Dr. Rob Gillezeau

Dr. Rob Gillezeau
Assistant Professor

On leave

Office: BEC 374

PhD (U of M)

Area of expertise

Economic history, labour economics

Rob Gillezeau joined the Department of Economics at the start of 2016. Prior to joining the department, he served as the Chief Economist in the Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition in Ottawa. He was on leave from 2017 until 2019, serving as the senior aide to the Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier of British Columbia.  He received his MA and PhD from the University of Michigan.

Rob's research is primarily divided into two broad areas: the economic history of the Indigenous peoples of North America and racialized protest and police killings of civilians. His research in Indigenous economic history has investigated the impact of the near extermination of the bison on long-run outcomes, the economic impacts of historical treaty-making, and measuring wellbeing in Indigenous communities using satellite night light data. His research on protest and policing has investigated the interaction of social programs and uprisings and the causes of disproportionate killings of African American civilians by law enforcement in the United States. Along with Dr. Jamein Cunningham from the University of Memphis, he leads the Racial Uprisings Lab at the University of Victoria, which studies the intersection of police killings of civilians, uprisings, and institutions. Their work on policing has been featured in he Washington Post, the New Yorker, and NPR.

​Rob is cross-listed with the School of Public Administration, a fellow at the Broadbent Institute, and a co-founder of the Canadian Economics Association's Indigenous Economics Study Group (IESG). 


  •  Economic history
  •  Indigenous economics
  •  Labour Economics
  •  Public Policy


  • ECON 410A, Problems of Canadian Microeconomic Policy​
  • ECON 327, Economic History of North America

Selected publications

  • Gillezeau, R. and Cunningham, J.P., 2019. "Don’t Shoot! The Impact of Historical African American Protest on Police Killings of Civilians," Journal of Quantitative Criminology.
  • Gillezeau, R. and Cunningham, J.P., 2018. "Racial Differences in Police Use of Force: Evidence from the 1960s Civil Disturbances," AEA Papers and Proceedings, 108.
  • Gilleazeau, R. and Feir, D., 2018. "Return to the Homeland? The Impact of the Great Recession on Employment Outcomes and Labour Mobility for Native Americans," Journal of Economics, Race, and Policy, 1-15.
  • Gillezeau, R. and Cunningham, J.P., 2018. "The Effects of the Neighbourhood Legal Services Program on Riots and the Wealth of African Americans," Russell Sage Foundation.  

Journal Articles

  • Expenditures, Efficiency, and Distribution: Advice for the 43rd Canadian Parliament, Canadian Tax Journal, March 2020, with Trevor Tombe
  • Don’t Shoot! The Impact of Historical African American Protest on Police Killings of Civilians, Journal of Quantitative Criminology, December 2019, with Jamein Cunningham 
  • A Ferguson Effect, the Drug Epidemic, Both, or Neither? Explaining the 2015 and 2016 U.S. Homicide Rises by Race and Ethnicity, Homicide Studies, May 2019, vol. 23, No: 3: Pages 285-313 with Jamein Cunningham and Shytierra Gaston.

Other Publications

  • Building British Columbia’s Recovery Together: Proposals for a Just Recovery, with Maria Dobrinskaya, Alex Himelfarb, and Jamison Steeve, Broadbent Institute, 2020. 

  • Recommendations for Short Run Municipal Policy Responses to COVID-19, with Gillian Petit and Lindsay Tedds, Policy Options, 2020.
  • Recommendations for Immediate Provincial Policy Responses to COVID19, with Gillian Petit and Lindsay Tedds, C.D. Howe Institute, 2020.