Improving the economic position of low-income people has been a consistent interest over the years. Recently, my focus has been on efforts to help low-income debtors resolve their debt problems. That resolution might come through a new low-cost bankruptcy procedure, through impartial debt advice or through automatic enrolment in benefit programs. Dealing with the debts of the elderly is an important part of this work, given the increasing debts that the elderly carry.
A related interest is illustrated by a book of essays that I’m editing on the personal debts that citizens owe to governments: criminal justice fines and fees, local taxes and student loans. With an international cast of authors, this will the first book to bring together papers analyzing a range of debts owed to government.
A relatively new line of research addresses issues in government procurement. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) contained a provision giving EU firms access to municipal procurement contracts. In a February 2018 Policy Options piece, my co-authors and I argue that these contracts are already open to EU firms. That relatively narrow research has led to a wider interest in public procurement as a way to foster social and environmental goals.