Public Economics

Public Economics focuses on real-world settings where public intervention can improve the functioning of the economy. Our teaching and research addresses a variety of such questions, such as:

  • What drives the location of pollution and what are ways to address environmental injustices? 
  • How does school spending impact educational attainment?
  • Do policies that encourage college enrollment impact inequality?
  • Can police reform address racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal legal system?
  • Do corporate tax cuts increase inequality?

Public economics includes subfields like:

  • Economics of Education
  • Urban Economics
  • Public Finance
  • Health Economics
  • Law and Economics
  • Environmental Economics
  • Race and Justice
  Faculty Member
New Research from Professor Patrick Bayer Examines Black-White Earnings Gap

Patrick Bayer, Professor of Economics

Professor Bayer's research focuses on wide range of subjects including racial inequality and segregation, social interactions, housing markets, education, and criminal justice. 

Jason Baron

Jason Baron, Assistant Professor of Economics

Professor Baron's research focuses on topics in child welfare, the economics of education, and the economics of crime.

Jeffrey DeSimone

Jeffrey DeSimone, Professor of the Practices of Economics

Professor DeSimone studies causes and consequences of risky behaviors, particularly among adolescents and young adults, with a current focus on alcohol consumption and gun prevalence, especially effects of the minimum legal drinking age and mass shootings.

Thomas Nechyba headshot

Thomas J. Nechyba, Professor of Economics

Professor Nechyba conducts his research within the fields of public finance, fiscal federalism, and the economics of education.