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Rotman Insights Hub | University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

June 2021: Rotman professors on reopening during the global pandemic, emerging threats and more

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Elizabeth Dhuey, Ambarish Chandra, Richard Powers andrew Seepersad, David Beatty, Lisa Kramer

As vaccination rates steadily increased across Canada, many hoped for the reopening of schools and borders — and considered the long-term risks of not doing so.

In their piece for The Toronto Star, Elizabeth Dhuey and her co-author call on governments to address the long-term effects of these education losses. While other countries are making significant investments to address the learning losses caused by the pandemic — Netherlands has committed $4,285 (CAD) per pupil, the U.S. $2,742 and Britain $531 — Ontario’s learning recovery budget for 2021-22 commits less than $11 per student.

They explain how school closures in Ontario, the longest seen anywhere in Canada, will result in future economic losses for affected children and the entire country.

“The decision to keep schools closed sells short children, parents and the entire economy,” writes Dhuey, an associate professor of economic analysis and policy at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the Rotman School.

It might also be time to reopen Canadian borders, says Ambarish Chandra, an associate professor in the economic analysis and policy area at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the Rotman School.

“Fully vaccinated travellers pose virtually no risk to Canada. But family reunification, border tourism and the livelihoods of small and large businesses are all at risk from Canada's arbitrary border policies. We must immediately allow all vaccinated travellers to enter Canada freely,” he writes in a piece for The Globe and Mail.

In a separate piece for Foreign Policy, Chandra and his co-author point out that though European countries have found ways to reopen their borders safely, North America has lagged behind.

“North America needs to get back to cooperation on border management. Washington, Ottawa, and Mexico City should immediately establish protocols that allow much greater freedom of movement across borders while assuaging legitimate public health concerns,” Chandra writes.

Richard Powers argues that this year’s Olympic Games must and should take place as scheduled in his piece for The Toronto Star.

“While it would be foolish to think that everything will go exactly as planned, we can take comfort in the knowledge that the Tokyo Games will be the most organized and safest Games ever planned,” writes Powers, an associate professor in the teaching stream at the Rotman School. “I, for one, cannot wait to watch our Canadian athletes compete on the world stage once again.”

As communities around the world geared up for Pride celebrations this month, Andrew Seepersad took aim at rainbow capitalism — where businesses take advantage of opportunities like Pride month to build brand loyalty and capture pink dollars.

 The decision to keep schools closed sells short children, parents and the entire economy. 
— Elizabeth Dhuey, professor of economic analysis and policy

“It feels borderline manipulative and reduces members of the LGBTQ+ community to a narrow stereotype of a proud, happy queer person with purchasing power,” explains Seepersad, associate director of the Business Design Initiative at the Rotman School.

In his op-ed for The Globe and Mail, he explains why companies must engage in open dialogue and inquiry to explore the nuances and distinct challenges LGBTQ+ people face so that they can serve these communities better.

Other experts considered new technologies and emerging threats.

In his piece for The Conversation Canada, David Beatty notes the rise of ransomware attacks during the global pandemic. He and his co-author envision a new type of online space that which would allow for stricter safety measures.

“What we need is a new internet,” writes Beatty, academic director of the David and Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation at the Rotman School. “One pathway might divide the web into one open, but inherently risky, internet and one closed, controlled, regulated and inherently untrusting one where security and privacy dominate.”

Thinking of investing in cryptocurrencies? It’s now an option for Canadian investors, as Canadian securities regulators recently approved public-traded Bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs.

Lisa Kramer, a professor in the finance area at the University of Toronto Mississauga and the Rotman School, cautions aspiring crypto-investors in her piece for The Globe and Mail. She recommends that investors limit their crypto-holdings to ETFs and for them to wager only what they can afford to lose.

Elizabeth Dhuey is an associate professor of economic analysis and policy with the department of management at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the Rotman School. Her research focuses on the economics of education and in particular, the early years of children’s development.

Ambarish Chandra is an associate professor of economic analysis and policy with the department of management at the University of Toronto Scarborough. He studies competition and public policy in a number of industries, with particular emphasis on the airline, automobile and newspaper industries.

Richard Powers is an associate professor, teaching stream, at the Rotman School. He recently completed a 5-year term as the associate dean and executive director of the Rotman MBA and Master of Finance Programs

Andrew Seepersad is the associate director of the Business Design Initiative at the Rotman School. He supports the research and development of the business design pedagogy, as well as the adoption of business design as a practice, across multiple classes within the Rotman ecosystem and through customized industry engagements

David Beatty is academic director of the David and Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation. Currently, he serves as a director of FirstService Corporation, Walter Energy and Canada Steamships Lines. Over his career he has served on over 35 Boards of directors and been Chair of 8 publicly traded companies.

Lisa Kramer is a professor of finance at the University of Toronto Mississauga and the Rotman School, as well as a research fellow with the Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman (BEAR). She conducts interdisciplinary work in the field of behavioural finance, blending psychology and economics to study markets and financial decision making.