I study market design, an engineering-oriented field of economic theory that considers how the design of the rules and regulations of a market affects the functioning and outcomes of that market. In particular, I study matching theory, a field of economics that studies markets in which agents have explicit preferences over whom they buy from and sell to, not just over the underlying goods bought and sold. Examples of such economies include the markets for medical residency positions, the assignment of students to public schools, and the formation of collaborative research enterprises. My work in market design has led to a deeper understanding of such diverse markets as kidney exchange, spectrum auctions, and assigning U.S. Army military cadets to branches of service.
Law And Economics
I also contribute to the law and economics literature by applying the principles of market design to understanding the effects of laws governing mergers and shareholder voting.
I also study federalism, and in particular how the assignment of tax and expenditure powers to either local or central governments affects economic policy. My work, both theoretical and empirical, has shown that competition between local governments leads them to enact policy which leads to higher wages; in ongoing work, my collaborators and I are investigating the policy differences which account for these differences in economic outcomes.
I currently teach a class on advanced managerial strategy at the McCombs School of Business. This class focuses on using the tools of economics to enhance managers' understanding of contractual relationships within firms, interactions between firms, and the legal environment in which firms operate. A syllabus for this course may be found here.
I have also taught courses on managing the political, social, and legal environment that firms operate in.
I am planning on teaching a class on market design to Ph.D. students in the Department of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin. This course focuses on the theory and practice of designing matching markets, auctions, and other institutions for exchange. The goal of the course is to not only provide a solid grounding in the field of market design but also to encourage students to make their own contributions in this field.
I have also taught a Ph.D. course on the foundations of political economy, covering social choice theory, the theory of elections, and standard models of lobbying.