About the Authors

Austan Goolsbee (Dan Dry)
Austan D. Goolsbee studies the Internet, the new economy, government policy, and taxes. Goolsbee explains, "I am a data hound and so I usually end up working on whatever things I can find good data on. The rise of Internet commerce completely altered the amount of information you could gather on company behavior so I naturally drifted toward it."

His research has earned him much professional recognition. In 2003, he was given a grant from the National Science Foundation. Goolsbee was named a 2006-2007 Fulbright Scholar. He will research Internet taxation in the U.S. and European Union while spending part of the upcoming academic year at the London School of Economics and the Institute for Fiscal Studies, also in London. He has been named one of the 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum, a Switzerland-based group that builds partnerships between business and society.

Crain's Chicago Business has named him one if its "40 under 40" to watch. He was described by fellow University of Chicago economist and PhD classmate Steve Levitt as someone who "asks questions people care about." His ability to popularize economics has made Goolsbee popular in the media. Besides his New York Times column, he appears frequently on radio, the Web and television. Topics he has commented on include: education and the success rate of terrorists, TiVo's affect on advertising, the real estate bubble, and brokers incomes.

Goolsbee serves as a member of the U.S. Census Advisory Committee, a research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research, a research fellow for the American Bar Foundation, a columnist for the New York Times, and an economic advisor to Barack Obama.

He has twice been named as a "star" professor by BusinessWeek's biannual "Guide to the Best Business Schools." Goolsbee thinks his research on telecom, media, and technology makes his "class on the subject pretty different from what you can find anywhere else." His goal for students taking his classes is for them to leave with the ability to analyze companies, industries, and policies in a new way. He says "that after a lot of years of doing this, they have yet to disappoint me."

Goolsbee spent a year as a special consultant for Internet Policy for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and five years as a Faculty Research Fellow for the National Bureau of Economic Research. He also was the lead editor for the Journal of Law and Economics for several years.

He earned a bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from Yale University in 1991. Four years later, he graduated with a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined Chicago Booth in 1995.

Insanely committed to his work, Goolsbee was spotted in the classroom on his wedding day, tuxedo and all. He enjoys improv comedy and participating in triathlons.


Steve Levitt (The University of Chicago)
Steve Levitt is the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he directs the Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory. He earned a BA from Harvard University and his PhD from MIT. He has taught at the University ofChicago since 1997. In 2004, Levitt was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal and in 2006, he was named one of Time magazine's “100 People Who Shape Our World.” He co-authored Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics, and is also the co-author of the popular Freakonomics Blog.


Chad Syverson (Beth Rooney)
Chad Syverson's research spans several topics, with a particular focus on the interactions of firm structure, market structure, and productivity. His work has been published in several top journals and has earned several National Science Foundation Awards, Olin Foundation Grants, and a Brookings Dissertation Fellowship.

"My engineering background definitely spurred my research interest in productivity. I like to visit factories and investigate how things are put together, what can go wrong when they are, and what factors influence firms' operating success (or lack thereof)."

Syverson is an associate editor of the Rand Journal of Economics, an editorial board member of the B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research in the Productivity, Industrial Organization, Environmental and Energy Economics, and EFG Programs. He also serves on the board of the Chicago Census Research Data Center. Prior to these appointments, Syverson was a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and a mechanical engineer co-op for Loral Defense Systems and Unisys Corporation.

He earned two bachelor's degrees in 1996 from the University of North Dakota, one in economics and one in mechanical engineering. He earned a master's degree in 1998 and a PhD in 2001, both in economics from the University of Maryland. Syverson joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 2008.