My academic career was always based at Queen's, but included breaks to teach at University of Chicago and University of Essex, and to take research posts at London School of Economics, University College London, Harvard Insititute for International Development (HIID) and Harvard Law School. My research has covered a range of areas in "applied welfare economics" including trade, public economics and corruption. Fundamental academic contributions in fiscal decentralization, cost-benefit analysis and corruption have been widely quoted and reprinted.
In 1983 I took temporary leave to became an advisor and later resident director of an HIID project in Indonesia. Funded by the Government of Indonesia, we worked with the senior economic ministers in developing and implementing a far-reaching policy reform program. The ministers were among the finest anywhere. Working with them gave me a whole new education in economics, politics and policy. What began as a one year experiment turned into 3 years of residency and a further 12 years with this and other HIID projects. After returning to Queen's I directed CIDA-funded collaboration programs with new research institutes in Malaysia (MIER) and Thailand (TDRI).
I continued to work in both Asia and Africa on issues ranging from tax and fiscal reform to macroeconomic management, trade policy and corruption. In Asia I worked in almost all ASEAN countries, including the newer members, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, and spent small amounts of time in China and Nepal. My focus then shifted to Africa where I worked in Kenya and Ghana but spent most of my time in southern Africa, including all Southern African Customs Union (SACU) countries, and many of the members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
In 2002 I took early retirement from Queen's and moved to Bangkok. Thailand became my base for research, writing and travel. My work continued to have a large focus on training and mentoring in policy analysis.