Richard M. Bird is Professor Emeritus of Economics, Rotman School of Management, and Senior Fellow of the Institute for Municipal Governance and Finance, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. He is also Distinguished Visiting Professor, Andrew Young School of Public Policy at Georgia State University in Atlanta, an Adjunct Professor of the Australian School of Taxation and Business Law of the University of New South Wales, Australia, and a Research Fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute (Toronto). He did his undergraduate work in Canada (Dalhousie University) and his graduate work in the United States (Columbia University) and the United Kingdom (London School of Economics), receiving his Ph.D. from Columbia and teaching at Harvard for a number of years before joining the University of Toronto, first in the Economics Department and then in Business Economics at the Rotman School. In addition, he spent several years with the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF, and has been at various times a visiting professor in the United States, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan, and India as well as a frequent consultant to the World Bank and other national and international organizations.
He has published a number of books and many articles on tax and public finance issues, with special emphasis on the fiscal problems of developing countries. His most recent book is Fiscal Decentralization and Local Finance in Developing Countries (Elgar, 2018). He has also written on The VAT in Developing and Transitional Countries (paperback edition, Cambridge University Press, 2011) and A Tale of Two Taxes: Property Tax Reform in Ontario (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Cambridge MA, 2012). His current work includes several studies of various aspects of fiscal decentralization in developing countries, two papers on taxation and inequality in the US and Canada and in Latin America, a review of the literature on measuring urban fiscal health, and studies on global taxation and measuring VAT compliance gaps. He is also a member of the Central Advisory Group of the International Centre for Tax and Development at the Institute for Development Studies. He was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1978, awarded the Daniel M. Holland Award for outstanding contributions to the study and practice of public finance by the National Tax Association in 2006, and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding achievements by the Canadian Tax Foundation in 2013. Furthermore, in 2017 Richard received the CTF Lifetime Contribution Award from the Canadian Tax Foundation.