C. D. Howe Institute

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C.D. Howe Institute.gif
Motto Essential Policy Intelligence
Formation 1958
Type Public policy think tank
Headquarters 67 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario
Key people
William B.P. Robson[1]
President & Chief Executive Officer
Website www.cdhowe.org

The C.D. Howe Institute (French: Institut C.D. Howe) is a nonprofit policy research organization[2] located at 67 Yonge Street in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The Institute publishes research that is national in scope and it hosts events across Canada on a wide variety of issues in economic and social policy. As a non-profit, politically independent organization, its official mandate is to improve the standard of living for Canadians through sound public policy solutions.[3]

Rated the number one domestic economic think tank in Canada,[4] the Institute has won five Doug Purvis Prizes, which are awarded annually by the nonpartisan Canadian Economics Association[5] to the authors of highly significant Canadian economic policy,[6] and one Donner Prize (runner-up three times), which are awarded annually by the Donner Canadian Foundation for the Best Public Policy Book by a Canadian.[7]

Recent Research[edit]

Business Cycle - "Mortgage Insurance as a Macroprudential Tool: Dealing with the Risk of a Housing Market Crash in Canada"

Demographics and Immigration - "The Benefits of Hindsight: Lessons from the QPP for Other Pension Plans"

Education, Skills and Labour Market - "What to Do about Canada’s Declining Math Scores"

Fiscal and Tax Policy - "By the Numbers: The Fiscal Accountability of Canada’s Senior Governments, 2015"

Innovation and Business Growth - "Simplifying the Rule Book: a Proposal to Reform and Clarify Canada’s Policy on Inward Foreign Direct Investment"


The C.D. Howe Institute’s origins go back to Montreal in 1958 when a group of prominent business and labour leaders organized the Private Planning Association of Canada (PPAC) to research and promote educational activities on issues related to public economic policy. In 1973, the PPAC’s assets and activities became part of the C.D. Howe Memorial Foundation, created in 1961 to memorialize the late Right Honourable Clarence Decatur Howe. The new organization operated as the C.D. Howe Research Institute until 1982, when the Memorial Foundation chose to focus directly on memorializing C.D. Howe; the Institute then adopted its current name: the C.D. Howe Institute.[8]

Political Stance[edit]

The Institute's research has been cited by Liberal,[9] New Democrat[10] and Conservative[11] members of parliament. The media has described the Institute as a conservative,[12][13][14] non-partisan[15][16][17][18] and respected[19][20][21] think tank. It has a history of publishing research on both sides of the ideological spectrum, provided it is supported with empirical evidence.[22] It has been described as having a "deep intellectual grounding to its public-policy approach."[23]


The institute derives the majority of its funding from membership fees paid by corporations as well as individuals in the business, professional and academic fields.[24]


The C.D. Howe Institute's national offices at 67 Yonge Street, Toronto.
The C.D. Howe Institute’s groundbreaking study of immigration policy reform entitled “Toward Improving Canada’s Skilled Immigration Policy: An Evaluation Approach,” by Charles M. Beach, Alan G. Green and Christopher Worswick won the 2012 Doug Purvis Memorial Prize.

The Institute publishes over 50 research reports per year.[25]

Major areas of policy research are:

  • Fiscal and Tax Policy[26]
  • Monetary Policy[27]
  • Social policy[28]
  • Governance and Public Institutions[29]
  • Trade and International Policy[30]
  • Economic Growth and Innovation[31]

Current policy topics are:

  • Energy, Infrastructure and Environment[32]
  • Healthcare Reform[33]
  • Human Capital and Competitiveness[34]
  • Strengthening Canada’s Charities[35]
  • Financial Services[36]
  • Pensions[37]

Peer Review Process[edit]

Every major policy study receives thorough peer review, which includes the participation of academics and outside, independent experts. The Institute’s peer review process helps ensure the quality, integrity and objectivity of the Institute’s research. The Institute will not publish any major study that, in its view, fails to meet the standards of the external review process. The Institute requires that its authors publicly disclose any actual or potential conflicts of interest of which they are aware.[38]


Over 100 economists and academics contribute to the research program.

Notable Researchers (past and present) include:

  • Richard Blundell, Professor, Department of Economics, University College London
  • Marcel Boyer, Professor Emeritus of Industrial Economics, Université de Montréal
  • Willem Buiter, Chief Economist, Citigroup Centre
  • John Crow, former Governor of the Bank of Canada
  • Janet Currie, Henry Putnam Prof. of Economics & Public Affairs, Princeton University
  • David A. Dodge, former Governor of the Bank of Canada
  • Ivan Fellegi, former Chief Statistician of Canada and Senior Fellow, C.D. Howe Institute
  • Konrad von Finckenstein, former Chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and Senior Fellow, C.D. Howe Institute
  • Claude Forget, former Minister of Health, Quebec
  • Peter Howitt, Lyn Crost Professor of Social Sciences, Brown University; C.D. Howe Institute Academic Adviser on Economic Growth and Innovation
  • David Laidler, Emeritus Professor, Department of Economics, University of Western Ontario
  • Robert Mundell, Nobel Prize-winning professor of economics at Columbia University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Sylvia Ostry, former Chief Statistician of Canada and former Head of the Department of Economics and Statistics of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Christoper Ragan, Associate Professor, McGill University
  • Grant Reuber, Senior Fellow, C.D. Howe Institute
  • John Richards, Professor, School of Public Policy, Simon Fraser University; Roger Phillips Scholar of Social Policy, C.D. Howe Institute
  • William B.P. Robson, President and Chief Executive Officer, C.D. Howe Institute
  • Robert J. Shiller, Nobel Prize-winning professor at Yale University
  • Joel Slemrod, Paul W. McCracken Collegiate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy, University of Michigan
  • John Stackhouse, former Editor-in-Chief of the Globe and Mail, and Senior Fellow, C.D. Howe Institute
  • Gordon Thiessen, former Governor of the Bank of Canada
  • Lawrence J. White, Deputy Chair, Economics, New York University


Former Bank of Canada Governors John Crow, Gordon Thiessen and David Dodge standing alongside William Robson, President and CEO of the C.D. Howe Institute, and Ross Hornby, former Canadian Ambassador to the European Union.
Former Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, participates in a public policy roundtable at the C.D. Howe Institute.
Former Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Martin, standing with former Chairman of the C.D. Howe Institute, William Morneau.

