David J. Cooper, a leading researcher and widely published author in experimental economics, is the new departmental executive officer for the Department of Economics at the Tippie College of Business.
Cooper, 54, comes to Iowa after 14 years on the faculty of the Florida State University College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. He has been the director of Florida State’s experimental social sciences cluster since 2011.
Amy Kristof-Brown, dean of the Tippie College of Business, says Cooper’s scholarly record as an experimental economist and his administrative experience running Florida State’s experimental social sciences cluster stood out.
“He is a strategic thinker capable of identifying opportunities and challenges and then devising a plan forward,” she says. “We were impressed with his bold and thoughtful plan for the department’s future.”
Cooper’s research focuses on experimental economics with applications to game theory, managerial decision making, and entrepreneurship. He has written papers on learning in strategic settings, decision making by teams in strategic settings, overcoming coordination failure within organizations, and the role of communication in fostering collusion.
His work has appeared in, among others, the American Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Theory, Games and Economic Behavior, the Rand Journal of Economics, and the Journal of the European Economic Association. Cooper serves on the editorial boards of Games and Economic Behavior and Experimental Economics. He has received multiple grants from the National Science Foundation as well as other sources.
Cooper says that Tippie’s Department of Economics was one of the top 25 in the nation when he was in graduate school, and he said he is eager to lead a department that once produced such legendary economists as Frank Knight, Edward Chamberlin, and Howard Bowen, who would go on to become president of the University of Iowa.
“My goal is to build a cohesive group of researchers and give the department the recognition it once had,” he says.
Cooper plans to continue doing his own research at Tippie, and the university has assets that drew him for that purpose. As an experimental economist, he says he was attracted to the college’s pioneering Iowa Electronic Market, the world’s first prediction market. And the presence of the university’s Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, one of the country’s largest academic entrepreneurial centers, appealed to his interest in the economics of entrepreneurship.
Cooper earned his A.B. in applied mathematics from Harvard University and his PhD from Princeton University. A native of Morgantown, W.Va., he and his wife, Katrina, have three children.
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