My decision to become a university academic with a focus on research started with my undergraduate degree in Economics taken at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland in the 1960s, where I became interested in 18th Century economics. I then gained a scholarship to undertake a Master of Philosophy in 18th Century Economics on the topic of Adam Smith and the Scottish Historicists at Leicester University under the supervision of the late Professor Ronald Meek. He was a famous scholar of classical economics and a former Marxian economist who had been a pupil of Pierro Sraffa and Maurice Dobb at the University of Cambridge.
A stint as a research assistant at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), led to my work with Professor Sig Prais on a project investigating the evolution of large firms in the UK. Professor Prais is a famous industrial economist and has over 1100 citations of his work on ISI. I started working on financial economics, in particular the financing of merger activity. I subsequently moved to the University of Edinburgh where I specialised in financial economics. There, I engaged in joint research with Professor W.D. Reekie, who was the founding editor of the Journal Managerial and Decision Economics and subsequently Dean of the Faculty of Commerce at the University of Witwatersrand.
A move to the University of Western Australia in 1986, led me to undertake a PhD in finance with Professor Philip Brown. In 1968, he co-authored a paper with Ray Ball called, "An Empirical Evaluation of Accounting Income Numbers," published in the Journal of Accounting Research which subsequently won the American Accounting Association's inaugural award for seminal contributions to the accounting literature. More recently, I have engaged in some joint financial economics research with Professor Michael McAleer. He is currently ranked 205 in rankings data for the 99,800 academics in Economics & Business on the Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Knowledge database.
The people mentioned above have/had enormous talent, yet they work incredibly hard. This keeps me interested and inspired. They have all contributed to my decision to work on research topics in financial economics and financial econometrics.