The Institute hosts public policy roundtables and conferences featuring prominent Canadian and International policymakers, business leaders and public servants. The Institute holds over 50 events per year.[25]

Past speakers include political leaders (including two current or former Prime Ministers), policy makers, business leaders and senior diplomats.[39]

Members of the Institute attend the 2012 Benefactors Lecture, featuring Charles Evans, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Policy Impact[edit]

For more than five decades, the Institute has had considerable impact on Canadian public policy.

Institute policy work has laid the intellectual groundwork in such areas as:

  • The development of free trade;
  • The development of rigorous inflation targets and related monetary policy;
  • The reform of the Canada and Quebec Pension Plans;
  • Lower corporate tax rates;[40]
  • The development of the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA).[41]


  1. ^ "William B.P. Robson. President and Chief Executive Officer". Cdhowe.org. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  2. ^ "C.D. Howe Institute". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "About the C.D. Howe Institute". cdhowe.org. Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  4. ^ McGann, James. "2013 GLOBAL GO TO THINK TANK INDEX REPORT" (PDF). http://gotothinktank.com/. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "About CEA". Canadian Economics Association. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "Past Winners". The Donner Prize. 
  7. ^ "The Donner Prize". Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  8. ^ "History". C.D. Howe Institute. 
  9. ^ "41st PARLIAMENT, 2nd SESSION". Parliament of Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "41st PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION". Parliament of Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  11. ^ "41st PARLIAMENT, 1st SESSION". Parliament of Canada. Government of Canada. 
  12. ^ Thunert, Martin (Feb 28, 2003). "Conservative Think Tanks in the United States and Canada". In Schultze, Rainer-Olaf; Sturm, Roland; Eberle, Dagmar. Conservative Parties and Right-Wing Politics in North America: Reaping the Benefits of an Ideological Victory?. Springer-Verlag. p. 235. ISBN 3810038121. 
  13. ^ Raj, Althia (February 24, 2014). "Bill Morneau, Chair Of C.D. Howe Institute, Steps Down After Partisan Speech To Liberals". The Huffington Post Canada. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  14. ^ Stafford, Brent (April 1997). "Think tanks in the news". NewsWatch Canada. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  15. ^ "Temporary Foreign Worker Program linked to joblessness: report". CBC. CBC. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  16. ^ Elliot, Howard. The Hamilton Spectator. The Hamilton Spectator http://www.thespec.com/opinion-story/4768117-the-spectator-s-view-evidence-ideology-and-alcohol-sales/. Retrieved 26 January 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ Keller, James. "Foreign worker debate continues in B.C.". Global News. Canadian Press. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  18. ^ Dehass, Josh. "Ever heard of these big student tax breaks?". Maclean's. Maclean's. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  19. ^ "Tory caucus persuades Harper to change his tune again on income splitting". Canadian Press. Canadian Press. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  20. ^ Manchester, Jon. "Jobs for Canadians first". The Daily Courier. The Daily Courier. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  21. ^ "Income-splitting still a possibility for families". Chronicle Herald. Canadian Press. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  22. ^ Gerson, Jen. "Your think-tank lineup card: Who are these groups that hold so much sway over policy?". National Post. National Post. Retrieved 22 December 2014. 
  23. ^ Parkinson, David. "Steep learning curve ahead for Morneau". Globe and Mail. Globe and Mail. Retrieved 4 November 2015. 
  24. ^ "C.D. Howe Institute". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  25. ^ a b "C.D. Howe Institute 2013 Annual Report" (PDF). www.cdhowe.org. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  26. ^ http://www.cdhowe.org/fiscal-policy.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ http://www.cdhowe.org/policy-research/monetary-policy.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ http://www.cdhowe.org/social-policy.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  29. ^ http://www.cdhowe.org/governance.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ http://www.cdhowe.org/policy-research/trade-and-international-policy.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. ^ http://www.cdhowe.org/economic-growth-innovation.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. ^ http://www.cdhowe.org/policy-research/energy-infrastructure.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  33. ^ http://www.cdhowe.org/policy-research/healthcare-reform.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  34. ^ http://www.cdhowe.org/policy-research/human-capital-competitiveness.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  35. ^ http://www.cdhowe.org/policy-research/strengthening-canadas-charities.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. ^ http://www.cdhowe.org/policy-research/financial-services.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  37. ^ http://www.cdhowe.org/policy-research/pensions-2.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  38. ^ http://www.cdhowe.org/expert-review
  39. ^ "Past Speakers and Events". www.cdhowe.org. C.D. Howe Institute. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 
  40. ^ "C.D. Howe Institute Commentary - 2007 Tax Competitiveness Report" (PDF). The C.D. Howe Institute. Retrieved 20 September 2014. 
  41. ^ "Policy Impact". C.D. Howe Institute. Retrieved 28 August 2014. 

External links[edit]