Trained as an applied microeconomist, my research focuses on jointly determined human and natural systems, and developing policies that will enable humans to better manage natural resources. My current research examines invasive species valuation and management, the effect of the discount rate on environmental policy, and rangeland conservation in the desert Southwest.
I am an enthusiastic teacher, and I bring my passion for learning in the classroom. In my research, I work in the history of economic thought, specializing in the 18th century. My focus is on Adam Smith, David Hume, monetary theories, and the Scottish Enlightenment.
I analyze how self-interest interacts with other motivational drives, with systematic biases, and with the surrounding institutional environment. I also explore the links between the Scottish Enlightenment and the results from behavioral economics, evolutionary biology, and neuroeconomics.
I came to Trinity in 2009 after completing my Ph.D. in Economics at Ohio State, where I wrote a dissertation on legislative bargaining over pork and public goods. I have continued working in this area, in particular trying to understand the important role pork can play in getting beneficial legislation passed.
Prior to joining Trinity University, he held the Rod and Hope Brim Eminent Scholar Chair in Economics, and was Director of the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy at Florida State University. Earlier, he served as an assistant and associate professor of economics at Miami University.