My fundamental research interest is in market interventions particularly what public benefits these provide and whether such benefits exceed the cost to the public.
My last 14 years have been spent largely on empirical research into the economics of granting patent monopolies. I have also done some work on other forms of "intellectual property", mainly geographical indications, copyright and trademarks. This work has resulted in a series of conference papers, some articles and a book focusing on the legal rules which encourage the grant of patents for things most people would consider uninventive. I have also made submissions to a number of government enquiries on these topics.
This academic work comes after a period of nearly 20 years in the Australian Public Service, where I advised on micro-economic reform in the transport and communications sectors and undertook economic research into innovation and small business. I was also responsible for evaluating government programs assisting industry.
My earlier qualifications include a PhD in Demography from Brown University (1975); a Master's in Human Rights (Essex and Padua, 2001); and honours economics from the University of Cambridge (1969). I have a PhD (public policy) from the ANU, 2009.