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Doesn't Stephen Harper have an MA in Economics?

I'd completely forgotten - you're right, he does.

But you've got to admit that it's an honest mistake - it's not as though he's made it easy to remember.

These may be two interesting examples:

Robert Bourassa might not have been an economist in the strict sense either. But he held a master degree from Oxfort in political economy as well as from Harvad in fiscal and financial law. See his bios:

http://www.assnat.qc.ca/FRA/membres/notices/b/bourr.htm

His wiki seems to be less accurate regarding his studies.

Bernard Landry also completed his law degree with another degree related to economics (economics and finance) from Université de Montréal. His bios isn't clear wether it was a graduate degree, although I thought it was.

http://www.assnat.qc.ca/fra/Membres/notices/j-l/lanb1.shtml

Of course, there has been many more lawyers than economist as prime minister in Quebec, as these two examples show (i.e.: they were both lawyers). However, they went to obtain economics degree and were known for their economic literacy. Note as well, that both men occupied academic position in economic or business department at various times.

Thanks. I was aware of those points, but I didn't know how to make them without turning it into a 'Quebec exceptionalism' post.

The story I like most about Robert Bourassa was about his standard response whenever someone insisted that he make a Bold Move on a given file (storm out of a conference, cancel an agreement, etc): "Puis le lendemain, on fait quoi?" (And what do we do the day after?) Even if he didn't have much in the way of formal training in economics, that's exactly the question that an economist would ask.

John McCallum?

Latin American countries typically have quite well regarded economists as Finance Minister or President, I think. No current examples for you, but I remember looking at bios of APEC Finance Ministers and being quite amazed by the difference between the developing countries, esp Latin Americans, which typically had Finance Ministers with economics training, and the developeds, which had at best lawyers. (NZ had a bloke with a high school education who'd been a sheep farmer, or something like that - maybe lots of practical experience, though?)

Oh, and hang on, there's Pres of Liberia: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Not a PhD, nor a contender for the 'best' if that is ranked by academic publications, but formerly an economist at the World Bank.

The following Saskatchewan Premiers have Economics degrees:

- Lorne Calvert (2001 – Present); BA, Economics; University of Regina
- Grant Devine (1982 – 1991); PhD, Agricultural Economics; Ohio State University
- Allan Blakeney (1971 – 1982); BA, Philosophy, Politics, Economics; Oxford University

I just noticed that there are *many* names that I didn't know about, including some obvious ones (John McCallum interviewed me for a job once!) that I should have mentioned.

Thanks everyone!

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