Professor of Economics

Director, Institutions Program, Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS)

Research interests are in two broad areas: 1) the role of contracts and institutions in shaping agricultural land use in the historical U.S. and contemporary Brazil, including the Amazon. Examples include the beneficial role of tenancy in the U.S. and titling in the Amazon; and 2) the important role of institutions in the economy, Examples include an explanation for the timing of the growth of the U.S. welfare system, and the importance of strong Presidential powers in Brazil for shaping policy outcomes. The contributions are theoretical and empirical with considerable implications for public policy.