After studying Japanese in Tokyo for two years, he studied economics at the University of Canterbury and the University of British Columbia. He joined the School in 1994 and served as Head of School for five years, 2008-2012. He is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, Fellow of the Society for Economic Measurement, and a Member of the NBER-affiliated U.S. Conference on Research on Income and Wealth. He is an elected member of the Australasian Standing Committee of the Econometric Society.
In 2016 he was appointed as an Advisor to the Australian Treasury, and in 2015 he was elected as a member of the Policy and Advocacy Committee of the Academy of the Social Sciences, continuing a career-long commitment to research-led public policy engagement.
He chaired the 16th Series Consumer Price Index Review Advisory Group in 2009-2010, and he is a member of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Methodology Advisory Committee and Productivity Measurement Reference Group. He was a member of the Expert Working Group of the Australian Council of Learned Academies on productivity 2012-2014 that reported to the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council. Placing an emphasis on policy-relevant multidisciplinary research, he has organised workshops and forums on diverse topics, including economic measurement, Big Data and the Social Sciences, salinity mitigation, public sector efficiency and real estate, which have brought together academics from a broad range of disciplines to interact with representatives of industry and government. He has run training workshops for the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Treasury, and has provided contracted expert opinion for agencies such as the Department of Education and Training, Bureau of Communications Research, Urban Taskforce, Productivity Commission, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the Swiss National Bank, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics, the Asian Development Bank, and the New Zealand Treasury.
He has been awarded six ARC Linkage grants and four ARC Discovery grants, totalling more than $4 million.