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I'm from Brooklyn and Manhattan, but I moved around a lot and tend to identify with a neighborhood depending on my mood. I went to school in California, spent some time in the Army National Guard, and lived in Mexico for many years.

Where I met my wife, who is simply the greatest person in the world. For me.

I work at a great place, with great colleagues, and great students. I can't complain, even if human nature (or at least mine) means that I want to most of the time.

Right now my focus is on doing good research, teaching well, and making my wife as happy as she makes me.


My current research asks whether foreign governments or international institutions can improve economic governance. Is it possible to alter a country’s property rights system from the outside? This research has two prongs. The first is a historical work, tentatively entitled Imperial Experiments: Intervention, Economic Growth, and Property Rights, which tests various hypotheses about the success and failure of American attempts to improve economic governance outside the United States and protect the property rights of U.S. investors before World War II. The second is a series of contemporary case studies about attempts to alter nations’ internal economic governance from the outside: bilateral investment treaties, investor protection clauses in trade agreements, conditional loans, the “mortgaging” of export revenues, vulture funds, and military intervention. I also watch a lot of baseball, enjoy very bad music, and do a lot of travelling. The travel tends to be either in total luxury, or to places where I need to wear body armor and live in constant fear of, well, death.