Joel Blit

Associate Professor
blit in front of hagey hall
Office: HH 105

CV: Joel Blit

Website: Joel Blit

BASc Engineering Science (Toronto); MASc Computer Engineering (Waterloo); MBA (INSEAD); MA Economics (Western); PhD Economics (Toronto)

Areas of specialization: Economics of Innovation, Technology Clusters, Intellectual Property, Automation and the Future of Work, Skilled Immigration, International Trade

Research interests

Joel’s main research interests are in the economics of innovation and innovation policy. He studies the role that multi-location firms play in promoting the flow of knowledge across geographical space, the effect that intellectual property rights (patents) have on innovation, and whether skilled immigration can be leveraged to foster innovation. His most recent research focuses on AI and economics. His most recent work, examining how COVID-19 is transforming the economy through automation and reallocation, featured in numerous media outlets including The Economist, The Globe and Mail, and the CBC.

Joel has received numerous research grants from agencies such as SSHRC, NBER, CIBER, INET, CIGI, the UW AI Institute.


Prior to joining Waterloo, Joel was an Assistant Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the George Washington University. He has also been a business consultant to financial services firms in Asia, Australia, and North America. His consulting engagements included reorganizing the activities of a major bank and formulating the strategy for a $US 100M startup.

Professor Blit regularly advises policymakers on innovation policy. As part of an expert roundtable, he advised the Minister of Foreign Affairs on Canada’s optimal position on intellectual property for USMCA trade negotiations. On the topic of automation and the future of work, he has briefed the G7 Representatives and has been an invited speaker at a number of venues including the OECD Global Forum on Productivity.

Selected Publications and Working Papers

Please see website for an updated list.