I am passionate about economics as a way to improve our understanding of the world and inform public policy.
My career in economics started ten years ago in the Modelling Unit of the International Department at the Bank of Canada in 2008. I apprenticed developing DSGE models under Dirk Muir when we recalibrated, added a food and agricultural sector, and evaluated price level targeting in the Bank of Canada’s Global Economy Model (BoC-GEM). When the financial crisis went critical and Dirk left for the IMF in late 2008, my skills with BoC-GEM were repeatedly put to use. Together with my colleague Rene Lalonde, we designed recommendations for the fiscal and monetary action during the crisis, and worked on G-20 efforts to stimulate global output and rebalance the global economy. I evaluated global fiscal multipliers in BoC-GEM and collaborated with central banks around the world to compare fiscal stimulus in structural models. We also introduced a financial accelerator and interbank lending markets into BoC-GEM by mid-2009.
I received an unexpected offer to join the IMF’s Economic Modelling Unit of the Research Department as a project officer under the direction of Douglas Laxton and Ben Hunt. There I developed and applied the Global Economy Model (GEM) and the Global Integrated Monetary and Fiscal model (GIMF) which were being used to evaluate policy and inform policy analysis at the IMF. We worked closely with the OECD to evaluate and conduct the G-20 Mutual Assessment Process. A subset of my work was published including a WEO chapter, a paper on commodity-specific fiscal rules, fiscal consolidation rules in Europe, and structural reforms and fiscal policy in Europe. While at the IMF, I had the opportunity to take many short courses from leaders in economics and attend the Advanced Workshop for Central Bankers at Northwestern University.
I returned to school in 2012 to pursue graduate studies at Queen’s University. I continued to consult for the IMF during the school year and returned full-time for four months each summer. I continued my work on commodities and began the development of the Flexible System of Global Models (FSGM). This model is now a work horse being used for policy analysis at the IMF. During the summer of 2015, I undertook a project to design and introduce endogenous migration and remittances into FSGM. During the first few years of my PhD, I focused on publishing my previous working papers. I expanded my skill set in econometrics and used insights from spectrial analysis to propose a novel medium- to long-run forecasting technique. I also wrote three papers on the link between international labor migration and remittances flows with international crude oil markets.
During the fourth year of my PhD, I began work on understanding the relationship between asset income inequality and wealth inequality. While returns to wealth that persistently differ across households are necessary to explain the degree of wealth inequality, there is a lack of understanding on the degree and cause of return heterogeneity. This research agenda seeks to study return heterogeneity with similar rigor as the literature on earnings heterogeneity. My research in this area has gained considerable momentum. A summary of recent papers is available in the research section.
I currently live in Waterloo with my wife, Julia, and our two young children. I joined the Economics Department at Wilfrid Laurier University in the summer of 2019.