Billy Foster, PhD

Billy Foster

Clinical Assistant Professor of Economics at

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The state — or, to make matters more concrete, the government — consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get, and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time it is made good by looting ‘A’ to satisfy ‘B’. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advanced auction on stolen goods. — Henry Louis Mencken, Prejudices, First Series (1919)

Work in Progress

  • Free Ride:  Public Transportation Policy, Senior Citizens, and Traffic Fatalities

This paper measures the effect on traffic fatalities of a three year policy in the state of Illinois that gave senior citizens free access to all public transportation.

  • Domestic Meth Production: Effects of Production Control Legislation on Related Externalities

This paper measures the changes in the composition of crime when states adopt a pseudoephedrine control policy aimed at reducing the domestic production of methamphetamine.

  • A Comprehensive Strategy to Eliminate Central Line Bloodstream Infections in Adult Critical Care

In conjunction with DuPage County Hospital, this paper measures the success of several different policy measures aimed at reducing infections in adult critical care units.

  • Seniority and Subsidies: Incumbency and Federal Spending at the State Level

This paper estimates the effect that seniority has on the composition of private and public subsidies secured by members of Congress.

  • The Vector Voting Model: Incorporating Issue Weight into the Median Voter Theorem

This model allows for voters to weight issues and provides the basis for Monte Carlo simulation of mock elections and explains situations in which elections produce inefficient results.

  • Changing Incentives and Collusive Behavior in the National Hockey League

This paper looks for evidence of implicit collusion in professional hockey following a series of rule changes that occurred in the last decade.

  • Winners and Losers: How the Big Four Sports Championships Affect Local Economies

This paper measures the effect that making the playoffs, reaching the championship, and winning a season title in football, baseball, basketball, or hockey have on local economies.

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