Billy Foster, PhD

Billy Foster

Clinical Assistant Professor of Economics at

Find me on:



A planted seed has value long before it becomes a tree. The potential benefits are enough to give it value. Teaching is the planting of seeds. Knowledge, or even better, wisdom, is an investment like a tree that goes on and on producing fruit. But unlike a fruit tree, you have no idea when the fruit will come or what kind it will be. — Russell Roberts, The Price of Everything (2008)

“I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”

- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This section will be periodically updated with advancements in my research. Comments or questions on any of this work are always welcome.

  • 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.