• “We need to think deeply about what economic development is and who it is for; and, engage the larger society in that conversation.”

    Dr. David T. Barnard
    President and Vice-Chancellor
    University of Manitoba

  • “Rising income inequality undercuts the trust that is essential for the market system to work.”

    Art DeFehr
    President and CEO, Palliser Furniture.

  • “Investing in people in the new economy is now not just morally sound, but economically rational”

    Alan Freeman
    Cultural Economist

  • “Organizations and societies in which the top few appropriate most of the value are like inverted pyramids – inherently unstable”

    Dr. Hari Bapuji
    Associate Professor, University of Manitoba

  • “The present crisis has overturned many accepted truths: that poverty matters but inequality doesn't is one of the more important.”

    Radhika Desai
    Professor, Department of Political Studies, University of Manitoba

  • “The income gap between rich and poor, between skilled and unskilled workers, has been rising in both developed and less developed countries for a number of years. The trend is disturbing and we must find a way to turn this trend around.”

    Michael Benarroch
    Dean, I.H. Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba

  • “High economic inequality in the society creates pressures on organizations to reduce, and explain, the levels of income inequality within their boundaries. .”

    Jerry Davis
    Wilbur K. Pierpont Collegiate Professor of Management at the Ross School of Business and Professor of Sociology, The University of Michigan

  • “Business might or might not be an appropriate actor to lead, but it is a necessary actor in, the effort to reduce economic inequality.”

    Dr. Tom Lawrence
    W.J. VanDusen Professor of Management, Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University

  • “We need to examine whether more equal societies potentiate certain human outcomes like development and innovation.”

    Dr. Michael Harris Bond
    Emeritus Professor of Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hunger is closer to us than most even realize

By BEIF Team

In an unusual step for a CEO, Ron Shaich(CEO, Panera Bread) took SNAP challenge that asks people to live on the average daily food stamp benefit. The challenge is aimed at giving its participants an idea of what life is like for about 48 million low-income Americans. Shaich took the challenge for a week and blogged every day about his experiences. The careful planning he needed to ... Read more

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Giving and Getting

By BEIF Team

Dr. Adam Grant, a professor at Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania has recently released a book entitled, Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success. The book introduces Grant’s academic research to a lay audience and demonstrates how prosocial giving actually benefits the giver. The New York Times Magazine has recently profiled Grant... Read more

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Moving Money Offshore

By BEIF Team

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has recently uncovered thousands of individuals in various countries who have resorted to moving money to offshore tax havens in an effort to evade taxes in their home countries. Included in the list are a few Canadians who sought to escape tax rates of 29% at the federal level... Read more

Friday, March 29, 2013

Human Development Report 2013 and Inequality

By BEIF Team

The Human Development Report 2013 has recently been published by the UNDP. While noting the tremendous growth in human development due to the rise of developing economies on the global stage, the report also sounds a few caution bells. A few excerpts from the report are... Read more

Friday, March 29, 2013

When it comes to economic inequality, can America learn from Singapore?

By BEIF Team

Although BEIF’s focus is on the relationship between economic inequality and business, it is imperative to note that governments can do a lot to reduce inequality and its negative effects on society. In a recent article, famed economist Joseph Stiglitz highlights the response of the Singaporean government to economic inequality. Stiglitz notes that... Read more

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Decreasing Poverty through Business Education: Ivey Business School’s
Africa Initiative

By BEIF Team

It has often been argued that education is a way to reduce economic inequalities, as higher education provides people with jobs that pay better, besides helping people to innovate and set up businesses. However, lack of access to education to the poor (given the high costs of tuition) has always been an issue even in the developed world... Read more

Monday, March 18, 2013

Is Economic Equality a Human Right?

By BEIF Team

The role individuals and organizations play in perpetuating social ills can often be revealing. In Shake Hands with the Devil Lieutenant-General Romeo Dallaire, a retired general and a compassionate humanitarian recounts first hand the horror of the 1994 Rwandan genocide Dallaire witnessed as Force Commander for the U.N. Assistance Mission for Rwanda... Read more

Friday, March 15, 2013

Is Conscious Capitalism the Key To Reducing Income Inequality?

