I am passionate about understanding the world through the lens of economics and I have been blessed to have a wide scope around which to swing this lens. I have lived on four continents and to travel extensively. I saw destitute poverty in Togo, West Africa. I’ve seen amazing prosperity in Europe and North America. I’ve seen how important the questions of economics are both for human flourishing (the truly big questions) and how powerful the tools of economics are for understanding day-to-day puzzles. Along the way I have had the privilege of sharing the power of the economic way of thinking with others and of guiding some in developing their ability to bring the tools of the discipline to bear on questions that they find compelling.
I recently returned from two and a half years teaching the entire economic curriculum at the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani in northern Iraq. I enjoyed every minute of it (almost).
I defended my Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University in December 2010. My committee was chaired by Pete Boettke. That dissertation formed the basis for “The Agency Problem of Empire” that is available under files.
My current research focuses the ways in which states seek to project their power beyond their borders and the consequences of these efforts, both in the age of empire and in the modern era. The questions that I find most fascinating are usually at the junction between economic development, public choice, and industrial organization.
I am living proof that, once you start thinking about economic growth, it is hard to think about anything else. I am also proof, as my students and colleagues can attest, that once you start thinking like an economist it is hard to think any other way.