Beating the drum – again

I hate to sound like a broken record on this but I continue to believe we need a serious research organization based in New Brunswick to study the reasons why New Brunswick has not prospered and policy recommendations to try and address these issues.

I just heard a podcast from the London School of Economics Spatial Economics Research Centre which was set up to study why certain areas of the U.K. are dramatically underperforming. 

Now some of you will say there are already research institutes working on these issues at UdeM, UNB even Mount Allison.  And I will say until I see a research theme entitled “Inward Investment From Overseas” I am not interested.  If any of the research institutes in New Brunswick are actively studying inward investment and its role on economic development in the province, I would like to hear about it.

Of course the LSE is based in London but we can’t expect that Ontario-based unversities would actually be interested in studying why New Brunswick has chronically underperformed the rest of Canada in the area of economic development.  They are either too busy reciting rote simplistic causes such as ‘dependency on government’ or doing ‘research’ to figure out how to free Ontario from the shackles put on it by subsidizing its poor cousins down east.

We need a well-funded, New Brunswick-based economic development ideas incubator that looks at the past – not as an academic exercise but to learn go forward lessons.  We also need a best practices research institute that draws learnings for New Brunswick from the best of development around the world.

That does not exist today.

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8 Responses to Beating the drum – again

  1. nbt says:

    Good point, David. But anyone who has seriously looked into the “lack of prosperity question” knows it is a multi-layered beast, not to mention, complexed as hell. But I’m not in the business of local Atlantic business solutions, you are. lol

    I’m sure John Williamson, a ex-pat NBer, would give his thoughts. And hey, he’s @ the LSE. :)

  2. richard says:

    “That does not exist today”

    Perhaps it would exist if UNB was more interested in NB than Bhutan, or if the current UNB Prez was more interested in scholarship than building glorified gyms.
    Yes, its a complex issue, but so are most things, apart from slogans. Williamson, former CTF director, is an infamous slogan emitter. Still he might fit in at LSE; after all Trudeau went there and he turned out to be a great economist didn’t he?

  3. mikel says:

    Isn’t that exactly what AIMS does? Go check out their research, there’s lots on that line of thinking. But as noted, this research is from London, it’s not from Leeds or Glasgow. I have no doubt you’ll find research on that exact question from ontario, quebec, even western universities, after all, ‘regionalism’ is kind of a preoccupation in Canada.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Could you modify your plea to addvocate the reassignment of funds to research these issues?

    Taxpayers pay for hundreds of reports, studies, summits and workshops annually not to mention the agencies that make their living studying and pitching ideas but rarely executing.

    Your thinking is sound but may simply be used to justify more funding, more research chairs and or more agencies. Let’s reallocate or reprioritize rather than adding to the monster we have created.

  5. That’s a good point. We spend a lot of money on studying things it seems just for the sake of studying them.

  6. mikel says:

    NB really doesn’t produce that many studies, anybody want to show a link to prove that and maybe there’d be a point in it. I went to Ude M, which has the “public Policy in regional development” or some such thing. Just for fun I clicked on their studies and there was virtually nothing there. There was a study in 2007 and then you’d see the next reference for 2002, even back to the early nineties. The odd thing is that university profs usually ONLY do studies, and they have students to help. Where it linked its text studies, I think almost EVERY one was written by Donald Savoie.

    So IF there is research then its well hidden. David has links to other research so if there was research available then we’d probably see some comments on them. There is the point to be made about the link between studies and legislation, but that’s not the fault of those producing the studies. Government usually has its own studies, often quite a few of them, but of course they usually have a bias towards what the government wants to do in the first place.

  7. richard says:

    “adding to the monster we have created”

    What monster? There is no monster. There is a paucity of good research in this area. There is a parasitical ED industry that could be taken out and shot, but that’s not what David is talking about.

  8. richard says:

    “Isn’t that exactly what AIMS does? Go check out their research, there’s lots on that line of thinking”

    AIMS is not a research organization; AIMS is a propaganda organ. The only ‘research’ they do is done to support a foregone conclusion. What’s needed is hypothesis testing with original data; AIMS does not do that.

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