I am a Professor in the School of Economics at the University of Cape Town. I am also a Research Associate of the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU).
My main research interests have been in the economics of tobacco control. This rather specialised area focuses on what tools are available to government to reduce tobacco use and the associated public health risk. My main research focus has been on the use of excise taxes as a mechanism for raising the retail price of cigarettes and thus decreasing the consumption of the product.
Since 2011 the research has been greatly expanded due to generous grants from the American Cancer Society and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The funding has allowed the project to allocate scholarships to Masters and PhD students, with the quid pro quo that students do their research on the economics of tobacco control. The funding has also been used to fund excise tax workshops to policy makers from various African countries and to run emerging researcher programmes to researchers from across Africa.