. Smart Prosperity Institute

Syed, Fatima. 2022. “Southern Ontario’s Challenge: Increase housing without losing farmland?” The Narwhal (June 28).

  • Critical of Greenbelt

Beyer, Scott. 2020. “The Folly of ‘Growth Management’ Policies. The policies raise home prices, hinder urbanization, and may even worsen the “sprawl” they aim to prevent.” Catalyst (September 10)

Cox, Wendell. 2010. “The Declining Human Footprint.” New Geography (June 11).

Fox, Glenn and Yi Wang. 2016. An Economic Analysis of Rural Land Use Policies in OntarioFraser Institute (January 27) (read the Executive Summary)

Other policies

  • Rent control

CBC News. 2022. “Ontario should limit rent hikes between tenants, Toronto city hall committee says. Toronto’s planning and housing committee calls for vacancy control legislation.” (July 20)

Kalinowski, Tell, 2019 (update). “Removing rent control on new units won’t ease Toronto’s housing crisis, tenant and housing experts say. The provincial government announced the move Thursday, saying it’s meant to encourage the building of new supply.” Toronto Star (March 11)

Navabi, Ash. 2018. “Why low-income earners should actually welcome Ontario’s reversal on rent control. Focusing on policies that increase supply — such as loosening zoning measures — is the way forward.” CBC News (December 6)

Block, Walter. Undated. “Rent controlConcise Encyclopedia of Economics

  • Public and affordable housing

MacDonald, Alex. 2023. “What the government gets wrong on housing: Canada needs housing affordability, not just more affordable housing.” The Hub (August 17)

Wickham, Eric. 2022. “The Myth of Affordable Housing in Toronto.” The Hoser (November 23)

  • Varia

McCulloch, Craig. 2023. “Canada Bans Foreigners from Purchasing Most Real Estate.” VOA (January 5)

Rolfe, Kelsey. 2023. “Could land trusts help solve Ontario housing-affordability crisis?” TVO Today (February 15)

Griffiths, Rudyard. 2022. “Want cheaper housing? Boost supply—but reduce demand too.” The Hub (August 22)

Lafleur, Steve. 2023. “A reason to be optimistic on housing — no, really. I’m serious.” The Line (October 3).

  • Others

Freethink Team. 2022. “Frozen out of homeownership, millennials explore co-buying.” Freethink.com (January 1)

Stone, Syd. 2022. “Is it time to rethink the traditional model for buying a home?” Market Watch (May 6)

Forberg, Sigrid. 2022. “Can tiny homes be a solution to Canada’s housing shortage? Tiny houses have become more popular, but there are plenty of challenges to building them.” Financial Post (March 19)

Britschgi, Christian. 2021. “Vacant Homes Aren’t Making Cities Expensive and vacancy taxes won’t make them affordable.” Reason (September 21).

SOC Staff. “Ontario’s Housing Crisis: Causes and Solutions” (July 25).

Spurr, Ben. 2012. “A Walk through Toronto Housing History. Jane’s Walk tells story of social housing system still in flux.” Now Toronto (May 7).

OMHM. Undated. “History: The OMHM: Housing Families since 1969.”

Suggested readings

Comprehensive solutions

Housing Policy Solutions Framework – Generation Squeeze (gensqueeze.ca)

Lafleur, Steve and Josef Filipowicz. 2023. “Government can’t do it alone.” MLI Commentary (August 22)

Moffat, Mike. 2023. “Canada’s housing crisis demands a war-time effort.” The Hub (August 21)

Kotkin, Joel. 2023. “Solving the Global Housing Crisis.” The American Mind (June 20)

Durning, Alan. 2021. “Yes, Other Countries do Housing Better: Case 2 Germany” Sightline Institute (May 27).

Filipowicz, Josef and Steve Lafleur. 2023. “Getting our houses in order: How a lack of intergovernmental policy coordination undermines housing affordability in Canada.” Macdonald-Laurier Institute (March 30)

Urban Form

  • Overview

Canadian Suburbs Atlas – School of Cities (utoronto.ca)

Bild GTA. 2022. Public’s Attitudes Towards Housing, Growth and the Environment

  • Gentrification

Malanga, Steven. 2023. “Anti-Gentrifiers Gone Wild.” City Journal (August 16)

  • Suburbia

Spoke, Matt. 2023. “A National Housing Policy does not need to be environmentally friendly.” The Hub (August 24)

  • Greenbelt
  • Overview

Greenbelt (Golden Horseshoe) – Wikipedia

Greenbelt maps | ontario.ca

Ontario – Dominant farm type by farm count, census division (CD), 2016 (statcan.gc.ca)

Gray, Jeff. 2016. “Is the greenbelt squeezing Toronto’s housing market?” The Globe and Mail (October 14)

  • Pro Greenbelt

Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition – A better world is possible.

