Christopher Cotton
Professor and Jarislowsky-Deutsch Chair in Economic & Financial Policy

Queen’s University
cotton@econ.queensu.ca

I am a Professor in the Department of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (primary appointment). I am also a cross-appointed Professor in both the Queen’s School of Policy Studies and the Translational Medicine Graduate Program in the Queen’s School of Medicine. I serve as the Director of the John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy (JDI) at Queen’s, Co-Director of the One Society Network for infectious disease research, and Director of Research at Limestone Analytics.

Much of my research focuses on collecting and applying better evidence across a variety of environments, including education, health, development, business strategy, and politics. I use field and lab experiments, game theory, and empirical analysis in my work.

Research Updates

Recent Policy & Outreach

  • Director, John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy at Queen’s University, which supports policy-relevant academic research, and builds connections between researchers and policymakers
  • Director of Research, Limestone Analytics, a consulting firm, which helps clients assess the feasibility, financing and impact of their projects, programs and policies as they work towards advancing Sustainable Development Goals. I am a co-owner and have helped build the firm since 2017. Its client list includes some of the world’s leading NGOs, foundations & governments
  • Co-Director, of the NSERC funded One Society Network, building connections between economists, epidemiologists and public health officials.
  • Member of the Royal Society of Canada COVID-19 working group on economic recovery
  • Economics Lead for Global Canada’s COVID Strategic Choices Group, which brought together leading academics, policymakers, and business leaders to compare economic and health costs and benefits of alternative COVID strategies and recommend policy including the “Canadian Shield” proposal
  • Economics Lead for the Looking Glass project, funded under a major grant from Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster to form a partnership between academics and industry to build a COVID projection tool combining economics & epidemiological modeling ($2.2m)
  • Lead evaluator for the IGATE-T Girls’ Education Challenge project in Zimbabwe funded by World Vision & the UK Govt (midline report is here)
  • STUDIO Model Economic Projections: Co-authored numerous policy briefs, reports, and dashboards comparing economic costs under alternative policy strategies for provincial, federal & international policymakers
  • Numerous media appearances in print, radio and television regarding the economic impact of COVID-19

Teaching & Advising

  • Ph.D. student on the job market: I have an outstanding Ph.D. student on the market this year in the field of international development and social sector program evaluation. Ardyn Nordstrom runs major development evaluations and uses machine learning, text mining, and remote sensing methods to develop better outcome measures.
  • Professional Program: co-developer and professor for the Certified Professional Impact Analyst program at Queen’s, which teaches professionals from government and the social sector how to make use of evidence in the planning, financing, and evaluation of programs and policies
  • MPA & PMPA Program: Led the redesign of the core economics courses for the MPA & PMPA programs in the Queen’s School of Policy Studies. Focus is on the practical use of economics tools to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of policies and programs. Currently co-instructor for these courses.
  • Cross-appointments: I recently joined both the Queen’s School of Policy Studies and the Queen’s School of Medicine’s Translational Medicine Graduate Program as a cross-appointment Professor.
  • New Postdocs: I’ve taken on two new post-docs who will be at Queen’s from 2020-2023. Md Moshi Ul Alam works on labor, public and development. Frederic Tremblay works on macro and development.
  • USAID Courses: Led team to develop a new course for USAID education staff on the financing of education systems and programs, including public financial management, private sector engagement, and innovative finance. 2019-2021