Michael studied at the London School of Economics. Since 1989 he has been Pinhas Sapir Professor of Economics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Prior to that, he held academic appointments at the London Business School and City University, and professional appointments at the World Bank and the UK Treasury. He has consulted widely but particularly with public sector organizations.
His research interests include applied econometrics in the areas of labour, macroeconomics and energy. He currently teaches first degree courses in macroeconomics and econometrics, and a postgraduate course in the econometric analysis of time series. He has written 7 books on topics including macroeconomics, the world economy and economic development, as well as 100 refereed journal articles. One of his earliest papers was on the economics of corruption (World Development, 1976).