Our commitment to high-quality economic analysis and emphasis on competition, regulation, and innovation unite our current major areas of focus. Our cross-disciplinary and multifaceted thinking informs and energizes our work across a range of industry and policy sectors.

The digital Economy

Digital Economy

As economic activity has increasingly moved from traditional telephony to the more robust platforms of wireless and wireline broadband communications, the potential exists for substantial improvements in the economic lives of both citizens and businesses. This transition has also given rise to numerous policy issues regarding how to foster innovation and added economic welfare in this vital sector.

Our work offers a foundation of academic research and bold new thinking on critical issues at the intersection of technology innovation and regulation. The Evolution of Regulation and Innovation Project explores the relationship between regulation in this sector and innovation with attention to policy changes and how they affect economic outcomes both for consumers and the larger economy.

Patterns of global trade

International Trade

Over the past decade both the level and structure of international trade have dramatically evolved. Parallel to this, the ideal structure of trade agreements also will need to evolve. For example, trade in services, a comparative advantage for the United States, is often stifled by local regulatory barriers.

Our work brings increased focus on key elements of international trade that may otherwise not receive full attention. Our Georgetown on the Hill series has featured numerous specific trade discussions.

The role of railroads in the economy

Rail Industry

The rail industry has played a prominent role historically in stimulating economic growth in the United States. This role has been and will be affected by various public policies and institutions. Governmental policies have the prospect to either advance or retard key measures of economic performance, not only for parties directly affected (e.g., railroads and shippers), but also for a variety of other related industries and the economy writ large.

Our work advances understanding of the economics of the rail industry and promotes sound policymaking.

Regulation impacts the development of biopharmaceutical research

Health Services

Now more than ever before, not only medical but also economic and social issues influence how health care is organized, governed, financed, and delivered.

Our empirical research advances understanding of the economics and regulation of the health services industry, with an emphasis on the biopharmaceutical and medical device industries. Faculty researchers examine a variety of issues, most typically around firm, industry, and regulatory organization and performance. Past and ongoing research includes the speed of drug development, sales and promotion strategies during adverse regulatory events, regulatory compliance, and the effect of eHealth on health behaviors and outcomes. Some research projects entail the development and analysis of proprietary data, while others are conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

Improved cybersecurity decreases internet risks


The development of the Internet, the ensuing explosion of electronic commerce, and the use of computer networks for virtually every form of communication have created a significant challenge to our traditional understanding of security. Customer and client information, payment information, personal files, bank account details, and a variety of other online information flows are not as secure as they need to be. As with the economic erosion that can accompany the loss of security of tangible property, inadequate protection of electronically transmitted information presents significant risks to our economy.

Our work seeks to improve cybersecurity through better understanding of its non-technological, but immensely important drivers – behavior, economics, and policy. 

Diversity and equality in the corporate ladder

Gender Gap in Leadership and Pay

The American workforce is more diverse than ever, and companies spend millions on leadership training and development. Yet progress is slow — women are far more likely to exit the workforce and far less likely to make it up the corporate ladder. More than 40 years after the iconic “Women’s Strike for Equality” in Washington, D.C., women hold less than 25 percent of corporate board positions, 14 percent of all executive positions, and 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.

Our work generates research to help better understand the impact of gender in the workplace and in economic growth worldwide and contributes evidence-based, creative, and collaborative approaches to close the gender gap in leadership and pay.