Ian completed his PhD at the University of British Columbia before working as a post-doctoral research fellow at McGill University for two years. He was hired as an Assistant Professor at Queen's in 2000, and he has been a visiting professor at Yale University, University of Colorado at Boulder, and the Vancouver School of Economics at UBC. His research focuses on North American economic history, environmental and natural resource economics, and law and economics. His papers cover diverse topics, including responses to globalization, the impact of induced technological change, natural resource-led growth, and the recognition of Indigenous rights in Canada. At Queen's Ian has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in North American and international economic history, and environmental and ecological economics.
- "The Impact of Preferential Market Access: British Imports into Canada, 1892-1903,” with Brian Varian, Canadian Journal of Economics, forthcoming.
- "Globalization and the Spread of Industrialization in Canada, 1871–1891," with Taylor Jaworski, Explorations in Economic History, October 2022, 86:4, 101466.
- "Regulating Natural Monopolies in Canada," in Regulatory Failure and Renewal: The Evolution of the Natural Monopoly Contract, by John R. Baldwin, 2022, McGill-Queen’s University Press.
- "Recognizing Indigenous Rights in Canada: Property Rights and Natural Resource Values," with Cherie Metcalf, Canadian Public Policy, March 2021, 47:1, 18-55.
- "Cliometrics and the Study of Canadian Economic History," with Frank Lewis, Handbook of Cliometrics, Vol. 2, Claude Diebolt and Michael Haupert (Eds.), 2019, Springer-Verlag.