Jones earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University and master's degree from the London School of Economics before joining the Hamilton faculty in 1972. He has published widely, with more than 110 articles in refereed journals and chapters in books (including several with students) and he has also edited eight books. Jones undertook some of the first empirical analysis of long established worker cooperatives and firms with employee ownership and employee participation. He is a past president of the Association of Comparative Economic Studies, was also formerly president of the international association, Economics of Participation, and is a founding editor of the research series Advances in the Economic Analysis of Participatory and Labor Managed Firms.
Jones continues to work in the broad areas of employee ownership and cooperatives with current research focusing on empirical analysis of primary data from the Mondragon cooperatives and a series of econometric case studies mainly of firms in the U.S., China, and Finland supported in part by a grant from NSF. He also continues to work on diverse issues concerning the transition economies of Bulgaria, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Russia and China. In addition Jones has a strong interest in the Internet economy, and is senior editor for the Handbook of Economics in the Digital Age.