Alicia Planincic

Alicia Planincic head shot

Alicia Planincic (Howrey) graduated with a BA in Economics from Miami in 2011 and later received her MAT in 2016 from the  University of Georgia. She currently is an Economist at the Business Council of Alberta. She is also a former Economics Advisory Board member.

  • Has COVID affected your every day work life? If so, how? Our goal is to improve the economic and social prosperity of Alberta and Canada, so our work has shifted drastically to advocate for supportive policies to protect individuals and businesses, while also keeping an eye on and working toward longer-term objectives such as creating a sustainable revenue model for the province and building a policy environment which supports economic growth and emissions reduction. Logistically, it has also meant a shift from always in the office (previously, we never worked from home) to fully working from home. It has also meant that even for meetings with federal government ministers, which previously would have involved travel to take place in person, they are done via Zoom.
  • What are some ways this new way of life has benefited the way you look at your daily work operations? I thinkit has made me realize that no one is 'too far away' to reach out to meet with so, in a sense, it feels like everyone - near or far - is just a Zoom call away which has encouraged a broadening of my network. It is also great to be able to go on a short run or walk as a mid-day boost. Honestly, though, I do find fully working from home to be challenging some days mentally. When you love the people, you work with, it's just great to be together in person, and that's what I look forward to the most. 
  • Has doing more virtual meetings, etc, shown to be more beneficial to how you can be productive in your daily activities? I think we've found them to be effective and to 'get the job done' but I think we also miss the spontaneous conversations which generate great ideas and the general camaraderie of being in an office together.  
  • Once COVID has slowed down do you think this will affect your future way of continuing to do your work? I think it is likely that we will see more flexibility with occasionally working from home which is great but, generally, I think things will resume to the way they were. I do see a continuation of more virtual meetings with organizations and governmental offices which are a long commute which, overall, will likely mean greater connection. 
  • Has having an Eco degree benefited you during this time? Honestly, it is the primary lens through which I view most of the challenges and policy responses of COVID. I have especially found behavioral economics to be so apt. It has also been revealing of the limitations of economic data (long time lag, distortions within measures like GDP, CPI) and the evolution of our understanding of macroeconomics and monetary policy (wow, have things changed just in 10 years!). I love the way that the discipline is always evolving as we learn more through more experience/observations - as well as an increasing diversity of demographics and perspectives within the discipline. Twitter has actually been wonderful in this regard as a way to get a sense for a range of viewpoints.