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Scarth William, Professor Emeritus

William Scarth

Professor Emeritus

Retired Faculty
Department of Economics

Area(s) of Interest:



Economics at McMaster (Assistant Professor - 1971, Full Professor - 1982)

Adjunct Professor appointments - Queen's, Waterloo and Simon Fraser

Consultant - Finance Canada, Economic Council of Canada, and Statistics Canada

Senior Fellow in Economic Policy - Reserve Bank of Australia

Research Economist - CD Howe Institute

Distinguished Visitor - Alberta, Athens, Calgary, Canterbury (NZ)

My text is now available:

Macroeconomics: The Development of Modern Methods for Policy Analysis

Information on the book and how to order


BA - Honours - Economics - Queen's (Gold Medal) - 1968

MA - Economics - Essex (Commonwealth Scholarship) - 1970

PhD - Economics - Toronto (Canada Council Scholarship) - 1971



150 presentations



McMaster University President's Award for Instruction - 1997

McMaster Student Union Lifetime Achievement Award - 1999

McMaster Student Union Oustanding Teacher in Arts and Science Award - 2012, 2014


Courses Taught in 2015/16

Econ 728- Fall 2015

Arts & Science 2E03- Fall 2015

"Economics: The Essentials" now available online:

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20

Answers to Practice Questions





Articles: 80 published papers in academic journals and policy reports -

in macroeconomics, labour economics, international trade and public finance.

Recent work concerns how globalization and the aging population challenge the ability of governments to foster both overall growth and increased equality


Books: 4 texts - ranging from Principles to Intermediate to Advanced - two single-authored, two co-authored (with Will Baumol/Alan Blinder - Princeton, and Greg Mankiw - Harvard).

There have been twenty-two editions of these four books.

3 edited monographs: Deficit Reduction: What Pain? What Gain?  and Equality and Prosperity: Finding Common Ground (with Bill Robson (CD Howe)); Inflation and Unemployment: The Evolution of the Phillips Curve (with Richard Lipsey)    

Recent Publications

User Discretion Advised: Fiscal Consolidation and the Recovery, C.D. Howe Commentary No 412 (2014)


Employment Insurance: A Macroeconomic Comparison with Other Income-Support Initiatives” in Making EI Work: Research from the Mowat Centre Employment Insurance Task Force, edited by Keith Banting, and Jon Medow (Queen's/McGill University Press) 2012, 213-230


“Introduction: The History, Significance and Policy Context of the Phillips Curve,” (pages xiii – xxxvii) the editors’ critical survey/introduction article in their edited set of books Inflation and Unemployment: The Evolution of the Phillips Curve (London: Edward Elgar) - 2011. This is a three-volume (1842 pages in total) anthology of the most important papers on the Phillips curve appearing in the first 50 years following the publication of the most cited paper in macroeconomics in the 20th century, edited with Richard Lipsey


“Aggregate Demand-Supply Analysis and Its Critics: An Evaluation of the Controversy,” Review of Radical Political Economics 42, 2010, 321-326


 “Stabilization Policy Debates: Assessing the Case for Fiscal Stimulus,” in The 2009 Federal Budget: Challenge, Response and Retrospect, edited by C. Beach, B. Dahlby and P. Hobson, John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy, 2010, 59-80

Macroeconomics – Fourth Canadian Edition, (New York: Worth Publishers) 2010, with Greg Mankiw.

 “Some Macroeconomic Effects of Population Aging on Productivity Growth and Living Standards" in Retirement Policy Issues in Canada (edited by Abbott, Beach, Boadway and MacKinnon) John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy, 2009, 253-275


"What Drives Investment?" in Interpreting Macroeconomic Analysis: Issues, Questions, and Competing Views,edited by H. Bougrine and M. Seccareccia, (Toronto: Emond Montgomery) 2009, 91-100


"An Evaluation of the Working Income Tax Benefit" Canadian Public Policy/Analyse de Politiques 34:1, 2008, 25-36, with L. Tang


Macroeconomics: An Introduction to Advanced Methods, Third Edition (Nelson) 2007


“Fiscal Policy Can Raise Both Employment and Productivity” in International Productivity Monitor 11, 2005, 39-46


“Some Macroeconomic Consequences of Basic Income and Employment Subsidies” in Labor Market Institutions and Public Regulation edited for CESifo and the IMF by J. Agell, M. Keen and A. Weichenreider, with T. Moutos (MIT Press) 195-219 (2004).


“What Should We Do About the Debt?” in Is the Debt War Over? edited by C. Ragan and W. Watson, Institute for Research on Public Policy, 2004, 243-268.