I'm an emeritus professor in the Department of Economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I use the tools of economics to explain a wide variety of subjects, including law (torts, contracts, takings, litigation, and the good Samaritan rule), democratic politics (candidates, voters, pressure groups, and legislatures), international relations (war, the size of nations, and arms control verification), purely economic topics (contests and mechanism design) and an assortment of unrelated topics (sports rules, theocracy, and family dynamics).
My most recent publication is "Average Rank and Adjusted Rank are better Measures of College Success than is GPA", Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, forthcoming. The basic problem with GPA is that weaker students tend to take courses where the grading is more generous (the selection problem). Average rank corrects for some grading idiosyncrasies, while adjusting rank (more technically finding student and course fixed effects) overcomes the selection problem.
Here are three of my less cited but more fun to read articles.
"Strategic behavior and organizational structure of religions" British Journal of Political Science (2014). The articles explains why Popes tend to be appointed when they are old, while Archbishops of the Anglican Church tend to be appointed at a much younger age, and why the LDS Mormon Church leaders are older when they become leaders while other Mormon churches tend to appoint younger leaders.
"The Internal Organization of the Family: Economic Analysis and Psychological Advice" Kyklos, 2005. This article shows how to minimize behavioral externalities within families, and explains why, when dealing with family members, liability rules are better than Pigovian punishments.
"Efficient Rules of Thumb in Highway Safety and Sporting Activity," American Economic Review, (1982). This article provides a transaction cost explanation for allocating the right to possess the ball in basketball and parallel issues in other sports and in highway safety.
I have also written op-eds directed to a more general audience:
Why The University of California Regents were Wrong to Abolish the SAT; and Why other Schools Should Not Follow (Inside Higher Ed, January 2022);
Fossil-Fuel Divestment Is a Waste of Energy (The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 9, 2019); and
Rent Control Pits Tenants Against One Another (LA Times, October 19, 2018, with Jesse Cunha).
Here is a list of all my professional publications.