Dr. Jennifer Winter

Jennifer Winter

Associate Professor

School of Public Policy

Background

Educational Background

B.A. Economics, University of Calgary, 2005

M.A. Economics, University of Calgary, 2007

Ph.D. Economics, University of Calgary, 2011

Biography

Dr. Jennifer Winter is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics and the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary. Her research evaluates climate policies, and examines the effects of government regulation and policy on energy development and the associated consequences and trade-offs. Current research projects include carbon pricing costs for households in Canada; comparing provincial emission-reduction policies; and federalism and climate policy. She has testified to the Senate of Canada on emissions pricing policies based on her work in this area, and has advised the Government of Alberta, Government of British Columbia and Government of Canada in several capacities. Dr. Winter is actively engaged in increasing public understanding of energy and environmental policy issues; recognition of her efforts include a 2014 Young Women in Energy Award, being named one of Alberta Oil Magazine’s Top 35 Under 35 in 2016, one of Avenue magazine’s Calgary Top 40 Under 40 in 2017, and one of Canada’s Clean50 and Clean16 in 2019.

Research

Participation in university strategic initiatives

Projects

Carbon Tax Costs and Distributional Impacts

This is joint work with Dr. Brett Dolter, University of Regina and Dr. G. Kent Fellows, University of Calgary.

Federal legislation in Canada mandates a floor price on greenhouse gas emissions from combustion in all provinces. Provinces that implement an equivalent carbon price are free to direct the collected revenues to their own uses. Provinces that do not implement a carbon price are subject to a federally administered pricing system, where revenues are recycled using lump sum household rebates.

Given the differences in provincial approaches and the differences in household spending, it can be difficult to determine exactly how much this carbon price costs Canadian households. In an effort to help people understand the household impact of carbon pricing in Canada, for each province and by income decile, we present estimates of:

  • costs by energy type (electricity, natural gas, gasoline, heating oil),
  • total costs from carbon pricing,
  • the value of a rebate under different rebate mechanisms, and
  • the net effect of carbon pricing for Canadian household budgets.

We analyse four revenue-recycling options: (1) a means-tested sales tax (GST/HST) credit increase; (2) a lump sum dividend; (3) a sales tax rate reduction; and (4) an increased basic exemption for personal income taxes. We characterise the distributional impact and progressivity of each revenue-recycling option.

We find the carbon tax is generally progressive even without revenue recycling, the GST rebate and lump sum rebate are progressive, the sales tax rate reduction is mostly regressive, and the income tax change is regressive. Importantly, the large-emitters system mitigates the indirect costs that exacerbates the effect of carbon pricing on households.

We have a working paper explaining our methodology and results in detail, and report results on the website www.carbontaxcosts.ca.

Awards

  • Principal Investigator for Multiple Account Benefit-Cost Analysis of Coal Mining in Alberta, Calgary Foundation. 2021
  • Canada's 2019 Clean 16, Delta Management Group. 2018
  • Canada's 2019 Clean 50, Delta Management Group. 2018
  • Avenue Calgary Top 40 Under 40, Avenue Magazine Calgary. 2017
  • Alberta Oil Magazine's Top 35 Under 35 in Canada's Energy Sector (2016), Alberta Oil Magazine. 2017
  • 2014 Young Women in Energy Award, Young Women in Energy. 2014
  • Graduate Research Scholarship, The University of Calgary. 2011
  • Graduate Teaching Fellowship, The University of Calgary. 2010
  • Ian N. MacKinnon Memorial Fellowship, The University of Calgary. 2009
  • John S. Poyen Scholarship, The University of Calgary. 2009
  • Petroleum History Society Graduate Scholarship, The University of Calgary. 2009
  • Dean's Entrance Scholarship, The University of Calgary. 2008
  • Arthur J. E. Child Memorial Bursary in Economics, The University of Calgary. 2006
  • Graduate Research Scholarship, The University of Calgary. 2008

Publications

  • Making Energy Policy: The Canadian Experience (forthcoming). Jennifer Winter. Meeting the Paris Mandate: A Cross-national Comparison of Energy Policy-making, Patrice Geoffron, Lorna A. Greening, and Raphael Heffron, Editors. Springer Publishing. (2021)
  • Alberta in Canada’s Net Zero Future: Seizing Opportunities While Adapting to Change. Chris Bataille, Sarah Dobson, Anna Kanduth, and Jennifer Winter. Alberta’s Economic Future. Robert Mansell and Ken McKenzie, eds. The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary. (2021)
  • Environmental Policy Transformations and Canada at 150. Jennifer Winter. Policy Transformation in Canada: Is Past Prologue?, Peter John Loewen, Carolyn Hughes Tuohy, Andrew Potter and Sophie Borwein, eds. University of Toronto Press. (2019)
  • Canada’s Role in Global Energy Markets. Jennifer Winter. Spanish Institute for Strategic Studies. (2019)