Marc Lavoie was born in 1954 in Ottawa, Canada. His father was an economist who worked as a civil servant for the Canadian government while his mother was an actress.
Marc studied at the elementary level in the public school system in Hull, Québec, and in Geneva, Switzerland. Because his father worked on the GATT agreement and then at the Canadian Embassy in Paris, he did his high school at the Institut Florimont in Geneva and at the École Saint-Jean-de-Passy in Paris, France, where he got the French Baccalauréat, D section, with mention Bien. He then went to Carleton University, where he was introduced to post-Keynesian economics by T.K. Rymes and where he obtained the equivalence of a three-year degree in Mathematics and a First-class Honours degree in Economics, in 1976. He went back to Paris for his graduate studies, obtaining a Diplôme d’Études Approfondies in Macroeconomics in 1977 at the University of Paris 1 (Panthéon-Sorbonne), having taken a few classes with Alain Parguez. He got a Doctorat de 3ème cycle in 1979, at the same university.
Marc got hired on a replacement position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics of the University of Ottawa in July 1979. He was hired on a tenure-track position in 1981, along with his long-time colleague Mario Seccareccia. He got tenured in 1984, promoted to Associate Professor in 1986 and then promoted to Full Professor in 1993. He stayed at the University of Ottawa until 2016, at which point he was offered a three-year Senior Research Chair from the University of Sorbonne Paris Cité, which he held at the University of Paris 13, now the University of Sorbonne Paris Nord. He left Paris and went back to Canada in the Summer of 2019, being Professor Emeritus at both the University of Paris 13 and the University of Ottawa. He still has doctoral students in Paris.
Marc was involved in various sports throughout his life. In handball, his team won the under-15 French school championships in 1969; in fencing, in saber, he came second at the under-15 French championships, also in 1969; and in golf, he was on the club team, Saint-Nom-la-Bretèche, which won the French championship 3rd series in 1971. He was also the junior club champion in 1971. Back in Canada, he focused on fencing, first becoming Canadian junior champion in saber in 1973 and 1974, and then senior champion seven times, in 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1979. He came third but broke his ankle at the Canadian championships in 1980, was second in 1984, then won again in 1985 and 1986 after having officially retired from the national team following the 1984 Olympics, after 11 years on the national team. He was also part of the Canadian Olympic team in 1976, and went to the Pan-American Games in 1975, 1979 and 1983. He was 2 nd at the Commonwealth championships in 1978. He was an international referee for the Fédération Internationale d’Escrime (FIE) between 1984 and 1988. Later, he was the secretary of the Fédération d’Escrime du Québec for several years. He got three kids, in 1988, 1989 and 1991, one of which also became Canadian senior champion in épée, and then married with their mother, Camille, in 2016 (!). He switched to recreational sports, namely soccer for a while, and mostly tennis, but with little success, besides having beaten Steve Keen most of the time when they met.