Skip to content

Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

Profile Information

Robert Fleck

Robert K. Fleck

Professor of Economics

Office: Powers 312 D
Phone: 656-3964


 Educational Background

    Ph.D. Economics
    Stanford University 1994

    B.A. Economics
    University of California, San Diego 1985


Rob Fleck is Professor of Economics at Clemson University. His main fields of interest include political economy, public finance, economic history, law and economics, and development economics. Much of his current research focuses on the causes and consequences of major political and economic transitions and on why only some countries adopt successful political and economic reforms. His recent publications span a diverse set of topics: the New Deal (e.g., Journal of Political Economy 2008; Explorations in Economic History 2013); joint work with Andy Hanssen on democracy and legal institutions in ancient Greece (e.g., Journal of Law and Economics 2006; Review of Law & Economics 2012; Journal of Law and Economics 2013), long run changes in eminent domain policy (International Review of Law and Economics 2010), and the role played by the judiciary in democratic forms of government (Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization 2013); and joint work with Christopher Kilby on foreign aid (e.g., Journal of Development Economics 2010). Fleck has won awards for both teaching and research. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at San Diego, and has a Ph.D. from Stanford University. Before moving to Clemson, he was Professor of Economics at Montana State University. Fleck has been a Julian Simon Fellow (2005) and Lone Mountain Fellow (2013, 2016) at the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC), and a National Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution (2010-11).

Research Interests

  • Political Economy
  • Public Finance
  • Economic History
  • Law & Economics
  • Development Economics

Research Publications

  • (with F. Andrew Hanssen) "Persistence and Change in Age-Specific Gender Gaps: Hollywood Actors from the Silent Era Onward." International Review of Law and Economics 48:3642 (October 2016).
  • "Can Prohibitions on 'Price-Gouging' Reduce Deadweight Losses?" International Review of Law and Economics 37:100-107 (March 2014).
  • "Why Did the Electorate Swing Between Parties During the Great Depression?" Explorations in Economic History 50:599-619 (October 2013).
  • (with F. Andrew Hanssen) "When Voice Fails: Potential Exit as a Constraint on Government Quality." International Review of Law and Economics 35:26-41 (August 2013).
  • (with F. Andrew Hanssen) "How Tyranny Paved the Way to Democracy: The Democratic Transition in Ancient Greece." Journal of Law and Economics 56:389-416 (May 2013).
  • (with F. Andrew Hanssen) "Judicial Review as a Constraint on Tyranny of the Majority." Journal of Law, Economics, & Organization 29:303-331 (April 2013).
  • (with F. Andrew Hanssen) "Judges: Why Do They Matter?" Chapter 14 in The Elgar Companion to Public Choice, Second Edition, edited by Michael Reksulak, Laura Razzolini, and William F. Shughart II. Edward Elgar Publishing (2013).
  • (with F. Andrew Hanssen) "On the Benefits and Costs of Legal Expertise: Adjudication in Ancient Athens." Review of Law & Economics 8:367-399 (October 2012).
  • "The Political Economy of Progress: Lessons from the Causes and Consequences of the New Deal." Chapter 12, pp. 311-335, in Economic Evolution and Revolution in Historical Time, edited by Paul W. Rhode, Joshua L. Rosenbloom, and David F. Weiman. Stanford University Press (2011).
  • "Natural Selection and the Problem of Evil: An Evolutionary Model with Application to an Ancient Debate." Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science 46:561-587 (September 2011).
  • (with F. Andrew Hanssen) "Repeated Adjustment of Delegated Powers and the History of Eminent Domain." International Review of Law and Economics 30:99-112 (June 2010). [lead article]
  • (with Christopher Kilby) "Changing Aid Regimes? U.S. Foreign Aid from the Cold War to the War on Terror." Journal of Development Economics 91:185-197 (March 2010). [lead article]
  • (with F. Andrew Hanssen) "'Rulers Ruled by Women': An Economic Analysis of the Rise and Fall of Women's Rights in Ancient Sparta." Economics of Governance 10:221-245 (July 2009).
  • "Voter Influence and Big Policy Change: The Positive Political Economy of the New Deal." Journal of Political Economy 116:1-37 (February 2008). [lead article]
  • (with F. Andrew Hanssen) "Why Understanding Smoking Bans is Important for Estimating Their Effects: California's Restaurant Smoking Bans and Restaurant Sales." Economic Inquiry 46:60-76 (January 2008).
Faculty Profile
Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business
Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business | 343 Chandler L. Burns Hall, Clemson, S.C. 29634