By BEIF Team

Income inequality is a serious problem affecting developed and developing nations alike. Among some of the solutions, the most audacious is the call to reform capitalism in a way that focuses on other metrics besides profit. In a recent article, Dr. James Heskett of Harvard Business School reflects on John Mackey’s call for ‘conscious capitalism’... Read more

Friday, March 15, 2013

Conference Board of Canada Grades Canada’s Inequality

By BEIF Team

The Conference Board of Canada (CBoC) has recently released it’s annual ‘report card’ on Canadian’s quality of life. The report ranks Canada 7th out of 17 other developed countries and gives Canada an overall ‘B’ rating in its ‘Society Report Card’. The CBoC states that the rating is due to Canada’s “high rates of poverty and a large gap in income between the rich and everyone else”... Read more

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Statistics Canada Releases Data on High Income Earners

By BEIF Team

This past week, Statistics Canada released some data on high income earners in Canada from the years 1982-2010. The data is a follow-up to information contained in the research report ‘A Profile of High Income Canadians, 1982 to 2004’, released in September 2007. The newest data reveals that “the top 1% of Canadian tax filers accounted for 10.6% of the ... Read more

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Small inequality is good for growth, but large inequality is bad

By BEIF Team

Income inequality might take a toll on growth says an article in New York Times. The arguments presented in it, including the assertions of experts, find resonance in a research study published last year in Journal of Regional Science. In this study, authors (Hasanov and Izraeli) found that “at the 2000 averages of inequality and income, lowering inequality or increasing it by a large amount ” ... Read more

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why are Middle-Income Canadian Families a Paycheque Away from Poverty?

By Marilyn Brennan

There is growing concern that financial stress burdens many Canadians who have a job and a regular paycheque. For instance, Statistics Canada recently reported young families with $500 or less in their bank account who experience financial difficulties in meeting bill or loan payments were significantly more likely to have used payday loans than other households... Read more

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Economic Inequality and Management Scholars: The Challenge Awaits

By BEIF Team

An interesting sub-theme on “Institutional Work and the Institutionalization of Inequality” was held at this year’s EGOS (European Group for Organizational Studies) conference in Helsinki. The conveners, Tom Lawrence, John Amis and Kamal Munir, brought together scholars interested in various types of inequalities, with a focus on how these inequalities become institutionalized... Read more

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wealth Management Industry and Economic Inequality

By BEIF Team

Recently, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) released a report entitled Global Wealth 2012: The Battle to Regain Strength. The report deals with how private wealth has changed around the world in the last year, and how private wealth managers can address the challenges faced by their clients. According to the report, growth in private wealth has been 1.9% in 2011, ... Read more

Monday, June 11, 2012

Private Equity and Economic Inequality

By BEIF Team

Edward Conard, who worked at Bain & Company, has written and recently released a book entitled, Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy is Wrong.To read a good review of this book by Roger Lowenstein, please click here. This book appears at a time when the issue of income inequality continues to take centre stage and the investor class is under scrutiny ... Read more

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Inequality Increases Consumption, by Rich and the Rest

By Kevin Morris

Some economists have begun studying a concept called ‘expenditure cascades’. A recent news article in Reuters has referenced a thought-provoking research study by Robert H. Frank, Adam Seth Levine and Oege Dijk. Expenditure cascades, according to the researchers, are the cascading, or successive adoption, of increased spending habits ... Read more

Friday, April 27, 2012

Capitalist Inequalities and the Need for Economic Democracy

By Costas Panayotakis

One of the basic claims of mainstream economic theory is that capitalist markets lead to an efficient use of scarce resources. This updated version of Adam Smith's invisible hand thesis does not square with the reality all around us. Instead of using scarce resources in accordance with human welfare and the ecological integrity of the planet, capitalism has plunged us into serious economic, ... Read more

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Viterra takeover, Mergers and Acquisitions and Inequality

By Paul Earl

As some of you know, Viterra is being taken over by Glencore. I have been working on a history of Agricore United (AU), a farmer-controlled company that was taken over by Saskatchewan Wheat Pool that then renamed itself Viterra. My work on Agricore United leads me to believe that the principle of shareholder primacy contributes to inequality by ... Read more

Thursday, April 11, 2012

Canadians concerned about growing inequality

By BEIF Team

A survey of 2,000 Canadians conducted by Environics Research for Broadbent Institute found that a vast majority of Canadians are concerned about growing income inequality and believe that the government should attend to it on priority. In particular, the survey found, 71 percent of Canadians believe that the widening income gap undermines Canadian values ... Read more

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bringing Ethics and Economics Together

By Alan Freeman

A new venture starts this Monday, 12th March: an online conference on ethics and economics. It is unusual for two reasons. First, economists are not in the habit of discussing ethics. In fact, the American Economic Association, at its last annual meeting in January, adopted ethical guidelines - for the first time in its 125-year history - under considerable pressure after the scandals ... Read more

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

The more you have, the more you cheat?

A recent research conducted by the psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley, linked “money” with “greed”. Finding multimillionaires like Bernard Madoff being involved in fraudulent activities, one wonders if money is ever enough for people. Or is it something rich want more of at any cost? According to this research, people who are socially and financially prosperous are more likely ... Read more