- Ph.D. (Economics), Stanford University, 2001
- BA (Mathematics), Trinity College Dublin, 1994.
Richard S. Volpert '56 Professor of Economics
Most of my current research explores how the institutions governing marine insurance evolved during the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Over time, two different kinds of institutions emerged: in Britain, a marketplace for private underwriting by individuals (Lloyd's of London); and elsewhere, joint-stock corporations. I use a combination of archival evidence and game theory to explore how these institutions functioned and how they changed over time. A common theme is that by disrupting information flows and increasing risk, the wars of the eighteenth century created the stimulus which drove institutional change in the marine insurance industry.
More broadly, my interest is in institutional analysis applied to economic history, politics, and economics development, with a particular emphasis on applications using game theory. In this vein, I have written or coauthored several papers about theories of institutions and institutional change; dueling; military coups in Pakistan; and corruption in India.
See the links to the left to download my publications and working papers, and please feel free to email me with any comments or questions.
I regularly teach Game Theory (Econ 420) as well as a follow-on seminar course on Institutions and Governance (Econ 479). I also frequently teach introduction to economics (Econ 111) and our core microeconomics class (Econ 300). In the past I have taught Economic Development, and special topics classes on Institutional Analysis applied to Economic History, and Political Economics. Course materials are available to current students on Moodle. See the link to the left for recent course syllabi.