I believe that innovation in economics stems from how the discipline can connect with other human sciences and the policy community in a way that, before now, hasn’t been achievable. It’s a driving factor in my wanting to be a part of the interdisciplinary research approach that the Life Course Centre is spearheading.

Colm Harmon is Professor and Head of School at the School of Economics at the University of Sydney. Before moving to Australia from his native Ireland in 2012, Colm was Director of University College Dublin’s Geary Institute. He has held visiting appointments at Princeton University, the University of Chicago, University College London and the University of Warwick. His work profile has been in the field of human capital, in particular the economics of education.

The key findings of his most notable work relate to modelling education returns as a causal relationship – his research focused on providing innovative ways to purge this problem using ‘natural’ or quasi-experiments. He has published on issues of school quality, intergenerational transmission of education and earnings, and, more recently, on early education intervention. Colm will be involved in a number of the Centre’s research projects.

Key Information


Chief Investigator


BA, MA in Economics, University College Dublin

PhD (University of Keele)

University Affiliation:

University of Sydney

Primary Organization:

The University of Sydney