Harris, Lois. 2015. Save Ontario farmers, save farmland in the process Country Guide

Where are significant agricultural lands located? | Neptis Foundation

McGrath, John Michael. 2023. “Why carve up the Greenbelt? Suburban nostalgia (September 27)

  • Critical

Cheshire, Paul. 2009. Urban containment, housing affordability and price stability – irreconcilable goals. SERC Policy Papers (SERCPP004).

Other policies

  • Rent control

Bourne, Ryan. 2023. “Left-wing Economists Misrepresent Rent Control Literature.” The War on Prices (August 9)

Lemieux, Pierre. 2022. « The Scourge of Rent Control.” Econlib (September 5).

Niles, Raymond C. 2022. “The Perpetual Tragedy of New York’s Rent Control.” AIER (June 30).

Diamond, Rebecca, Tim McQuade, and Franklin Qian. 2019. ” The Effects of Rent Control Expansion on Tenants, Landlords, and Inequality: Evidence from San Francisco – American Economic Association (aeaweb.org).” American Economic Review 109 (9): 3365-3394.

Wellesley Institute. 2019. Building Health: Canada’s opportunity to improve housing affordability.

Diamond, Rebecca. 2018. What does economic evidence tell us about the effects of rent control? Brookings Institution (October 18).

Tenants Together. 2018. “Making the Case for Rent Control.” (January 22).

Block, Walter and Edgar Olsen. 1981. Rent Control: Myths and Realities. Fraser Institute.

  • Public Housing
  • Land Trusts

Malanga, Steven. 2023. “Anti-Gentrifiers Gone Wild.” City Journal (August 16)

Volume 1: Issue 6 | The Affordable Housing Challenge Project: Community land trusts as a tool for affordable housing provision in Toronto – School of Cities (utoronto.ca)

Canadian and Ontario Politics

  • Overview

Fournier, Philippe. 2022. “To Fix Housing For Good, We Must Stop Treating It Like A Piggy Bank.” Max Policy (May 3)

Maddeaux, Sabrina. 2022. “Chrystia Freeland’s budget crushes millennial home-buyer dreams. Federal budget 2022: The Liberals’ plan for housing affordability rests on little more than a hope and a prayer.” National Post (April 7)

Lafleur, Steve. 2022. “The federal government’s new tax-free home savings account won’t increase housing affordability.” The Hub (April 29)

  • Ontario politics and policies

Ontario Legislative Assembly. Bill 23, More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022 – Legislative Assembly of Ontario (ola.org)

Barnett, Chris et al. 2023. “Forget everything you thought you knew about planning approvals in Ontario.” Osler (October 26)

Hanrahan, Laura. 2022. “Ontario Moves to Override Municipal Zoning, Limit Affordable Housing to 25-Year Terms New legislation from the Ontario government would bring about sweeping housing-related reforms to rapidly increasing housing supply.” Storeys (October 25)

Government of Ontario. 2022. Housing Affordability Task Force report | ontario.ca (February 8)

Spoke, Chris. 2022. “It’s no wonder housing is so expensive. We don’t build anything.” The Hub (April 5)

Detractors of Ford plan must offer alternative solutions to Ontario’s housing crisis  – The Hub

Lafleur, Steve. 2022. “Premier Ford, here’s how to end Toronto’s housing crisis—legalize it.” Globe and Mail (February 10)

Spoke, Chris. 2022. “Five excellent recommendations from Ontario’s Housing Affordability Task Force report. The report recommends 1.5 million homes be built over the next decade.” The Hub (February 10)

Wellesley Institute. 2022. Election 2022: How do party promises stack up on housing? (May 30)

  • Toronto politics

Owen, Adam. 2023. “Progressives can’t take the youth vote for granted if they keep ignoring the housing crisis.” The Hub (April 12)

Suggested links

Ontario Landowners Association

Home – Ontario Farmland Trust

Stop Sprawl HamOnt (ssho.ca)