Harcourt was awarded a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) from the University of Adelaide, and a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Minnesota, and also completed the Trade Union Program at Harvard Law School. He was the Chief Economist of Austrade (the Australian Trade Commission) until 2011, and earlier worked for the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Australian Industrial Relations Commission and the Reserve Bank of Australia.
Harcourt teaches International Business at the UNSW Business School, in the AGSM MBA programme in Asia and Latin America with a focus on China, India, ASEAN, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and other emerging markets. Tim is a Visiting Professor at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica (PUC) in Chile. He also writes for a number of major publications including The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Business Review Weekly, The Australian, The Advertiser, The Herald Sun, The West Australian, The Courier Mail, The OECD Observer, The Globalist, The National Times, The Drum, The Conversation, The Economic Times and various websites and blogs.
- The Airport Economist (2008). Allen & Unwin, ISBN 978-1-74175-512-1
- Going the Distance: Essays on Australia and the Global Economy: 2004-2008 (2008). Australian Trade Commission
- Beyond Our Shores: Essays on Australia and the Global Economy (2005). Australian Trade Commission, ISBN 0-95807-413-5
- Lauren Novak (10 May 2012). "Survey shows expats shunning SA as Premier Jay Weatherill demands new state image". The Advertiser.
- "An economist for the people", Gareth Hutchens, The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 December 2011.
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