I am an economist, whose research concerns international economic policy and institutions. My main field is international trade, with development economics and public economics as secondary fields. My current interests focus on how the policies and institutions of international trade can promote or retard the process of economic development. One of my current projects studies how dictatorial regimes use international trade policy to maintain political power and stability. Another project considers how institutions that start out as supportive of economic growth may be subverted by an elite in their own interests, focusing on the European Union’s ‘free movement of persons’ as an example. A third project develops a new form of contest called a ‘parallel contest’ to study the formation of trade agreements, that highlights how large firms may drive trade liberalization while voters seek to restrain it. My research has been published in such journals as the Journal of International Economics, Journal of Public Economics, and World Bank Economic Review.
I received a BSc in Economics with International Trade and Development from the London School of Economics, and a PhD in Economics from the University of Warwick. I am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Exeter Business School. Prior to that I spent most of my career at Vanderbilt University, with briefer spells working at the Universities of Bath, Birmingham, Oxford and Warwick.
I am the founding director of a research network called InsTED. The aim of the network is to act as a focal point for researchers with interests at the intersection of Institutions, Trade, and Economic Development. Network activities focus around a website that posts discussion pieces, working papers, book reviews, and events that may be of interest to members. The network also aims to hold a workshop once a year. See http://blogs.exeter.ac.uk/insted/for further details.