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Conference: D.J. Trump’s infrastructure plan: What is it? How innovative is it? What it could be?


Thursday 12 Jan 2017
From 11:45AM To 2PM

The proposed Infrastructure Plan of D.J. Trump promises to "pursue investments in transportation, clean water, a modern and reliable electricity grid, telecommunications, security infrastructure, and other pressing domestic infrastructure needs … [and] Create thousands of new jobs … to build the transportation, water, telecommunications and energy infrastructure needed to enable new economic development in the U.S., all of which will generate new tax revenues".

But the program is attacked by many economists.

Paul Krugman (NY Times): "[The Plan] is basically fraudulent, would enrich a few well-connected people at taxpayers’ expense while doing very little to cure our investment shortfall. [It is an] exercise in crony capitalism."

R.A. Klain (The Washington Post): "Trump’s plan is not really an infrastructure plan. It’s a tax-cut plan for utility-industry and construction-sector investors, and a massive corporate welfare plan for contractors."

Larry H. Summers (Harvard): "The Trump program [has] design errors, implausible assumptions and reckless disregard for global economics."

Marcel Boyer provided a fresh look at The Plan and gave answers to the above three questions.

Marcel Boyer

Marcel Boyer (M. Sc. and Ph.D. economics, Carnegie-Mellon University; M.A. economics, Université de Montréal) is presently Emeritus Professor of Economics at the Université de Montréal; Associate Member of the Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) and the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse (IAST); Distinguished Associate Fellow, Montreal Economic Institute; Fellow of CIRANO and of the C.D. Howe Institute (Toronto); Academic Affiliate of Analysis Group (Montréal, Boston); Member of the Governance Committee of the “Sustainable Finance and Responsible Investment” AFG Chair at École Polytechnique de Paris and Université de Toulouse; and Member of the C.D. Howe Institute Competition Policy Council.

He taught economics at York University (1971-1973), UQÀM (1973-1974) and Université de Montréal (1974-2008), where he held the Jarislowsky-SSHRC-NSERC Chair in Technology and International Competition of École Polytechnique (1993-2000) and the Bell Canada Chair in Industrial Economics (2003-2008).

Marcel Boyer is Chevalier de l’Ordre du Québec (2021), Officer of the Order of Canada (2015), Laureate of the Léon-Gérin Prize for career excellence in Humanities and Social Sciences (Prix du Québec 2015), Honorary Fellow of the French Association of Environmental and Resources Economists (FAERE 2014), Honorary Fellow of the Canadian Economics Association (2013). Following his public lecture at Collège de France in 2005, the latter honored him with the Médaille Guillaume-Budé. Laureate of the Marcel-Vincent Prize (ACFAS 2002), Fellow of the World Academy of Productivity Science (2001), Fellow of The International Journal of Industrial Organization,(1997), Laureate of the Distinguished Guest Professor Award (Wuhan University of Technology 1995), he is elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada 1992) and Laureate of the Marcel-Dagenais Prize (Société canadienne de science économique 1985), of the Endowment-for–the–future Distinguished Scholar Award (University of Alberta 1988), and of the Alexander-Henderson Award (Carnegie-Mellon University 1971).

He was founding Director of the Observatoire de la Francophonie économique, President of the international Society for Economic Research on Copyright Issues (SERCI); Member of the Expert Panel of the Council of Canadian Academies on the State of Industrial Research and Development; Member of the jury of the Donner Prize for the best book on public policy by a Canadian, Member of the SHS1 committee of the French National Research Agency; Vice-President and Chief Economist of the Montreal Economic Institute; President of the Canadian Economics Association; President of the Société Canadienne de Science Économique; CEO of CIRANO; Member of the Board of Directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER, USA); Member of the National Statistics Council of Canada; Member of the Management Committee of Bell-University Labs; Member of the Board of the Montreal Mathematical Finance Institute; Member of the Board of Directors of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada; Chairman of the Board of the Network for Computing and Mathematical Modelling; Visiting Senior Research Advisor for industrial economics at Industry Canada; Member of Industry Canada advisory committee on business strategies and innovation; Member of the Executive Committee of the Canadian Law and Economics Association; Member of the Board of the Agency for Public-Private Partnerships of Québec; Member of the Editorial Board of the Canadian Journal of Economics and the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization; and Chairman of the Board of the Caisse Populaire de St-Jérôme.

His recent article « The determination of optimal fines in cartel cases: Theory and practice” (with Marie-Laure Allain and Jean-Pierre Ponssard), Concurrences – Competition Law Review 2011, was chosen as Best Academic Economics Article - 2012 Antitrust Writing Awards (Institute of Competition Law and George Washington University Law School). His recent article “Alleviating Coordination Problems and Regulatory Constraints through Financial Risk Management” (with Martin Boyer and René Garcia), Quarterly Journal of Finance 3(2) has received the Outstanding Paper Award 2015 of the Midwest Finance Association. His recent book Réinventer le Québec: Douze Chantiers à Entreprendre (with Nathalie Elgrably; Stanké 2014, 176 pages) was among the four finalists for the 2014-15 Donner Foundation Prize for the best book on public policy written by a Canadian.

Author or coauthor of over 330 scientific articles and papers and public and private reports, Professor Boyer currently conducts research in the areas of investment valuation (risk, flexibility, and real options); efficient organizations and public policies (water markets; competitive social-democracy); inequalities; value and cost sharing; and law and economics (cartels, anti-competitive practices, environmental liability and other issues, intellectual property rights). Marcel Boyer has acted as expert economist on behalf of several national and international public and private corporations and organisations, and has testified as expert witness before various organizations and tribunals: arbitration tribunals, Copyright Board of Canada, Québec Energy Board, Superior court of Québec (in both civil and criminal cases), Court of Queen’s Bench of Saskatchewan, Superior Court of Ontario, Supreme Court of British Columbia.

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