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Stanford Jim, Harold Innis Industry Professor in Economics, McMaster University

photo of Jim Stanford

Jim Stanford

Harold Innis Industry Professor in Economics, McMaster University

Adjunct and Associate Members
Department of Economics


Jim Stanford is one of Canada’s best-known economic commentators.  He served for many years as Economist and Director of Policy with Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector trade union (formerly the Canadian Auto Workers).  He now advises the union, and is also the Harold Innis Industry Professor in Economics at McMaster University (fractional appointment).  He divides his time between Canada and Sydney, Australia.

Jim received his Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research in New York.  He also holds an M.Phil. from Cambridge University, and a B.A. (Hons.) from the University of Calgary.

Jim writes a regular economics column for the Globe and Mail, Canada’s major national newspaper.  He is a founding member of CBC National Television’s “Bottom Line” economics panel, and appears frequently in print, electronic, and alternative media on a range of economic topics.

He is the author of Economics for Everyone: A Short Guide to the Economics of Capitalism (second edition published by Pluto Books in 2015), which has been published in six languages.  Stanford has written, edited or co-edited five other books, and is the author of dozens of articles and reports published in both peer-reviewed and popular outlets.

Jim maintains an active and effective presence on social media, with over 15,000 followers of his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Jim has designed and taught numerous courses on economics for academic and non-academic audiences, including a unique week-long popular education course in economics for trade union members that he has delivered to unions in Canada, the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.  He is recognized for his ability to communicate economic concepts in an accessible, humorous, non-intimidating manner.

Until 2016 Jim also served as Vice-President and Treasurer of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Canada’s premiere progressive think tank, and he remains a member of the CCPA’s Members’ Council.  He was the founding chairperson of the Progressive Economics Forum (formed in 1998), Canada’s network of over 150 progressive economists.


Media: Professor Jim Stanford speaks on a panel for The Bottom Line with Peter Mansbridge about budget night in Canada.

Wrote a column for the Globe and Mail on the economics of the aerospace industry (published March 9):

Spoke with Steve Paikin on TVO show The Agenda regarding career at Unifor and move to Australia (aired January 29):

Explains for viewers the workings of negative interest rates on TVO's The Agenda (aired January 20):

Wrote commentary article in Australian journal, New Matilda, about Canada’s experience with lower corporate tax rates (published March 3):

Published 2nd Edition of Economics for Everyone, including free teaching & student resources: