David & Cecilia Ting 2022 BMO Lecture with Philip Oreopoulos

Economy, Series BMO Public Lectures, 2022, Future of Work

The Importance of a Helping Hand in Education and in Life

Expert in education and public policy, Philip Oreopoulos, gave a David & Cecilia Ting 2022 BMO Lecture on the powerful role that advisors can play in helping children learn and succeed in education and the labour market.

As parents and policy makers, we all want children to grow up equipped with a strong set of skills that will prepare them for success in the labour market and in life. But making wise long-term decisions on one’s own is often marred by tendencies towards procrastination, distraction, facing too many options, and facing too little time to think about those options. One of the few research-backed approaches that stands out as a way to help is to offer personalized advice.

Advisors already play an important role in assisting people to make better decisions in regards to taxes (accountants), investments (financial planners), and home purchases (real estate agents). This lecture discusses the similarly powerful role advisors can play around helping children learn. Examples presented include home visits by nurses to new parents, tutoring in reading and math, coaching, and postsecondary application and job-search assistance. These kinds of supports work best when advice is individualized, provided face-to-face, and by a trustworthy source. Thus, social connection by experienced advisors is key for successful education policy and labour market success.

About the David & Cecilia Ting BMO Lectures

The David & Cecilia Ting BMO Lectures are presented by some of the top minds and scholars in Economics, with the aim of engaging the general public on issues that pertain to economics but have a direct impact on their daily lives. The David & Cecilia Ting BMO Lecture series is an annual event that is hosted by SFU's Department of Economics in partnership with SFU Public Square and SFU Alumni Relations, and the generous sponsorship of BMO Bank of Montreal.

Thu, 10 Nov 2022


SFU Harbour Centre

Room 1400-1430 
515 W Hastings St
Vancouver, BC


Speaker and Moderator

Philip Oreopoulos

Philip Oreopoulos is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, at Berkeley and his M.A. from the University of British Columbia. He is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and Research Fellow at the Canadian Institute For Advanced Research. He has held a previous visiting appointment at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is editor at the Journal of Labor Economics.

Dr. Oreopoulos’ current work focuses on education policy, especially the application of behavioral economics to education and child development. He often examines this field by initiating and implementing large-scale field experiments, with the goal of producing convincing evidence for public policy decisions.


Krishna Pendakur | Moderator

Krishna Pendakur is Professor of Economics at Simon Fraser University, Canada. From 2007 to 2013 he was Co-Director of Metropolis British Columbia (MBC), Center of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Diversity, an interdisciplinary policy research center which connects academic researchers with policy-makers in government and NGO communities. 

Professor Pendakur’s research focuses on consumer demand econometrics, with an emphasis on the measurement of the cost-of-living, inequality, discrimination and poverty, in a variety of international contexts. In June 2022 he was awarded the Rae Prize by the Canadian Economics Association for his outstanding research record.



SFU Harbour Centre is located at 515 W. Hastings St, and is located a brief walk from Waterfront station and numerous bus stops. Bike stalls are available outside the main entrance. Nearby parking is available at 500 & 400 W. Cordova St.

There are washrooms located on all floors of the building. Accessible, private bathrooms and gender-neutral washroom stalls are available on the first floor in the east corridor. All floors within the building are serviced by elevators.

David & Cecilia Ting BMO Public Lectures

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