Ph.D.: McGill University
Forecasting, Monetary Policy, Time-Series Econometrics
Prior to joining the Economics Department at StFX in 2010, I spent 14 years as a researcher and manager at the Bank of Canada in Ottawa. In that capacity I developed some expertise in modeling the relationship between financial market movements and their impacts on the economy, and also explored the usefulness of new macroeconomic forecasting techniques and indicators. My current research focuses on the use of new high-frequency electronic payments indicators, such as aggregate debit and credit card transactions, for measuring economic activity in a more timely manner.
My work has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and published in leading international journals, such as the Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Forecasting and the Journal of International Money & Finance. I have also served on several Editorial Boards, such as those of the Canadian Journal of Economics and L’Actualité Économique. In 2020 I was invited to serve as a Guest Editor for a special issue of Canadian Public Policy on the economic impact of Covid-19.
During a prior crisis, that being the 2008-09 financial crisis, I led an internal group of Bank of Canada researchers and analysts who crafted independent monetary policy recommendations for Governor Mark Carney. Using alternative indicators and models of the economy, the resulting policy product was dubbed the Black Book, and was produced eight times per year during the crisis years.
Applying innovative techniques to solve current economic problems still motivates my work, and consequently my research is sometimes of interest to the general public. Some of my research findings have been the subject of feature media stories in the Globe and Mail and National Post (Canada), the Wall Street Journal (USA), CNN Expansión (Mexico) and Le Figaro (France). I am also sometimes asked for my views on current economic and financial developments. Recent interviews have been granted to CBC Radio and The Chronicle-Herald (Halifax), and I have also made repeated appearances on The Rick Howe Show on News 95.7 FM (Halifax).
Along with influencing my research, real-world economic problems also motivate my teaching, as I often show students how to apply classroom material to analyze current economic developments. This helps produce well-rounded, engaged and practical problem-solvers who are in high-demand in academia and beyond. The 20+ Honours students I have supervised have won numerous awards, including University Medals, a Rhodes Scholarship, several national scholarships, and even recognition for producing the top Undergraduate Economics Research Paper in Canada. My students have been placed in top graduate programs in Canada and abroad, with some being placed at the Bank of Canada straight out of StFX.
As Chair of the Economics Department from 2013 to 2021, I have been proud to witness an expansion of student interest and enrolment in Economics, an increase in the selection of Economics courses and programs, the creation of student research space, and the hiring of several world-class faculty. These outstanding students and faculty were instrumental in the department’s successful hosting of the 2017 Canadian Economics Association (CEA) conference. This event brought almost 800 delegates from 25 countries to campus, making it one of the largest academic events ever held at StFX.