R. Richard Geddes
R. Richard
Professor and Founding Director of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy
Policy Analysis and Management
Cornell Institute for Public Affairs

Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Room 2212



Rick Geddes is Professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University and Founding Director of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy (CPIP). He researches the funding, financing, permitting, operation and maintainance of heavy civil and social infrastructure, with a focus on the adoption of new technologies.  His research has examined network-wide road pricing, infrastructure resilience, and innovative infrastructure financing via public-private partnerships. 

Rick is a member of the Graduate Fields at Cornell of Systems Engineering, Economics, and Public Affairs. He is also a core faculty member of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA), a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and a Research Fellow with the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University.

Rick has held numerous visiting and advisory positions. He was the Edward Teller National Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution during the 1999-2000 academic year. He served as a senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisors during the 2004-2005 academic year, and was a commissioner on the National Surface Transportation Policy & Revenue Study Commission. Rick was also a Fulbright Senior Scholar during the 2009-2010 academic year to study transportation public-private partnerships in Australia, and a Visiting Faculty Fellow at Yale Law School during the 1995-1996 academic year. He has advised numerous Fortune 500 companies, including United Parcel Service and CSX. He has testified numerous times before House and Senate committees.

Rick's publications have appeared in numerous academic journals, including in Nature, the American Economic Review, Journal of Regulatory Economics, Journal of Legal Studies, Journal of Law & Economics, Transportation Research Part E, and Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, among many others.  

Rick has won numerous teaching and advising awards, including three Merrill Presidential Scholars Awards for Outstanding Educator, and a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. He teaches courses at Cornell on infrastructure policy, corporate governance, microeconomics, and the regulation of industry. He holds MA and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Chicago, and a BS in economics and finance from Towson State University.

Geddes’ research examines policies addressing the funding, financing, permitting, operation and maintenance of large infrastructure systems. He focuses on the transportation, energy, water and postal  sectors.

Key research topics include private investment in the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of U.S. infrastructure through public-private partnerships, or PPPs. That also includes improving life-cycle maintenance of infrastructure assets, the impact of state-level PPP enabling laws, and the effect of operation-and-maintenance road concessions on traffic safety.

Additional interests include postal and delivery economics, and policies affecting governance in large, publicly traded corporations.

Albalate, Daniel, Germà Bel, and R. Richard Geddes. 2020. “Do Public-Private Partnership Enabling Laws Increase Private Investment in Infrastructure?” Journal of Law & Economics (in press).

Geddes, R. Richard, Arash Beheshtian, Omid Rouhani, Peter Cramton, Axel Ockenfels, Kara Kockelman, Wooseok Do. 2019. “Bringing the Efficiency of Electricity Market Mechanisms to Multimodal Mobility across Congested Transportation Systems,” Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

Alshaikhmubarak, H., R.R. Geddes, and S. Grossbard, 2019. “Single Motherhood and the Abolition of Coverture in the United States” Journal of Empirical Legal Studies 16(1): 94-118.

Cramton, Peter, R. Richard Geddes, and Axel Ockenfels. 2018. "Using Technology to Eliminate Traffic Congestion," Journal of Institutional & Theoretical Economics.

Cramton, Peter, R. Richard Geddes, and Axel Ockenfels. 2018. “Set Road Charges in Real Time to Ease Traffic,” Nature (July 31): 23-25.

Geddes, R. Richard and Rui Marques. 2018. “The Use of PPP Arrangements in Street Lighting: A Win-Win Option?” Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics (September).

Rouhani, O.M.; R.R. Geddes, W. Do, A., Beheshtian, and O.H. Gao, 2018. “Revenue-Risk-Sharing Approaches for Public-Private Partnership Provision of Highway Facilities,” Case Studies in Transport Policy, 6(4): 439-448.

Beheshtian, A., K. P. Donaghy, R.R. Geddes, and X. Zhang, in press, “Vulnerability Analysis of Manhattan’s Motor Fuel Supply Chain Network,” International Journal of Critical Infrastructures.

Beheshtian, A., K. P. Donaghy, R.R. Geddes, and O.H. Gao. 2018. “Climate-Adaptive Planning for the Long-Term Resilience of Transportation Fuel Supply Chain,” Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review.


My research examines public policies to improve the funding, financing, regulation,  operation, and maintanance of civil and social infrastructure. I focus on the adoption of new technologies that improve infrastructure delivery. I have studied policies surrounding electricity, postal services, and transportation public-private partnerships. My research has addressed innovative financing approaches such as public-private partne rships (PPPs), as well as emerging policies such as real-time network-wide road charges. 

Examples of recent research topics include street-lighting PPPs, state-level public-private partnership enabling laws, project bundling and PPPs, and new types of public-private partnerships. That includes policies to encourage investment in infrastructure, life-cycle asset maintenance of infrastructure, and the state-level drivers of investment in transportation infrastructure.

My current public engagement work is undertaken through my position as Founding Director of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy, or CPIP. CPIP public-engagement activities include hosting events related to current infrastructure policy topics, facilitating interactions between the 40-plus member CPIP Advisory Board, Cornell students, and Cornell faculty, as well as hosting CPIP executives-in-residence on campus.

My teaching philosophy is designed to meet the needs of Cornell students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. It includes the following three components: (i) careful preparation of and background reading on all material presented in class; (ii) making the material relevant by including current events, real-world examples, guest speakers, and interactions with industry practitioners; and (iii) facilitation of personal interactions with students and a focus on individualized attention. It also includes  advising students on both class and career matters, as well as putting them in touch with senior industry professionals.


PAM 2000: Intermediate Microeconomics
PAM 3170/PAM 5170: Market Regulation & Public Policy
PAM 3340/PAM 5334: Corporations, Shareholders & Policy
PAM 4640/PAM 5340: Regulation & Infrastructure Policy
PAM 4330: Topics in Corporations and Policy
PAM 3400: Economics of Consumer Policy
PAM 3301/PAM 5301: Intermediate Policy Analysis


PhD, University of Chicago (Economics) 1991, Dissertation: “Managerial Tenure and Monitoring in Publicly and Privately Owned Electric Utilities.”
MA, University of Chicago (Economics) 1987
BS, Towson State University (Economics and Finance) 1984, Magna Cum Laude

  • Founding Director, Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy (CPIP), 2012 to the present
  • Core Faculty Member, Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, January 2012 to present
  • PAM Representative to the Cornell Faculty Senate, 2011 to 2014
  • Human Ecology Nominations Committee, 2014
  • Cornell College of Human Ecology Nominations Committee, 2013-2014






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