Professor of Economics, The Open University

I have held fellowships in Oxford and Cambridge Universities and am currently a Professor at the Open University, Research Associate at Oxford University and the London School of Economics.

My work stems from long standing interests in the foundations of decision sciences, used to be primarily normative, and have argued for the expansion of decision theory beyond older conceptions of rational choice, something that has, broadly speaking, taken place both in economics and philosophy. In recent years, I have been interested in the operationalisation of Sen’s capabilities approach to welfare economics and its use in debates about the measurement of progress.

Earlier work has been published in a variety of leading economics journals including The Economic Journal, Theory and Decision, Oxford Economic Papers, Economica, Journal of Health Economics, Annals of Operations Research and much of it is collected in my monograph Foundations of Rational Choice Under Risk published by Oxford University Press in 1993 (with reprints in 1995 and 2002). In addition, I have just edited and contributed to the Oxford University Press Handbook of Rational and Social Choice with Professor Prasanta Pattanaik (Riverside, University of California, USA) and Professor Clemens Puppe (Karlsruhe University, Germany) to be published in 2008. Work on capabilities and wellbeing is summarised in greater detail on the capabilities measurement project website.

I have also been interested in the interaction these theories and their development in policy contexts or experimental and survey based work. This work has been published in a wide variety of scientific journals including Science, Journal of Theoretical Politics, British Journal of Management, Social Theory and Practice, Social Indicators Research, Health Care Analysis and the Journal of Economic Psychology.

Having taught research methods at graduate level for five years and acted as a consultant researcher on economic statistics to the OECD and NAO my most recent work brings a these interests together with interests in the foundations of social choice. With about 25 colleagues, at the latest count, I have sought to demonstrate the extent to which the measurement of human capabilities is feasible along multiple dimensions and explore the techniques that can be applied to such measurements. This work has resulted in approximately a dozen publications and has been incorporated into research projects in Oxford, Glasgow and Buenos Aires.


  • –present
    Professor of Economics, The Open University