"Can Markets Improve Recycling Performance? A Cross-Country Regression Analysis and Case Studies", with E. Prenovitz and P. Hazlett, Sustainability, 15(6): 4785.
"University Affiliated Research Centers: Evasive Entrepreneurship within the Department of Defense", forthcoming Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy"
"Bureaucratic Rent Creation: The Case of Price Discrimination in the Market for Postsecondary Education", with P. Hazlett, forthcoming Constitutional Political Economy.
"You Work For Us Now: Concentration in University-performed Defense R&D" (previously titled "The Role of Universities in Defense Research")
Abstract: This paper explains why university research funded by the Department of Defense (DOD) is more highly concentrated than that for other federal sources of university research funding. DOD bureaucrats choose to organize research in universities in alignment with the goals of transitioning knowledge from early stages to later stages toward military-relevant technologies and protecting national security through restrictions on information disclosure. To achieve this, the DOD relies on research center contracts that are long-term, sole source, have a set of predefined research focuses, and maintain a close relationship with the sponsor. These arrangements provide university researchers with the incentives to align their goals with those of the DOD, including the focus on military-relevant research outcomes and restrictions on disclosure. Since 2016, the universities that administer these research centers have received 60 percent of all DOD funding for university research.
"The Political Economy of Rising Defense Costs in the United States", submitted to The Independent Review
Abstract: Rising defense costs in the United States have important implications for the economy and government spending priorities. Despite the Department of Defense outsourcing much of its production to private firms and spending billions on R&D, the cost of providing national security has continued to climb. This paper employs public choice theory to explain the drivers of rising defense costs. Key sets of actors, including politicians, bureaucrats, and defense contractors, have incentives to capture private benefits associated with defense spending. But there are weak incentives to cut costs such that the individuals seeking to maintain spending in areas that do not contribute to defense win out, contributing to the observed rising costs. By examining these incentives, this paper sheds light on the underlying causes of the upward trend in defense costs. The analysis contributes to the existing literature by providing a framework for understanding the factors that contribute to rising defense costs and detailing specific examples of how those factors operate.
"Did the 'Quiet Revolution' Really Change Anything?" (with V. Geloso), major revisions at Canadian Journal of Economics
Abstract: The year 1960 is often presented as a break year in the economic history of Quebec and Canada. It is used to mark the beginning of the “Quiet Revolution” during which Canada’s French-speaking province of Quebec under rapid socio-economic change in the form of rapid economic convergence with the rest of Canada and the emergence of a more expansive state. Using synthetic control methods, we analyze whether 1960 is associated with a departure from previous developments. With regards to GDP per capita, GDP per worker, household-size adjusted income, life expectancy at birth, and enrollment rates in primary and secondary schools, we find that 1960 was not an important date. For most of these measures, the counterfactual scenario is slightly better than the actual data but not by significant margins. Only with respect to the size of government do we find sign of a break.
Works in Progress
"Respect the Troops: A Theory of Social Praise" (with G. Caskey and P. Leeson)
"Output Maximizing Bureaucrat and a Theory of Nationalization" (with A. Nowrasteh and V. Geloso)
"Beyond the State: Understanding the Impact of Informal Institutions on Colonial Relations in Maine" (with N. Smith)