Trefler was born and raised in Toronto.
He completed his B.A. at the University of Toronto, his M.Phil. at Cambridge University, and his Ph.D. at UCLA. He
then returned home to teach at the University of Toronto’s Department of
Economics (1989) and, after a two-year stint at the University of
Chicago, he moved back to Toronto’s Rotman School of Management (1997).
There he is given full scope to pursue his many Canadian public policy
initiatives, including membership in the Ontario Task Force on Competitiveness,
Productivity and Economic Progress. In 2004, he was awarded the prestigious Canada
Trefler is associated with
many research organizations. In Canada, he is a Senior Research Fellow at
the remarkable Canadian Institute for Advanced Studies (CIFAR), a
research fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute and serves as an advisor to
the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity. Internationally, he
is a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research
(Cambridge, Mass.), the Centre for Policy Research (Europe), and the
International Growth Centre (London, England).
Trefler was a long-standing co-editor
at the Journal of International
Economics, the top-ranked journal in his field (2005-2014). He also served
on the Editorial Board of the American Economic Association’s Journal of Economic Literature (2010-2013).
Trefler has received all three major
awards of the Canadian Economics Association (the Harry Johnson Prize,
the John Rae Prize, and the Innis Lecture, the latter in
recognition of contributions to economics in the broadest sense). His advocacy on behalf of children
earned him the Noma McDonald Award from the
Canadian Paediatric Society. He was the 2011 Ohlin Lecturer (Stockholm),
the most internationally prestigious lecture in his core field of
international economics. He
has received major funding from SSHRC (continuously since 1993) and the
U.S. National Science Foundation.
Trefler has given countless
public lectures and seminars around the world, including Harvard,
Princeton, MIT, Stanford, Chicago, Yale, LSE and Peking University. In
Canada, he gives public lectures and keynote speeches from coast to coast.
He makes frequent media appearances both
in Canada and abroad, including a term as an invited columnist at the Globe & Mail, Canada’s largest