R. Richard Geddes


R. Richard Geddes

Associate Professor and Director of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy
251 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall
Phone: 607-255-8391 Fax: 607-255-4071
Email: rrg24@cornell.edu
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Curriculum Vitae
Biographical Statement:

Rick Geddes is Associate Professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management, and Director of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy. He is a core faculty member of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA). His research topics include public policies toward physical infrastructure, with a focus on innovative funding and financing in the transportation and water sectors. He has also conducted research on postal and delivery policy, and policies toward corporate governance. Geddes is a Research Associate at the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University, and a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Geddes served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Australian National University in Canberra in the fall of 2009, and a Visiting Researcher at the Australian Government's Productivity Commission in the spring of 2010. His research focused on lessons from the use of public-private partnerships in Australia. He teaches courses at Cornell on infrastructure regulation and policy, on market regulation, and on corporate governance.

In addition to his teaching and research at Cornell, Geddes served as a commissioner on the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission, which submitted its report to Congress in January 2008. He has held positions as a senior staff economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, Visiting Faculty Fellow at Yale Law School, and National Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He received PhD iand MA degrees n economics from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree in economics and finance from Towson State University. In 2008, Geddes received the Kappa Omicron Nu/Human Ecology Alumni Association Student Advising Award.

His published work has appeared in the American Economic Review, Journal of Urban Economics, Journal of Law and Economics, Journal of Regulatory Economics, Encyclopedia of Law and Economics, Journal of Legal Studies, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Journal of Law, Economics, and Policy, and Managerial and Decision Economics, among others.

Teaching and Advising Statement:

A university must prepare students by not only teaching facts, but also by giving students the tools they need to think critically on their own. When a student graduates, he or she should be able to apply a rigorous conceptual framework to very diverse situations.

To that end, my teaching philosophy includes three distinct aspects. The first is integrating knowledge gained though my own research, and by studying the research of others, into my teaching. The second is enlivening the theoretical concepts I teach using real-world policy applications. The third is a multi-faceted approach to enhancing interaction with students in the classroom.

Current Professional Activities:

My current professional activities focus on researching the causes and consequences of public policies toward infrastructure, with an emphasis on the transportation and water sectors. This includes innovative financing approaches such as public-private partnerships. Specific research topics include state-level public-private partnership enabling laws, on new types of public-private partnerships designed to increase investment in U.S. infrastructure, and on the state-level drivers of investment in transportation infrastructure, among other issues.

Current Research Activities:

Geddes’ current research focuses on policies facilitating investment in the renovation and construction of U.S. infrastructure through public-private partnerships. Geddes' research has resulted in the development of a new type of public-private partnership called an investment public-private partnership, or IP3. He is also examining the drivers of a state's decision to pass a law encouraging infrastructure investment, known as a PPP enabling law, the drivers of the favorability of those laws to private investment, and the degree to which those laws are successul in attracting infrastructure investment. Geddes is also studying policies that have been effective in attracting infrastructure investment in other countries, such as Australia.  Additional research interests include the economics of postal services and policies affecting corporate governance.


PhD 1991 - University of Chicago, Economics
MA 1988 - University of Chicago, Economics
BS 1984 - Towson State University, Economics and Finance

Courses Taught:

PAM 3340: Corporations, Shareholders, and Policy
PAM 2000: Intermediate Microeconomics
PAM 3400: Economics of Consumer Policy
PAM 4330: Topics in Corporations and Policy
PAM 2470: Government and the Marketplace

Related Websites:



Administrative Responsibilities:

PAM representative to the Faculty Senate, 2012 to the present
Director, Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy (CPIP), 2012 to the present
Human Ecology Alumni Association Board, 2012 to the present

Selected Publications:

 “Why Do U.S. States Adopt Public-Private Partnership Enabling Legislation?” Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 78 (2013): 30-41, with Benjamin L. Wagner.

“Recovery Risk and Labor Costs in Public-Private Partnerships: Contractual Choice in the US Water Industry,” Local Government Studies Vol. 39, No. 3 (2013): 332-351, with Germà Bel and Daniel Albalate.

“Passage of the Married Women’s Property Acts and Earnings Acts in the United States: 1850 to 1920,” Research in Economic History; Vol. 29 (2013): 145–189, with Sharon Tennyson.

“Human Capital Accumulation and the Expansion of Women’s Property Rights,” November 2012, Journal of Law & Economics, with Sharon Tennyson and Dean Lueck

“Pricing by State-Owned Enterprises: The Case of Postal Services” Managerial and Decision Economics Vol. 29: 575-591 (2008).

 "Policy Watch: Reform of the U.S. Postal Service," Journal of Economic Perspectives 19:3 (Summer 2005) 217-232.

“Municipalizing American Waterworks, 1897-1915,” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 19:2 (Fall 2003) 373-400, with Werner Troesken.

“The Gains from Self-Ownership and the Expansion of Women’s Rights,” American Economic Review 92:4 (September 2002) 1079-92, with Dean Lueck.

“CEO Tenure, Board Composition, and Regulation,” Journal of Regulatory Economics 21:2 (2002) 217-235, with H. D. Vinod.

"Public Utilities," in Encyclopedia of Law and Economics, Vol. III: The Regulation of Contracts, Geerit De Geest and Boudewijn Bouckaert, eds., London: Edward Elgar (2000) 1162-1205.

“The Economic Effects of Postal Reorganization, Journal of Regulatory Economics 13 (1998) 139-156.

"Ownership, Regulation, and Managerial Monitoring in the Electric Utility Industry," Journal of Law and Economics 40:1 (April 1997) 261-288.

"CEO Age and Outside Directors: A Hazard Analysis," Review of Industrial Organization 12 (December 1997) 767-780, with H.D. Vinod.

"Emerging Issues in the Regulation of Electric Utilities," Resources and Energy 14 (1992) 3-35, with Peter H. Griffes et al.

"The Electric Utility Industry: New Challenges and Old Questions," Resources and Energy 12 (1990) 1-15, with Peter H. Griffes.



Searchable Keywords:
infrastructure investment, public-private partnerships, transportation policy, postal service, corporate governance, women's property rights

The information on this bio page is taken from the CHE Annual Report.