I have an MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford, a D Phil in Economics from the University of York, and a Postgraduate Certificate of Education from the University of Oxford.
Economic adviser to the Royal Commission on the Constitution, 1971-72; Economics master, Winchester College, 1972-78 (head of department from 1975); Lecturer in economics, University of Stirling, 1978-87; Economic adviser to the Department of the Environment in London, 1987-88; Senior lecturer in economics, University of Stirling, 1987-2002; Personal chair in Public Economics, University of Stirling, 2002-09; Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Stirling, since 2009.
Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra, 1982 and 1992; Consultant to the OECD; Consultant to the World Bank; Consultant to the Council of Europe.
I taught on many core undergraduate modules in economics, including first year microeconomics and macroeconomics, second year macroeconomics, and third year microeconomics. I also taught money and banking, public sector economics, international trade theory and economic policy. I taught on a number of postgraduate programmes and was Director of the MSc in Banking and Finance from 2001-09. I also taught a half-module on the Scottish architect Robert Adam.
In 2018 I was invited to meetings at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government in London, advising about local government finance reform in England. On behalf of the OECD, I have advised governments and officials in Albania, Bulgaria, the former Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Portugal, the former Soviet Union, and the former Yugoslavia, and I have written numerous reports and contributed to several training programmes. On behalf of the World Bank, I have advised governments and officials in Romania and the People’s Republic of China, and I was part of a team recommending the terms of a large loan to Kazakhstan. On behalf of the Council of Europe, I have given advice to members of the Russian parliament, and I have written a report. I have also been consulted by politicians and officials of the governments of Australia, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales, and the UK. On behalf of the OECD, I participated in short training programmes for officials from countries in transition. These courses were provided in Budapest (Hungary), Copenhagen (Denmark), Ankara (Turkey), Kiev (Ukraine) and Vienna (Austria).
There was a feature article about my work, headed 'A man for all seasons', in the Times Higher Education Supplement 23 September 2005.
Other University activities
I conducted the Stirling University Choir from 1990 to 2009. We had around 80 members and performed one concert each semester in Dunblane Cathedral with professional soloists and instrumentalists. Also, I have written two books on the 18th century Scottish architects Robert and James Adam, initially at the request of the then Stirling University Press and published in association with the University.