After finishing his Ph.D. in economics at Leuven, in Belgium, in 1970, he became professor at the Department of Economics of the Université de Montréal. Throughout his career, he published many articles in peer-reviewed journals, mainly in the field of labor economics. From 1987 to 1993, he served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the Université de Montréal. He served as Rector of the university from 1998 until 2005.
In 2005, he was among the twelve signatories of the political manifesto Pour un Québec lucide.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Member of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the National Order of Quebec, and recipient of the Quebec Award for Science (Prix Armand-Frappier). He is also an active Fellow at the CIRANO, a Montréal-based think tank in economics and public policy.
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