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Faculty and Staff Profile

Robert Tollison

J. Wilson Newman Professor

Office: 200 Sirrine Hall
Phone: 864-656-0483
Personal Website:

 Educational Background

Ph.D. Economics
University of Virginia 1969

M.A. Economics
University of Alabama 1965

B.A. Economics
Wofford College 1964

 Courses Taught

Antitrust Economics
Economic Theory of Government Regulation
Principles of Economics
Public Choice


Dr. Tollison is known as a mentor to undergraduate and graduate students alike. At last count he has directed 42 doctoral dissertations at Texas A&M, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, George Mason University, and Clemson University. He also served as dissertation reader on more than 40 other dissertations and countless masters theses. Bob has also served as the Director of the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission, during President Reagan’s first term in office. His colleagues long ago recognized his influence on the economics profession by electing him President of the Southern Economic Association. His expertise is sought-after in major antitrust cases and he has also testified before Congress and the Senate.

 Research Interests

Political Economy
Public Choice

 Research Publications

Economic Origins of Christianity (with R. Ekelund) (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2011).

“Sportometrics,” in David Henderson (ed.), The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics ( Indianapolis, ID: Liberty Fund, 2008), 471-473.

“The Contributions of James M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock to Law and Economics,” in L. Cohen and J. Wright (eds.), Pioneers in Law and Economics(London: Elgar, 2009), 115-124.

“Forward,” in E. Lopez (ed.), The Pursuit of Justice, (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), ix-x.

“The Medieval Church as an Economic and Political Firm” (with R. Ekelund and R. Herbert), in R. McCleary (ed.), Cambridge Handbook on the Economics of Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge Press, 2011), 305-321.

“Public Choice and Religion” (with R. Ekelund), in M. Reksulak, L. Razzolini, and W. Shughart (Eds.), The Elgar Companion to Public Choice (2nd edition), London: Elgar, forthcoming).

“The Economics of Religious Schism and Switching” (with R.Beard, R. Ekelund, and G. Ford), in P. Oslington, Oxford Handbook on the Economics of Religion (Oxford; Oxford Press, forthcoming).

“To Be or not to Be? The NCAA as a Cartel,” in L. Kahane and S. Shmanske (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Sports Economics (Oxford: Oxford Press, forthcoming).

“Bequests, Sibling Rivalry, and Rent Seeking” (with R. Faith and B. Goff), Public Choice (2008), 397-409.

“On Good Government,” Journal of Austrian Economics (2009), 127-130.

“Innovation and the Opportunity Cost of Monopoly” (with W. Shughart and M. Reksulak), Managerial and Decision Economics (2008), 619-627.

“Racial Integration of Coaching: Evidence from the NFL” (with Brian Goff), Journal of Sports Economics (2009), 127-140.

“Queuing, Conflict, and Violence” (with Dwight Lee), Quarterly Journal of Private Enterprise (2009), 51-68.

“Rubbin Is Racing:Evidence of the Peltzman Effect from NASCAR” (with Adam Pope), Public Choice (2010), 507-513.

“Chivalry in Golf? Significant Tee Ratios” (with R. McCormick), Public Choice (2010). 323-334.

“Elinor Ostrom and the Commons,” Public Choice (2010), 325-326.

“The Spatial Economics of Ticket Scalping” (with B. Goff), Managerial and Decision Economics (2011). 135-139.

“The Welfare Costs of Monopoly Are Larger Than You Think” (with D. Lee), Managerial and Decision Economics (2011), 85-89.

“The Economics of Rent Seeking,” Public Choice (forthcoming).

“The Designated Hitter Rule and the Distribution of Pitching Talent across Leagues” (with O. Vacilicu), Journal of Sports Economics (forthcoming).

“Rent Seeking and Inefficiencies Resulting from Pecuniary Externalities” (with D. Lee), Kyklos (forthcoming).