Lesch, Matthew



Email Address



Canadian Government


Public Policy


Linda White

Lesch, Matthew


Living in Harmony? The Politics of Consumption Tax Reform in Canada


Matthew Lesch is a doctoral candidate specializing in the study of Canadian politics and public policy. He holds a Masters degree in Political Science from the University of British Columbia (2009) and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Western University (2008).

Matthew is broadly interested in the role of cognition in political decision making. Specifically, his dissertation research seeks to illuminate the sets of conditions in which elected governments and voters come to support policies that impose highly visible, diffuse and short-term costs. To understand elite decision making, his research examines variation in the capacity of Canadian provincial governments to implement different kinds of consumption taxes. His project also uses experimental methods to test the relative malleability of mass policy attitudes towards tax.

During his doctoral studies, Matthew has also worked with an interdisciplinary research team at the School of Environment. His research at the School has involved an examination of how federalism and intergovernmental relations influence Canada’s ability to transition toward a low-carbon economy.


Macdonald, Douglas and Matthew Lesch. 2013. “Competing Visions and Inequitable Costs: the National Energy Strategy and Regional Distributive Conflicts.” Journal of Environmental Law and Practice 25: 1-18.

Lesch, Matthew and Douglas Macdonald. 2015. ”Distributive Conflicts Respecting Interprovincial Electricity Transport”. Journal of Canadian Studies. 49(3): 1-31.

Research Interests

Public policy, political psychology and decision-making, policy learning and scientific expertise, tax policy, instrument choice and policy design, experimental methods and framing effects.

Previous Degrees

MA (University of British Columbia), BA(Hons.) (University of Western Ontario

Teaching Experience

Course Instructor, Comparative Public Policy (POL 317)