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Ben Eisen

Director, Provincial Prosperity Studies, Fraser Institute

Ben Eisen is the Director of Provincial Prosperity Studies at the Fraser Institute. He holds a BA from the University of Toronto and an MPP from the University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy and Governance. Prior to joining the Fraser Institute Mr. Eisen was the Director of Research and Programmes at the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies in Halifax.  He also worked for the Citizens Budget Commission in New York City, and in Winnipeg as the Assistant Research Director for the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Mr. Eisen has published influential studies on several policy topics, including intergovernmental relations, public finance, and higher education policy. He has been widely quoted in major newspapers including the National Post, Chronicle Herald, Winnipeg Free Press and Calgary Herald.

Recent Research by Ben Eisen

— Jan 5, 2017
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The End of the Alberta Tax Advantage finds that corporate and personal income tax hikes in Alberta last year have wiped away the crucial tax advantage that helped fuel the province’s economic prosperity for years. Corporate tax rates are now lower in B.C., Ontario and Quebec, and Alberta’s top combined marginal personal income tax rate went from the lowest in North America to the 16th highest among all province and states.

— Dec 1, 2016
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The Five Solitudes of Ontario: A Regional Analysis of Labour Market Performance in Post-Recession Ontario finds that decent economic performance—especially job growth—in Toronto and the surrounding Golden Horseshoe region is hiding the fact that the rest of Ontario still hasn’t fully recovered from the 2009 recession. Total employment in Ontario outside the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) stood at 2.24 million in 2008. By the end of 2015, the most recent year of available data, that figure stood at 2.17 million, still 70,000 jobs shy of pre-recession levels.

— Nov 17, 2016
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One Energy Boom, Two Approaches: Fiscal Restraint Has Left Texas in Better Shape than Alberta

One Energy Boom, Two Approaches: Fiscal Restraint Has Left Texas in Better Shape than Alberta finds that Alberta’s deficits and mounting debt are largely the result of undisciplined spending and fiscal mismanagement, not just a drop in energy prices. By comparison, Texas controlled spending during the energy boom of 2004 to 2014, and, partly as a result, ran five straight surpluses between fiscal years 2009 and 2013. Alberta, which increased spending at a greater rate than Texas, ran four deficits during that same five-year period, and has continued to run deficits in the years since, with the exception of a small surplus in 2014/2015. Further, Alberta doesn’t expect to balance the budget again until at least 2024.