Alex Paterson

Summer Reading: Reports on equality, mobility, education and more

July 25, 2013

With Parliament Hill adjourned for the summer we have time to catch up on a number of fantastic reports that have been published by organizations in our network.

We have scoured the web and come back with six must-read reports to add to your summer reading list. Each of them touch on – in one way or another – one of our core themes.

1. The Center for American Progress (CAP) debunks the top 10  myths about preschool, one of which is that preschool is simply too expensive. Expanding preschool in the U.S., the myth goes, would be too costly or the debt-burdened federal government to undertake. The brief goes on to show that investments in early education end up paying for themselves in the long-run due to reductions in crime rates and health costs.

Preschool and childcare are topics we have often discussed at Canada 2020 – specifically with our panelists at Equality of opportunity – a Canadian dream? We recommend you compliment this CAP report by rewatching our event and downloading Professor Miles Corak’s Canada 2020 paper, Public policies for equality and social mobility in Canada.

2. Along similar lines, the Brookings Institution’s education-focused Hamilton Project has put together a list of Thirteen facts about social mobility and higher education. This excellent report and its findings recall Professor Corak’s ‘Great Gatsby Curve’ – that is, countries with a high degree of inequality have a similarly low degree of social mobility, and that the level of individual mobility is largely determined by family background. The best chance an individual has at advancing stems from their access to both basic and higher education.

3. What makes a city ‘Globally Fluent?” That’s a questions Brookings is asking as rapid urbanization takes place across the globe, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. Their infographic, The 10 Traits of Globally Fluent Metro Areas gives us a rubric through which to evaluate the level of global understanding our cities demonstrate in an increasingly connected world economy. If you attended our event Asia’s cities, Canada’s opportunity?, lots of these ideas will sound familiar. How many Canadian cities are ready to tap into the metropolitan century?

4. How much do you really know about Super Pollutants? While many are focused on CO2 reductions to combat climate change, super pollutants like black carbon, methane and hydroflourocarbons are the least understood, but most dangerous contributors to a warming planet. The Center for American Progress has put together a short descriptive piece on why reducing super pollutants holds the potential of limiting global temperature increase in the short term, whereas reducing CO2, although crucial, will not have an impact on temperature levels for many decades. Have a read of Super Pollutants 101.

5. Canada’s International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) has published an excellent response policy brief to President Barack Obama’s recently released Climate Change Strategy. According to the authors, the best tool available for immediately combating emissions is increased regulatory power from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

What is both interesting and relevant for Canadians is understanding the different approach our U.S. counterparts are taking in regulating major emitters. Canadian policymakers should take heed of the details which have yet to be announced.

6. Finally, the Economics Policy Institute has released a report looking at rising income inequality and the role of shifting market-income distribution, tax burdens, and tax rates. Author Andrew Fieldhouse touches on many of the determinants of income inequality that Canada 2020 discussed in our recent paper Inequality as a driver. The report places emphasis on capital gains in polarizing income distribution.

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Summer Reading: Reports on equality, mobility, education and more

With Parliament Hill adjourned for the summer, Ottawa is a much quieter place, giving us time to catch up on a number of fantastic reports that have been published by organizations in our network. We have scoured the web and come back with six must-read reports to add to your summer reading list. Featuring work from the Brookings Institution, the Center for American Progress, the International Institute for Sustainable Development and more.

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