Q. Where did you go to university?
A. BA from UBC, MA from McMaster and PhD from University of Toronto
Q. What area of study in economics do you specialize in?
A. Labor economics and Industrial Relations, Personnel, and Public Econ/Public Policy
Q. What classes do you teach here at the university?
A. Econ 221 (Statistics for Economics)
Q. Do you have any special or interesting talents?
A. Long-distance Running; Skiing; Barista
Q. Can you tell us a little something about your work experience (i.e. where did you work, what did you work on etc..)
A. First job — economist with the federal government (HRDC as it was called back then)
Second job — economist in consulting with PriceWaterhouseCoopers
First academic job post PhD — Policy School at Queen’s (6 years)
Second academic job — Cornell University in the US (5 years)
now at UW
Consulting experience — wide variety of statistical analysis as an expert witness including all of the major Charter challenges against the Harper government in industrial relations (Canada Post, Air Canada, etc); compensation consulting, especially pay equity including lawsuits; disability lawsuits.
Q. Any piece of advice you would like to give to current economics students?
A. If you’re interested in a job as an economist work on your empirical skills and take the data seriously. It’s a big data world out there and it will shock you at how poor many professionals’ data analysis skill sets are.
Q. Since you recently moved to teaching at the University of Waterloo, how are you finding the experience? Anything different you noted about Waterloo?
A. Simply far too early to say. But, every minor detail about academia differs substantially from university to university (IT!) so there are a lot of hiccups when you move institutions.