Faculty Research Interests

James C. Cox

Professor Cox has conducted research on integration of portfolio choice and consumer demand theories, public expenditure theory, credit rationing, energy policy, economics and political economics of minimum wage legislation, auction markets, job search models, decentralized mechanisms for control of monopoly, the utility hypothesis, the preference reversal phenomenon, procurement contracting, the lottery payoff experimental procedure, topics in social epistemology and legal theory, and group vs. individual behavior in strategic market games and fairness games, and e-commerce with combinatorial demands. His current research includes work on theoretical modeling and laboratory experiments with: trust, reciprocity, and altruism; small- and large-stakes risk aversion; public goods and common pool resources; and centipede games vs. Dutch auctions.

Collaborative research with surgeons is in progress on improving hospital discharge decision-making and analysis of decision-making for human organ rejections or acceptances for transplantation. Professor Cox’s work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and other research support institutions.

Paul Ferraro

Ferraro focuses his research activities mainly on environmental economics and policy (with an emphasis on biodiversity protection), but also conducts research in behavioral economics. In the latter area, his current work includes: (1) the economics of cultural diversity and discrimination, (2) the relationship between competence and self-awareness and its implications for economic behavior, and (3) creating novel experimental designs that better discriminate among competing hypotheses about observed behavior in popular experimental games.

Susan Laury

Susan Laury uses experimental methods to address a wide range of economic issues. Her current research includes investigating individual attitudes toward risks involving gains and losses, how the presence of insurance markets, and the types of policies offered, affect decisions in risky environments, and in exploring who other-regarding behavior affects decision-making. She also uses experiments in the classroom and has co-authored papers that describe classroom games. Her research has been published in journals such as American Economic ReviewJournal of Public Economics, and Public Choice.

Vjollca Sadiraj

Sadiraj is involved in research programs in public choice, public economics, individual social preferences and decision theory. She is interested in both theoretical modeling and experimental testing of the theory. Her current projects include (a) emergence and role of interests groups in spatial models of electoral competition, (b) effects of rotation schemes on committee performance, (c) effects of benefit taxation and ability to pay on excess burden, (d) theoretical modeling of social preferences, conditional and unconditional altruism, (e) individual risk aversion in small and large stakes.

Todd Swarthout

Todd Swarthout’s research interests involve experimental economics, game theory, and auctions. Recent projects have focused on: (1) alternative forms of procurement auctions; (2) public goods mechanisms; and (3) using human interaction with computerized algorithms to better understand strategic behavior in games. He is also involved in developing software technology for instructional games and activities in economic education.