Sébastien Breau

Sebastien Breau

Economic geography

Associate Professor in the Department of Geography

Office: Burnside Hall 417
Tel.: (514) 398-3242
Fax.: (514) 398-7437
sebastien.breau [at] mcgill.ca (E-mail)


Academic and professional background

  • PhD Geography, UCLA (2006)

  • Research Associate, Canadian Institute for Research on Regional Development (1999-2001)

  • Economist, Conference Board of Canada (1997-1999)


Research interests

At the core of my research is a drive to understand recent geographies of inequality and, in particular, how these geographies may be linked to globalization. I extend our knowledge of these concerns through theoretical and empirical research that focuses on the dynamics of firms in manufacturing industries, North American labour markets and international trade relationships.

More specifically, my research program is shaped around two key foci: (i) studying and interpreting the linkages between international trade, foreign investment and regional economic development and (ii) identifying and analyzing spatial patterns of inequality, as well as understanding what causes underlie these patterns.


Current projects

  • The geographical anatomy of income inequality in Canada.” Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Insight Grant. Principal investigator (2012-2015).

  • Croissance et inégalités : la distribution des revenus dans le système urbain canadien.” Fonds québécois de recherche sur la société et la culture, Établissement de nouveaux professeurs-chercheurs. Principal investigator (2011-2014).


Some recent publications

Breau, S., D. Kogler and K. C. Bolton (in press) On the relationship between innovation and wage inequality: New evidence from Canadian cities. Economic Geography.

Jacquemond, M. and S. Breau, S. (in press) A spatial analysis of precarious forms of employment in France. Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie.

Breau, S. (2014) The Occupy movement and the top 1% in Canada. Antipode. 46(1): 13-33.

Breau, S. and J. Essletzbichler (2013) Contesting inequality. Environment and Planning A. 45(8): 1775-1784.