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Comparing Quebec and Ontario

Comparing Quebec and Ontario: Political Economy and Public Policy at the Turn of the Millennium

Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 392
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  • Book Info
    Comparing Quebec and Ontario
    Book Description:

    Can sub-units within a capitalist democracy, even a relatively decentralized one like Canada, pursue fundamentally different social and economic policies? Is their ability to do so less now than it was before the advent of globalization? InComparing Quebec and Ontario, Rodney Haddow brings these questions and the tools of comparative political economy to bear on the growing public policy divide between Ontario and Quebec.

    Combining narrative case studies with rigorous quantitative analysis, Haddow analyses how budgeting, economic development, social assistance, and child care policies differ between the two provinces. The cause of the divide, he argues, are underlying differences between their political economic institutions.

    An important contribution to ongoing debates about globalization's "golden straightjacket,"Comparing Quebec and Ontariois an essential resource for understanding Canadian political economy.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-2117-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-2)
  4. Chapter One How Do Advanced Political Economies Differ? Why Does It Matter?
    (pp. 3-27)

    Can sub-state jurisdictions within a capitalist democracy, even a relatively decentralized one like Canada, pursue fundamentally different social and economic policies? Is their ability to do so less now than it was before the advent of globalization and post-industrialism? The present study addresses these questions by comparing policymaking and policy outcomes in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec since the 1980s when scholars began to refer widely to globalization as a constraint on the autonomy of states in affluent societies.¹ It addresses four policy fields: budgeting, social assistance and related income supplementation, childcare and associated family measures, and economic...

  5. Chapter Two Typing Provinces: The Political Economies of Ontario and Quebec
    (pp. 28-62)

    A typology of two models of advanced political economies was presented in chapter 1, one liberal, another collaborative and statist. These are expected to respond in specific – and different – ways to globalization and post-industrialism. The main contention of this book is that the political-economic institutions of the two Canadian provinces examined here differ in ways that reflect this distinction. On this basis, the present study tests hypotheses about policy variations between Ontario and Quebec in four policy fields. The purpose of this chapter is to justify this “typing” of these provinces and to present preliminary evidence about variations...

  6. Chapter Three Budgeting: Why Some Tax and Spend More Than Others, and How
    (pp. 63-98)

    This chapter compares budgeting in Ontario and Quebec. It begins withoutcomes– their overall levels of expenditure and own-source revenue, the allocation of the latter among tax types, and their distributional consequences. Does the evidence on these topics corroborate the hypotheses about budget policy outcomes presented in chapter 2? Figures offered in the first section below strongly support the most important of these (2a): overall own-source taxing and spending levels are significantly higher in Quebec than in Ontario. Quebec’s state was already markedly larger than Ontario’s in 1990, and the disparity did not abate over the next twenty years....

  7. Chapter Four Social Assistance and Transfers: Redistributing, but Differently
    (pp. 99-130)

    Social assistance and child-related transfer payments are the leading income security programs available to provinces for lowering poverty and inequality. They are interrelated, and change in each affects not only overall levels of redistribution, but also its apportionment among cohorts of the population.

    This chapter examines policy in these fields in Ontario and Quebec between 1990 and 2010. My primary focus is on the policymakingprocess. Consistent with the hypotheses set forth at the end of chapter 2, I argue here that there was much greater partisan polarization in Ontario than in Quebec (hypothesis 1b). There was also more concertation...

  8. Chapter Five Childcare and Early Learning: Can the Residual Mould Be Broken?
    (pp. 131-162)

    This chapter compares childcare and early learning policy in Quebec and Ontario. This field includes the provision of care for children before they are old enough to attend school and to older children before and after the regular school day; and pedagogically oriented services and the extension of access to kindergarten for children under the age of six. Provincial maternal and parental leave and public services to assist parenting are also discussed here, though they receive less attention, as they have in policy debates. Income supplementation for families, examined in chapter 4, is addressed briefly when it illuminates specific policy...

  9. Chapter Six Economic Development: Can States Still Intervene?
    (pp. 163-196)

    The public and private sectors are never fully distinct in capitalist political economies. States underwrite private investment, direct it towards strategic sectors and technologies, promote innovations, and, if the public interest is thought to warrant it, directly produce goods and services. Beyond such “anticipatory” goals, focused on maximizing future economic well-being, governments also act “reactively,” minimizing social and political tensions by supporting mature industries that face decline.¹ This chapter compares Quebec and Ontario policies in these areas, here termed “economic development policy.”²

    Despite its ubiquity, the scholarship reviewed in chapter 1 identifies a wide variation in the extent of state...

  10. Chapter Seven Quantitative Evidence (1): Comparing Policy “Effort”
    (pp. 197-237)

    The preceding four chapters offered qualitative accounts of developments in four policy fields in Ontario and Quebec between 1990 and 2010. This chapter and the next supplement them with regression-based evidence. The dependent variable (DV) for calculations reported in this chapter is each province’s policy “effort,” that is, its spending and other measurable program commitments. Calculations are made using data for all ten provinces. Only some outcomes for which hypotheses were offered in chapter 2 can be evaluated in this way; only these are addressed here. Political scientists now advocate multi-method research strategies. This book’s combination of narrative case comparisons...

  11. Chapter Eight Quantitative Evidence (2): Comparing Redistributive Outcomes
    (pp. 238-261)

    Does Quebec reduce inequality and poverty more than Ontario? I anticipated in chapter 2 that it would, relying on income security programs (hypothesis 4b) and its overall transfer and income tax regime (2d) to do so. The main potentially redistributive income-based measures in Canadian provinces are social assistance and child-related tax benefits (discussed in chapter 4) and the personal income tax (chapter 3). Province-level micro-data are available for all of these since 1993 from Statistics Canada’s Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID). The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), which preceded SLID, provided province-level statistics from 1980 but only for...

  12. Conclusion: How Large and Durable Are These Differences?
    (pp. 262-286)

    This chapter evaluates our findings, their significance, and likely resiliency. The first section returns to the hypotheses advanced in chapter 2 and asks whether the preceding six chapters have corroborated them. The second appraises the substantive importance of the policy divergences between Ontario and Quebec documented in this study by comparing their magnitude with those observable internationally and among provinces. This is followed by a comparison of the quantitative and qualitative evidence, a return to the themes of globalization and post-industrialism, and discussions of how much one can generalize from our results and of whether differences between Ontario and Quebec...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 287-368)
  14. Index
    (pp. 369-376)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 377-379)