MacPhail, Dr. Fiona

Dr. Fiona MacPhail
BA Honours, MA (Guelph), MA (Sussex), PhD (Dalhousie) Chair of Economics Professor
Email: Phone:
  • Prince George


I am a founding faculty member of UNBC and currently a Professor of Economics, Chair of the Department of Economics, and Academic Director of the Statistics Canada-UNBC Research Data Centre.

My primary teaching areas are Labour Economics, Women and the Economy, and Poverty, Inequality and Development. In teaching economics, I strive to help students investigate contemporary issues using multiple economic perspectives and taking account of institutional and policy/regulatory context. I have worked with several students on their University Undergraduate Research Award projects on the topic of the “living wage”.

My long-standing research program centers on inequalities (particularly relating to gender), work, and public policy. Of specific interest are issues of internal migration, temporary foreign workers, unpaid care work and macroeconomics, precarious/casual work, volunteer work, and work in resource-oriented communities. These projects have been funded by SSHRC, IDRC, and Status of Women Canada.

A new research project focuses on social license and fossil fuel extraction in northern British Columbia. This project is part of the multi-institution, SSHRC-funded, Corporate Mapping Power project, led by researchers at the University of Victoria and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC. I value both quantitative and qualitative approaches in research.

I have undertaken commissioned research reports on gender and work for several organizations including the BC Fair Wages Commission, the Asian Development Bank and International Labour Organization.

I participate on several editorial/advisory boards including the Canadian Journal of Development Studies and Feminist Economics.

Research and Expertise

Gender, paid and unpaid work and public policy, poverty and inequality, social license and resource extraction.

Available to supervise graduate students
Supervises in:
  • MA International Studies
  • MA Development Economics

Selected Publications

Refereed Journal Articles

Paul Bowles and Fiona MacPhail. “Contesting Natural Resource Development in Canada: the legacies and limits of the Staples Approach.” British Journal of Canadian Studies (forthcoming).

Lan Liu, Fiona MacPhail, and Xiao-yuan Dong.2018. “Gender, Work Burden, and Mental Health:  evidence from prime-age employed men and women in China.” Feminist Economics 24 (2): 194-217.

Paul Bowles, Fiona MacPhail, and Baotai Wang. 2017. “Renminbi Appreciation and Global Value Chains in China: exploring the linkages.” Third World Quarterly 39 (4): 692-708.

Chapters in Books

Fiona MacPhail. 2017. “Gender Inequalities at Work: explanations with examples from Cambodia, the Philippines, and China.” In The Essential Guide to Critical Development Studies, edited by Henry Veltmeyer and Paul Bowles, Chapter 14. Routledge.

Fiona MacPhail. 2017. “Paid and Unpaid Work Time by Labor Force Status of Prime Age Women and Men in Canada: The Great Recession and gender inequality in work time.” In Gender and Time Use in a Global Context, edited by Rachel Connelly and Ebru Kongar, pages 85-112. Palgrave Macmillan.

Paul Bowles and Fiona MacPhail. 2016. “China and the Northern British Columbia Forest Products’ Sector: Whose Saviour?” In Globalizing Northern British Columbia: Development, Agency and Contestation in a Resource-Based Economy, edited by Paul Bowles and Gary N. Wilson, Chapter 9. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Fiona MacPhail and Paul Bowles. 2016.” Labour and the Mining ‘Boom’ in Northern British Columbia: Employment, Community and Inclusion.” In Globalizing Northern British Columbia: Development, Agency and Contestation in a Resource-Based Economy, edited by Paul Bowles and Gary N. Wilson, Chapter 10. Vancouver: UBC Press.


  • BA Honours, Economics, University of Guelph
  • MA Development Economics, University of Sussex
  • MA Rural Development, University of Guelph
  • PhD Economics, Dalhousie University