The Spur Questionnaire: Robert Oxoby

Robert Oxoby
Robert Oxoby

Robert Oxoby is a Professor of Economics, a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and the IZA Institute for Labor Research, and the Faculty of Arts’ Associate Dean of Research at the University of Calgary. He’ll be participating in our panel The Scarcity Trap.

Tell us about your participation in the 2015 Spur Festival. 
I’m fortunate to be a panel with Eldar Shafir, a psychologist who I admire, respect, and enjoy hanging out with.

What do you hope Spur Festival attendees will take away from your session?
I hope people will have a different understanding of what are the challenges that accompany living in poverty. I believe that this type of understanding will reshape the way we think of the problem of poverty and how we address poverty issues through policies and our own actions.

What are you most looking forward to about the Spur Festival?
Hanging out with Eldar and meeting some of the attendees.

What is the one item you never leave home without?
My notebook.

Which book is currently on your nightstand?
Two books: The Geometry of Musical Rhythm (G. Toussaint) and The Bone Clocks (D. Mitchell)

In the last year, what is the longest you have gone unplugged? No internet, no cell phone, etc.
A month.

Who was the last person you texted?
My wife.

The animated show The Jetsons was set in 2062. Is there anything from their futuristic world that wish were a current reality
That clothing with the pointy shoulders and the angular hats. I always though the true sign of the future arriving would be people dressing like the Jetsons or Earth Wind and Fire.

How do you prefer to communicate with colleagues: by phone, email, text or in person? How do you prefer to communicate with friends?
With colleagues, by email. (Not at all isn’t an option is it?) With friends, in person or by phone.

What do you love the most about living in Calgary?
The sense of community that we’ve made for ourselves here.

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