Political economy of austerity
My PhD thesis focused on the political economy of fiscal austerity in OECD countries and Canadian provinces. Most research suggests that governments can impose cutbacks without seeing their popularity decrease, and that by implementing austerity, governments can reorient their expenditures towards more productive investments.
I argue that this view is mistaken and show that austerity reduces governments’ popularity and encourages them to prioritize public policies that are profitable in the short term, to the detriment of longer-term investments.
Governing for the long-term
Under which conditions do governments implement policies that are beneficial in the long-term? This project highlights the effect of electoral competition, political institutions, and austerity to explain why governments adopt a long-term rather than short-term perspective. It focuses mostly on preventive health care as a long-term investment.
Jacques, Olivier and Alain Noël. 2022. "The politics of public health investments." Social Science & Medicine.
Jacques, Olivier. 2021. “The Electoral Politics of Long-term Investments.”, Party Politics
Ammi, Mehdi, Emmanuelle Arpin, Olivier Jacques and Alain Noël. "The partisan and fiscal determinants of public health spending in Canadian provinces."
Welfare states, inequality and population health
This project revisits classical questions in comparative welfare state research: does the paradox of redistribution, stating that universalism entails more redistribution and poverty reduction than targeting (Korpi and Palme 1998), still holds in the 21st century. How do we combine the political legitimacy and institutional solidity of a universal welfare state with the redistributive efficiency of targeted programmes? Furthermore, the project investigates the effect of social policies and income inequality on population health.
Jacques, Olivier and Alain Noël. 2022. “Welfare State Decommodification and Population Health.” Plos One.
Public opinion towards fiscal policies
This research agenda concerns the relationship between fiscal policies and public opinion in several different projects. I am particularly interested in how people view budget deficits and to understand the determinants of willingness to pay taxes.
Jacques, Olivier. Forthcoming. "Explaining willingness to pay: the role of income, education and ideology." Journal of European Social Policy.
Jacques, Olivier, Daniel Béland and André Lecours. 2022. "Fiscal Federalism, Social Identity and Place-Based Resentment." Regional Studies.
Jacques, Olivier and Éric Bélanger. 2022. "Deficit or Austerity Bias? The Changing Nature of Canadians' Opinion of Fiscal Policies." Canadian journal of Political Science.
Jacques, Olivier and David Weisstanner. "Economic Stagnation and Tax Policy Preferences". R&R. Working paper available here.
Borwein, Sophie, Olivier Jacques, Daniel Béland and André Lecours. “National standards or subnational autonomy : the politics of fiscal federalism in Canada.” R&R.
Abbott, Chris, Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant, Kyle Hanniman, Olivier Jacques and Scott Matthews “Stimulus or Austerity? How Central Banks Can Change Citizen’s Preferences.”
Canadian political economy
I made several contributions to the study of Canadian politics by bringing comparative political economy perspectives to understand policy choices in the country.
Jacques, Olivier. 2020. “Funding the state: taxation in Canada from a comparative politics perspective.” In E. Heaman et D. Tough (eds.) Who Pays for Canada, Taxation and Fairness. McGill Queen’s University Press. 58-89
Arsenault, Gabriel, Olivier Jacques and Antonia Maioni. 2018. “Services de garde subventionnés: pourquoi le Québec continue-t-il de faire cavalier seul.” Institute for Research in Public Policy study. Study no 67.
Daniel Béland, Shannon Dinan, Olivier Jacques and Patrick Marier. "Policy Feedback and the Partisan Politics of Social Policy in Quebec." R&R Working paper available here.
Jacques, Olivier. “Unequal permanent austerity and the distribution of power in the Canadian federation.”