Professor Lee received his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in 1972. He has had full-time tenured faculty appointments at the University of Colorado, Virginia Tech University, George Mason University, the University of Georgia where he was the Ramsey Professor of Economics and Private Enterprise from 1985-2008. He was the William J. O’Neil Professor of Global Markets and Freedom at Southern Methodist University in Dallas from 2008-2014 and remains affiliated with the O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom as a Senior Fellow.
His research has covered a variety of areas including the economics of the environment and natural resources, the economics of public choice, public finance, and labor economics. Professor Lee has published 162 articles in refereed journals, 289 articles and commentaries in magazines and newspapers, 52 chapters in books, 38 book reviews, 9 monographs, and co-authored 14 books, and been the contributing editor of 5 more. He has lectured at universities and conferences throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Central America, South America, Asia, and Africa. He was president of the Association of Private Enterprise Education for 1994-95 and president of the Southern Economic Association from 1997-98.