Ben Tomlin is a Senior Research Director in the International Economic Analysis Department at the Bank of Canada. His primary research interests centre on the analysis of price adjustment, firm dynamics, and international trade in open economies using large micro data sets. Specific topics include exchange rate pass-through, the role of firm relationships in driving aggregate outcomes, and the use of structural models to explore the relationship between international shocks, firm-level adjustment and aggregate productivity. Ben Tomlin received his PhD in economics from Boston University.

Staff analytical notes

Alternative Scenario to the October 2017 MPR Base-Case Projection: Higher Potential Growth

Staff Analytical Note 2017-18 Jing Yang, Ben Tomlin, Olivier Gervais
We construct an alternative scenario in which trend labour input and business investment are stronger than that expected in the Bank of Canada’s base-case projection in the October 2017 Monetary Policy Report.

April 2017 Annual Reassessment of Potential Output Growth in Canada

This note summarizes the Bank of Canada’s annual reassessment of potential output growth, conducted for the April 2017 Monetary Policy Report. Potential output growth is projected to increase from 1.3 per cent in 2017 to 1.6 per cent by 2020.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff analytical notes Topic(s): Labour markets, Potential output, Productivity JEL Code(s): E, E0, E00, E2, E22, E23, E24, E3, E37, E6

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Staff discussion papers

On the Nexus of Monetary Policy and Financial Stability: Recent Developments and Research

Staff Discussion Paper 2015-7 Oleksiy Kryvtsov, Miguel Molico, Ben Tomlin
Because financial and macroeconomic conditions are tightly interconnected, financial stability considerations are an important element of any monetary policy framework. Yet, the circumstances under which it would be appropriate for the Bank to use monetary policy to lean against financial risks need to be more fully specified (Côté 2014).

Measuring Potential Output at the Bank of Canada: The Extended Multivariate Filter and the Integrated Framework

Staff Discussion Paper 2015-1 Lise Pichette, Pierre St-Amant, Ben Tomlin, Karine Anoma
Estimating potential output and the output gap - the difference between actual output and its potential - is important for the proper conduct of monetary policy. However, the measurement and interpretation of potential output, and hence the output gap, is fraught with uncertainty, since it is unobservable.

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Staff working papers

Markups and Inflation in Oligopolistic Markets: Evidence from Wholesale Price Data

Staff Working Paper 2024-20 Patrick Alexander, Lu Han, Oleksiy Kryvtsov, Ben Tomlin
We study how the interaction of market power and nominal price rigidity influences inflation dynamics. We find that pass-through declines with price stickiness when markets are concentrated, which implies a lower slope of the New Keynesian Phillips curve.

Climate Variability and International Trade

Staff Working Paper 2023-8 Geoffrey R. Dunbar, Walter Steingress, Ben Tomlin
This paper quantifies the impact of hurricanes on seaborne international trade to the United States. Matching the timing of hurricane–trade route intersections with monthly U.S. port-level trade data, we isolate the unanticipated effects of a hurricane hitting a trade route using two separate identification schemes: an event study and a local projection.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): Climate change, International topics JEL Code(s): C, C2, C22, C5, F, F1, F14, F18, Q, Q5, Q54

Firm-Specific Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations

Staff Working Paper 2016-51 Leonid Karasik, Danny Leung, Ben Tomlin
In order to understand what drives aggregate fluctuations, many macroeconomic models point to aggregate shocks and discount the contribution of firm-specific shocks. Recent research from other developed countries, however, has found that aggregate fluctuations are in part driven by idiosyncratic shocks to large firms.

Exchange Rate Pass-Through, Currency of Invoicing and Market Share

Staff Working Paper 2015-31 Michael Devereux, Wei Dong, Ben Tomlin
This paper investigates the impact of market structure on the joint determination of exchange rate pass-through and currency of invoicing in international trade. A novel feature of the study is the focus on market share of firms on both sides of the market—that is, exporting firms and importing firms.

House Prices, Consumption and the Role of Non-Mortgage Debt

Staff Working Paper 2013-2 Katya Kartashova, Ben Tomlin
This paper examines the relationship between house prices and consumption, through the use of debt. Using unique Canadian household-level data that reports the uses of debt, we begin by looking at the relationship between house prices and debt.

The Sensitivity of Producer Prices to Exchange Rates: Insights from Micro Data

Staff Working Paper 2012-20 Shutao Cao, Wei Dong, Ben Tomlin
This paper studies the sensitivity of Canadian producer prices to the Canada-U.S. exchange rate. Using a unique product-level price data set, we estimate and analyze the impact of movements in the exchange rate on both domestic and export producer prices.

The Effect of Exchange Rate Movements on Heterogeneous Plants: A Quantile Regression Analysis

Staff Working Paper 2010-25 Ben Tomlin, Loretta Fung
In this paper, we examine how the effect of movements in the real exchange rate on manufacturing plants depends on the plant's placement within the productivity distribution. Appreciations of the local currency expose domestic plants to more competition from abroad as export opportunities shrink and import competition intensifies.

Exchange Rate Fluctuations, Plant Turnover and Productivity

Staff Working Paper 2010-18 Ben Tomlin
In a small open economy fluctuations in the real exchange rate can affect plant turnover, and thus aggregate productivity, by altering the makeup of plants that populate the market. An appreciation of the local currency increases the level of competition in the domestic market as import competition intensifies and export opportunities shrink, forcing less productive plants from the market and compelling new entrants to be more competitive than they otherwise would have been.

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Journal publications

Refereed journal

  • “Trade Flows and Exchange Rates: Importers, Exporters and Products”
    (with Michael Devereux and Wei Dong), Journal of International Economics (accepted)
  • “Importers and Exporters in Exchange Rate Pass-Through and Currency Invoicing”
    (with Michael Devereux and Wei Dong), Journal of International Economics, 2017, Vol. 105, pp. 187-204.
  • “House Prices, Consumption and the Role of Non-Mortgage Debt”
    (with Katya Kartashova), Journal of Banking and Finance, 2017, Vol. 83, pp. 121-134.
  • "Pricing-to-Market, Currency Invoicing and Exchange Rate Pass-Through to Producer Prices"
    (with S. Cao and W. Dong), Journal of International Money and Finance, 2015, Vol. 58, pp. 128-149.
  • "Exchange Rate Movements and the Distribution of Productivity"
    (with L. Fung), Review of International Economics, 2015, Vol. 23, pp. 782-809.
  • "Exchange Rate Fluctuations, Plant Turnover and Productivity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, 2014, Vol. 35, pp. 12-28.



  • “Trade Flows and Exchange Rates: Importers, Exporters and Products”
    (with Michael Devereux and Wei Dong), NBER Working Paper No. 26314, September 2019 (accepted Journal of International Economics)
  • "Exchange Rate Pass-Through, Currency of Invoicing and Market Share"
    (with Michael Devereux and Wei Dong), NBER Working Paper No. 21413, July 2015 (published in the Journal of International Economics).