Christopher Cotton is a Professor of Economics at Queen's University where he holds the Jarislowsky-Deutsch Chair in Economic & Financial Policy. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Economics and is a faculty member for the CPIA professional program and the MPA and PMPA programs within the Queen's School of Policy Studies, He is also a cross-appointed member of the Translational Medicine Graduate Faculty in the Queen's School of Medicine, where he helps supervise students working at the intersection of health and economics.

Prof. Cotton focuses on applying rigorous research methods from economics to gain insights into pressing public policy questions. He has also worked extensively on the evaluation of education and health policies and international development projects, and is a leading international expert on lobbying, political influence and campaign finance reform, as well as the funding of social sector projects and programs. His research publishes in top scientific journals such as the American Economic ReviewJournal of Public Economics, Journal of Labor Economics, and Management Science, and has included seminal papers on several topics. 

Much of Prof. Cotton's research and service encourages the incorporation of better evidence into policy decisions. He serves as the Director of the John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy, a research institute that focuses on supporting and promoting policy-relevant research at Queen's. He is also the Director of Research at Limestone Analytics, through which he regularly advises and leads evaluations on behalf of governments and NGOs. He is also one of the lead developers behind the new CPIA program at Queen's, which teaches professionals at NGOs, governments, and international development agencies how to effectively incorporate evidence and evaluation into the design and financing of their projects. He has been involved with the design and evaluation of several major international development projects involving nutrition and education and is currently overseeing the evaluation of a large Girls Education Challenge project in Zimbabwe funded by the Department for International Development UK.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, Prof. Cotton began to focus much of his research and policy efforts to better understand the economic and social costs of the pandemic. He was appointed to the Royal Society of Canada Covid-19 working group on Economic Recovery and Global Canada's Covid Strategic Choices Group. He was the co-PI on a major NSERC grant to establish the One Society Network of researchers across Canada working to study the broader impacts of Covid-19, and was the economic modeling lead on a major Canada Digital Technology Supercluster grant which brought together economic and epidemiological models to build capacity for the evaluation of future outbreaks and pandemics. 

His research has received grant funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Natrual Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canbada (NSERC), the Tri-Council New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF), Canada's Digital Technology Supercluster, the Spenser Foundation for Education Research, and others. Prof. Cotton is also an enthusiastic teacher and adviser. He advises many Ph.D. and M.A. students, and won the department's award for undergraduate teaching.  

Selected Publications

Current & Upcoming Teaching