Research Talks

Societal health impacts of rising inflation and interest rates

Tuesday, December 5 | 6-8 p.m.

Apollo Cinema, 141 Ontario Street North, Kitchener, ON

You’re invited to Research Talks, a public event and panel discussion featuring guest speakers Jean-Paul Lam and Ellen MacEachen - University of Waterloo and Joe Mancini from The Working Centre.

Our three panelists will speak about the societal consequences of inflation/bank rate hikes, particularly for health.

Jean-Paul Lam

Jean-Paul Lam, PhD | Associate Professor, Department of Economics, University of Waterloo

Exploring inflation, central bank communications and the relationship between business cycles and health outcomes

Jean-Paul Lam is an Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. His career began at the Bank of Canada in 2000 as an economist, where he rose to Principal Researcher and Assistant Chief Economist before transitioning to academia in 2005.

Jean-Paul's research has been primarily focused on understanding the role of central banks in influencing and managing inflation,  investigating the relationship between mortality and business cycles, and the efficiency of the wholesale payment system using AI. His work on these topics has been published in several high-quality academic journals. 

He's also a special advisor at GoodLabs Studio, a software engineering AI company, leading projects like a pandemic-preventing syndrome anomaly detection system and optimizing liquidity in payment systems. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, a prominent research institute in Europe and Canada.

Jean-Paul regularly contributes to media outlets on inflation, macroeconomics, and digital currencies, including the Globe and Mail, CBC, and Reuters.

Jean-Paul will speak about inflation, its causes and consequences, the role of central bank communications and credibility in relation to inflation and the interplay between the business cycle and health outcomes, focusing mainly on mortality rates. 

Ellen MacEachen

Ellen MacEachen, PhD | Professor; Director, School of Public Health Sciences, University of Waterloo

The consequences of higher costs for low wage workers

Ellen MacEachen's research examines the design and performance of work and health systems to identify how they can be improved and adapted to fast changing economic, social and technological environments of our global economy.

She is particularly interested in international work disability policy and the health risks and opportunities of new forms of work (such as “sharing economy” gigs). Dr. MacEachen specialises in qualitative and evaluation research methods and my research is informed by a sociological lens, which means that her studies are sensitive to complex interrelationships between individuals and broader contexts. 

Joe Mancini

Joe Mancini, LLD '19 | Director, The Working Centre

The social impact of unaffordable housing

Joe Mancini and his wife Stephanie established The Working Centre in the spring of 1982 as they were completing university. They made a long-term commitment to develop a community-based response to unemployment and poverty. Rooted in downtown Kitchener, the project areas of The Working Centre serve well over 1000 people each day, including employment and financial problem solving, meal production and distribution, St. John’s Kitchen and outreach, affordable and supportive housing, emergency shelters, and social enterprises. The 30 projects of The Working Centre operate out of 14 commercial buildings and multiplex houses.

Joe and Stephanie have been widely recognized for the creation of The Working Centre including the Benemerenti Medal from Pope Francis, the Order of Canada, and Honourary Doctorates from the University of Waterloo.

Joe will speak about the financialization of housing, the cost of rental housing, the growing number of homeless due to higher rent and how this growing reality affects health and wider social conditions.

On November 9th, St. Jerome’s University welcomed the Mancini’s back to campus as part of the Lectures in Catholic Experience series to share their reflections on the roots of The Working Centre and the philosophical principles that ground this work. Read the story on Waterloo News.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided.

Research Talks is supported by the Research Support Fund.

View webcasts and presentation slides of previous Research Talks: 

Illustration of a city scape


Sustainable Urban Environments, with guest panelist:

Amelia Clarke: Reaching net-zero: Climate mitigation at the city scale  

Matthew Day: Energy in the built environment

Mohamad T. Araji and Alexander Tedesco

March 28, 2023

Digital image of currency exchange rates in a store front window with people walking by on the sidewalk

Societal health impacts of rising inflation and interest rates, with guest panelists:

Jean-Paul Lam, Faculty of Arts, University of Waterloo - Exploring inflation, central bank communications and the relationship between business cycles and health outcomes

Ellen MacEachen, Faculty of Health, University of Waterloo - The consequences of higher costs for low wage workers

Joe Mancini, Director, The Working Centre - The social impact of unaffordable housing

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Person holding a box of food

Event image gallery:


Changing health disparities: Affording people in our community fair and equitable opportunities to be healthy, with guest speakers:

Leia Minaker - Social determinants of health: The research [PDF]

Ashnoor Rahim - Impact of the social determinants of health on the health care system [PDF]

Nnenna Ike - Changing health Disparities [PDF]

October 25, 2022

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Images of black men and women
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Banner of the June 17 Research Talks event
Banner of May 20 Research Talks Event