Concordia University

Ian Irvine, PhD

Professor, Economics
Fellow, School of Irish Studies

Office: S-H 1155-11 
Henry F. Hall Building,
1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Phone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 3909
Website(s): Ian Irvine


Ph.D., University of Western Ontario, 1978, in the area of income distribution:

"The Distribution of Lifetime Purchasing Power in Canada"

Fields of specialization

Public Economics, Public Policy, Health Economics, Inequality, Microeconomics.

Research interests

He has worked in a variety of areas recently with policy implications. Work on the saving behavior of individuals over the life cycle has resulted in papers in the European Economic Review (2001) and Economics (2002); on alcohol taxation in the Journal of Public Economics (1993); on tobacco in Canadian Public Policy (1998), the Berkeley Electronic Press (2004) and the Journal of Health Economics (2009); on deadweight loss measurement in the American Economic Review (1998) and on housing demand in the Journal of Urban Economics (1996).

His current work is primarily on tobacco-related issues, and on the use of Canada’s social programs such as Employment Insurance and Social Assistance. He is also developing an interest in public policy towards climate change.

Professional experience

Professor Irvine has been on the Faculty at Concordia University since 1978, and was promoted to the rank of Professor in 1995. He has been an academic visitor at the University of Sydney, Australia, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the London School of Economics, the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin, Ireland. He has done consulting work for a number of agencies in Ottawa in the area of tobacco and alcohol taxation.

Teaching activities


“The Simple Analytics of Tobacco Taxation with IllegalSupply”, 2015. Canadian Journal ofEconomics, 47(4), p1153-1172. Coauthor: William Sims.


“Retail Tobacco Display Bans”, 2014. Forum for Health Economics and Policy, 17(2), p169-195. Coauthor:Van Hai Nguyen.


“Is Employment Discrimination Based on Tobacco Use Efficient?”(2014). Contemporary Economic Policy.On-line publication: 7 March 2014. DOI: 10.1111/coep.12044. Coauthor: Van Hai Nguyen.


“Toxic Choices: The Impact of Workplace and Home Smoking Bans.”Health Forum in Economics, BerkeleyEconomic Press, 2011,14(2). Coauthor: Van Hai Nguyen.


“Fiscal Reform and the Redistributional Impact of Canada’sEmployment Insurance Program, 1992-2002.” CanadianPublic Policy, 2010, XXXVII(2). Coauthor: Ross Finnie.


“Tobacco Taxes and Regressivity.” Journal of Health Economics, 28 (2009)375–384. Coauthor: Nikolay Gospodinov. 


“TheWelfare Enigma: Explaining the Dramatic Decline in Canadians’ Use of SocialAssistance, 1993–2005.” Coauthor: Ross Finnie, C. D. Howe Institute, 2008.


“Mobility and Gender at the Top Tail of the EarningsDistribution.” Economic and Social Review,Vol. 37, p149-175, 2006.Coauthor: Ross Finnie.


“A ‘Long March’ Perspective onTobacco Use in Canada.” Canadian Journalof Economics, Vol. 38, no. 2, 2005. Coauthor: Nikolay Gospodinov.


“Global Health Warnings on Tobacco Packaging: Evidence fromthe Canadian Experiment.” Topics in Economic Analysis and Policy,Berkeley Electronic Press, Vol. 4, Issue 1, 2004. Coauthor: Nikolay Gospodinov.


“Social Assistance Use in Canada in the Nineties: Incidence,Entry and Exit.” Canadian Journal of Regional Science, 2004. Coauthors:Ross Finnie and Richard Sceviour.


“The Distribution of Wealth with Uncertain Incomes''. Economica,vol. 70, no. 278, pp267-92, May 2003. Coauthor: Susheng Wang.


“A Simple and Efficient Method for Estimating theMagnitude and Precision of Welfare Changes: Comment.” Journal of AppliedEconometrics, 2002, vol. 17(1), p81-83.


“Saving Behavior and Wealth Accumulation in a PureLife-Cycle Model with Income Uncertainty.” European Economic Review,2001, vol. 45, pp. 233-58. Coauthor: Susheng Wang.


“Measuring Consumer Surplus with unknown Hicksian Demands.” AmericanEconomic Review, 1998, vol. 88, no.1, pp. 314-322. Coauthor: William Sims.


“Tobacco Control Legislation and Resource AllocationEffects.” Canadian Public Policy, 1998. Coauthor: William Sims.


“Instrument Choice: The Demand for Mortgages in Canada.”  Journal of Urban Economics, 1996, vol.39, no. 3, pp. 282-302. Coauthors: Jon Breslaw and Abdul Rahman.


“Earnings Uncertainty, Wealth Accumulation and Inter-temporalSubstitution.” American Economic Review, 1994, vol. 84, pp. 1463-70.Coauthor: Susheng Wang.


“Inter-provincial Barriers to Trade: The Case of Beer.” In ProvincialTrade Wars, Fraser Institute, Vancouver. Edited by F. Palda, 1994, pp.1-46.Coauthor: William Sims.


“GATT Rulings, Excise Reforms and Trade Patterns: TheAlcoholic Beverages Industry in Canada.”Journal of Economic Integration, 1993, vol. 8, pp.68-88. Coauthor:William Sims.


“The Welfare Effects of Alcohol Taxation.”  Journal of Public Economics, 1993, pp.83-100. Coauthor: William Sims.


“Deadweight Loss Measurement using Generalized Gorman PolarForms.” Public Finance/Finances Publiques, 1990, pp. 260-267. Coauthor:Patrick Honohan.


“Inter-provincial or International Free Trade; The BrewingIndustry.” Canadian Journal of Economics, 1990, vol. 23, no. 2, pp.332-347. Coauthors: Anastas Anastasopoulos and William Sims.


“The Marginal Social Cost of Taxation in Ireland.” Economicand Social Review, 1987, vol. 19, pp.15-42. Coauthor: Patrick Honohan.


“Inflation, Taxation, Capital Markets and the Demand forHousing in Ireland.”Economic and Social Review, 1986, vol. 17, pp.277-292.


“A Study of New House Prices in Ireland in the Seventies''.Monograph, published by Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, 1983.


“The Estimation of Local Government Expenditure Responses toInter-government Transfers.” The Review of Economics and Statistics,1983, vol. 65, pp. 534-536. Coauthor: Barry Smith.


“The Exact Estimation of Logit Models by Means of LeastSquares.” Economics Letters, 1982, pp. 269-274. Coauthor: Jon Breslaw.


“On the Use of Cross-Section Micro-data in Lifecycle Models:An Application to Inequality Theory in Non Stationary Economies.” QuarterlyJournal of Economics, 1981, pp. 301-316.


“Further Evidence on Inflation and Redistribution in theUnited Kingdom.”  The Economic Journal,vol. 90, 1980, pp. 907-911. Coauthor: Colm McCarthy.


“The Distribution of Income and Wealth in a LifecycleFramework.”  Canadian Journal ofEconomics, 1980, Vol. 13, pp. 455- 474.


“Expenditure Patterns and the Welfare Effects of Inflation:Estimates of a 'True' Cost- of-Living Index.” Economic and Social Review,1978, pp. 157-166. Coauthor: Colm McCarthy.


“Pitfalls in the Specification of Optimal LifetimeConsumption Patterns.” OxfordEconomic Papers, 1978, Vol. 30, pp. 301-309.

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