James E. West

W.H. Smith Professor of Economics
Department of Economics 
Baylor University

Vitae (PDF)
Google Scholar Page 










I joined the faculty at Baylor University in 2011, and am a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. I received a BA in Economics from The University of Denver in 1987, an M.A. in Economics from The University of Michigan in 1989, and a Ph.D. in Economics from The University of Michigan in 1994 in the fields of public finance and econometrics. Previously, I was at the US Air Force Academy from 1997 – 2011 and Seattle University from 1994 – 1997. My research interests are in the fields of economics of education, social network formation, public economics, and applied econometrics.


Contact Information: 
Department of Economics
One Bear Place #98003
Waco, TX 76798

Phone: (254) 710-6126
Fax: (254) 710-6142
Email: j_west@baylor.edu



  • Graduate Econometrics (Fall 2019)
  • Intermediate Microeconomics (Spring 2020)
  • Public Economics (Spring 2020)



  • “The Impact of Chief Diversity Officers on Diverse Faculty Hiring,” Southern Economic Journal, forthcoming, May 2022. (with S. Bradley, J. Garven, and W. Law).
  • “Dishonest Behavior: Sin Big or Go Home,” Economic Letters, Volume 186, January 2020. (with J. Aimone and B. Ward).
  • “The Impact of College Diversity on Behavior Toward Minorities” (with S. Carrell and M. Hoekstra)
    (Link) Vol 11, Number 4, pp 159-82, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. Featured in The Washington Post Wonkblog
  • “From Natural Variation to Optimal Policy? The Importance of Endogenous Peer Group Formation,” Econometrica, Volume 81, Number 3, pp 855-882. (with S. Carrell and B. Sacerdote)
    (PDF)(Supplemental Material) The Econometric Society Web Site
  • “A’s from Zzzz’s? The Causal Effect of School Start Time on the Academic Achievement of Adolescents,” American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 62-81, August 2011. (with S. Carrell and T. Maghakian).
  • “Is Poor Fitness Contagious? Evidence from Randomly Assigned Friends,” Journal of Public Economics, Volume 95, Issue 7-8, pp 657-663, August 2011. (with S. Carrell and M. Hoekstra) featured in The Wall Street Journal, November 8, 2010 and The New York Times, November 9, 2010
  • “Does Drinking Impair College Performance? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach,” Journal of Public Economics, Volume 95, Issue 1-2, pp 54-62, January 2011. (with S. Carrell and M. Hoekstra) featured in The Washington Post , September 7, 2010, The New York Times, September 10, 2010
  • “Sex and Science: How Professor Gender Perpetuates the Gender Gap,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, Volume 125, Issue 3, pp 1101-1144, August 2010. (with S. Carrell and M. Page) featured in Slate , June 5, 2009
  • “Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors,” Journal of Political Economy, Volume 118, No. 3, 409-432, June 2010. (with S. Carrell) featured in The Washington Post, June 11, 2010
  • “Does Your Cohort Matter? Measuring Peer Effects in College Achievement,” Journal of Labor Economics, 27(3): 439-464, July 2009. (with S. Carrell and R. Fullerton
  • “Peer Effects in Academic Cheating,” Journal of Human Resources. Volume XLIII, Number 1, Winter 2008, 173-207. (with S. Carrell and F. Malmstrom)
  • “A Sequential Equilibrium for the Army’s Targeted Selective Reenlistment Program,” Human Resource Management,, Vol 46, No 1, Spring 2007, 21-34. (with S. Carrell)
    (PDF)(Available at Wiley InterScience)
  • “Optimal Compensating Wages for Military Personnel,” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Vol 24, No 4, Fall 2005, 803-822. (with S. Carrell)
    (PDF)(Available at Wiley InterScience)
  • “Class Action Extraction?,” Public Choice, Vol 116, No 1-2, 2003, 91-108. (with J. Haymond)
  • “The Evolution of Fuzzy Rules as Strategies in Two-Player Games,” Southern Economic Journal, Vol 69, No 3, 2003, 705-717. (with B. Linster)
  • “Functional Form in Regression Models of Okun’s Law,” Applied Economics Letters, Vol 3, No 9, 1996, 607-609. (with C. Weber)


Working Papers 

Research in Progress 

  • “Can Exports Crack the Glass Ceiling? An Examination using Administrative Data,” (with B. Araujo and L. Paz)
  • “Macro-level Institutions and Micro-level Economic Behavior: A Surprising Meta-Meta Analysis of 1259 Experimental Studies,” (with J. Aimone, S. Ball, E. Dwibedi, and J. Jackson)
  • “State-Level Taxes and Economic Activity: A Cross-Border Analysis,” (with G. Taylor)

Hankamer School of Business