Michael Francis is a Senior Policy Advisor in the International Economic Analysis Department. Michael has worked in various roles within the International Department. Outside the Bank, he has also worked at the Department of Finance in Canada, United Nations and as an assistant professor at the University of Canberra in Australia.  His primary interests lie within the field of international macroeconomics and trade. He has wide-ranging experience in emerging and advanced economy issues and has contributed extensively on G7 and G20 matters.  Michael holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Carleton University in Ottawa.

Staff analytical notes

Assessing Global Potential Output Growth: April 2019

This note presents the updated estimates of potential output growth for the global economy through 2021. Global potential output is expected to grow by 3.3 per cent per year over the projection horizon.

Drivers of Weak Wage Growth in Advanced Economies

Since the global financial crisis, advanced-economy wage growth has been generally low relative to past recoveries, especially after accounting for the evolution of labour market conditions over this period. This paper investigates a variety of potential explanations for this weakness, drawing on findings from the literature as well as analysis of recent labour market data in advanced economies.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff analytical notes Topic(s): International topics, Labour markets JEL Code(s): E, E3, E31, F, F0, J, J3

Assessing Global Potential Output Growth: April 2018

This note presents our estimates of potential output growth for the global economy through 2020. Overall, we expect global potential output growth to remain broadly stable over the projection horizon, averaging 3.3 per cent, although there is considerable uncertainty surrounding these estimates.

Assessing Global Potential Output Growth

This note estimates potential output growth for the global economy through 2019. While there is considerable uncertainty surrounding our estimates, overall we expect global potential output growth to rise modestly, from 3.1 per cent in 2016 to 3.4 per cent in 2019.

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Staff discussion papers

India and the Global Demand for Commodities: Is There an Elephant in the Room?

Staff Discussion Paper 2008-18 Michael Francis, Corinne Luu
After 10 years of impressive growth, India is now the fourth largest economy in the world. Yet, to date, India's impact on global commodity markets has been muted. The authors examine how India's domestic and trade policies have distorted and constrained its demand for commodities.

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Staff working papers

Governance and Financial Fragility: Evidence from a Cross-Section of Countries

Staff Working Paper 2003-34 Michael Francis
The author explores the role of governance mechanisms as a means of reducing financial fragility. First, he develops a simple theoretical general-equilibrium model in which instability arises due to an agency problem resulting from a conflict of interest between the borrower and lender.

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Bank publications

Bank of Canada Review articles

May 14, 2015

The Slowdown in Global Trade

Global trade growth has been weak during the period following the 2007–09 financial crisis. This is an important development for Canada, given the Canadian economy's high degree of openness to trade. This article investigates some of the factors behind the slowdown in global trade and finds that the weakness of global demand and its changing composition, increased protectionism and diminishing incentives to expand trade have all played a role. Some of these factors are likely to have only a temporary effect on trade growth, but others could be more long-lasting.
September 15, 2008

Adjusting to the Commodity-Price Boom: The Experiences of Four Industrialized Countries

Between 2002 and 2008, global commodity prices rose to unprecedented levels. This article examines the process of adjustment to the commodity boom in four industrialized, commodity-exporting countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Norway). The article focuses on both the direct adjustment within the commodity-producing sectors (via increased employment and capital spending) and the indirect adjustment in the macro economy. The analysis finds that the indirect adjustment process, which was triggered by the increase in incomes that the commodity-price boom generated, has been the most important part of the adjustment in all four economies. Through this channel, aggregate demand rose, exchange rates appreciated, and adjustment was facilitated in other sectors, such as manufacturing and construction.
October 14, 2007

The Effect of China on Global Prices

The dramatic growth in China's exports of consumer goods such as clothing, toys, and electronics, and imports of primary commodities such as oil and metals is having major effects on global supply and demand. In examining China's role in global relative price changes, Francis finds that downward pressure on the relative prices of consumer goods is likely to persist as China's large labour supply continues its migration into manufacturing. Likewise, China's size and growth will also remain key drivers of global commodities demand for some time. Despite these forces, inflation-targeting central banks have the tools to keep inflation close to target, thus offsetting any persistent upward or downward inflationary pressure.
December 23, 2006

Global Savings, Investment, and World Real Interest Rates

Over the past 25 years, world long-term interest rates have declined to levels not seen since the 1960s. This decline has been accompanied by falling world investment and savings rates. The authors explore global saving and investment outcomes that have led to the fall in the world real interest rate. The results show that the key factors explaining movements in savings and investment are variables that evolve relatively slowly over time, such as labour force growth and the age structure of the world economy. The conclusions suggest that, over the coming years, it is unlikely that these slowly changing variables will be a source of significant changes in world real interest rates.
April 25, 2005

Understanding China's Long-Run Growth Process and Its Implications for Canada

In the past 25 years, China has introduced numerous reforms, gradually moving from a centrally planned economy towards a socialist market economy capable of robust and sustainable economic growth. China's increasing integration into the global economy, which has been fuelled by this recent and rapid economic growth, has already begun to affect the economies of other countries and to present challenges for policy-makers, both in China and abroad. In addition to examining the determinants of China's past and current growth, the authors consider factors that are likely to support continued growth in the future and assess the implications for both the world and the Canadian economies.

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Journal publications

Refereed journals

  • “Governance and Financial Fragility,” Economic Papers, Vol. 23, no. 4 (2004): 386-395.
  • “Trade and the Enforcement of Environmental Property Rights,” Journal of International Trade and Economic Development, vol. 14, no. 3 (2005): 281-298.
  • “World Real Interest Rates: A Global Savings and Investment Perspective,” Applied Economics, Vol. 42, no. 22 (2010): 2801-2816.


Chapters in books

  • “India and the Global Demand for Commodities: Is There an Elephant in the Room?” in Light the Lamp: Papers on World Trade and Investment in Memory of Bijit Bora, Christopher Findlay and David Parsons (eds) (Singapore, World Scientific Publishing Co, 2010) pp 117-177. Also published as a Bank of Canada Discussion Paper 08-18 (With Corinne Luu).
  • “Institutional Reform, Trade and Growth: The Experiences of India and China in a Global Economy,” in Economic Reforms in India and China – Emerging issues and challenges, B Sudhakara Reddy (ed), (Delhi, Sage Publications, 2009), pp 61- 87. (With B Desroches and F. Painchaud).

Published comments

  • “Review of T. Tietenberg, ‘Environmental Economics and Policy,’” Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics, Vol. 45 no. 4 (2001): 468-470.