I am an associate professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. I’m especially interested in the politics and economics surrounding property rights institutions, the link between institutions and prosperity, self-governance, governance of commons, and state-building. My current research interests include the link between property rights and state-building, the politics of land expropriation, governance of the shale boom, and the politics and economics surrounding blockchain technology. I have a PhD in Political Science and MA in Agricultural and Applied from the University of Wisconsin. My undergraduate degree is from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in Economics, Political Science, and International Affairs.
For 2019-2020, I am a Campbell Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University researching property rights and governance on Native American lands.
At GSPIA, I have taught the following courses primarily for master’s students: Markets and States, Regulatory Policy, Public Policy Analysis, Microeconomics, Economics for Public Affairs, Macroeconomics, Introduction to Statistics, Program Evaluation, Natural Resource Governance, Politics of Property Rights, Capstone Seminar: Marcellus Shale, as well as a doctoral course, the Field Seminar in Public Administration. I have twice received the GSPIA Teacher of the Year award.
My books include The Political Economy of the American Frontier (Cambridge University Press, Political Economy of Institutions and Decision series) and The Political Economy of Fracking: Private Property, Polycentricity, and the Shale Revolution (Routledge, Economics for the Real World series). Another book, Land, the State, and War: Property Rights and Political Order in Afghanistan (with Jennifer Murtazashvili) is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press in the Economics, Cognition, and Society series, and a short book, The Origins and Consequences of Property Rights: Austrian, Institutional Economics, and Public Choice Perspectives (with Meina Cai, Colin Harris, and Jennifer Murtazashvili), is under contract with Cambridge University Press in the Austrian Economics series. My work has appeared in journals such as Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice, Public Choice, Journal of Institutional Economics, The Independent Review, Review of Austrian Economics, World Development, and Rationality & Society.