Associate Professor at the McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin

Email: john.hatfield "at" gmail.com


I study market design, an engineering-oriented field of economic theory that considers how the design of the rules and regulations of a market affects the functioning and outcomes of that market. In particular, I study matching theory, a field of economics that studies markets in which agents have explicit preferences over whom they buy from and sell to, not just over the underlying goods bought and sold. Examples of such economies include the markets for medical residency positions, the assignment of students to public schools, and the formation of collaborative research enterprises. My work in market design has led to a deeper understanding of such diverse markets as kidney exchange, assigning U.S. Army military cadets to branches of service, and the dynamics of shareholder voting.

I have also contributed to our understanding of federalism, in particular how the assignment of tax and expenditure powers to either local or central governments affects economic policy. My work, both theoretical and empirical, has shown that competition between local governments leads them to enact policy which leads to higher wages and property values; in ongoing work, my collaborators and I are investigating the policy differences which account for these differences in economic outcomes.


I currently teach a class on advanced managerial strategy at the McCombs School of Business. This class focuses on using the tools of economics to enhance managers' understanding of contractual relationships within firms, interactions between firms, and the legal environment in which firms operate. I also teach a PhD course on market design.

In the past, I have taught courses to managers regarding the political and social environment that firms operate in. In particular, these courses have provided guidance on media relations, interacting with non-governmental organizations and other interest groups, and understanding political processes in the United States and elsewhere. I have also taught a PhD course on the foundations of political economy, covering social choice theory, the theory of elections, and standard models of lobbying.