Dean B. Stansel

Research Associate Professor, Southern Methodist University

Stansel is also a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.

Previously, Stansel served as an Associate Professor of Economics at Florida Gulf Coast University. He earned a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Wake Forest University in 1991 and a Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University in 2002.

Prior to entering academia, Stansel worked for seven years at the Cato Institute, where he authored (or coauthored) more than 60 publications on fiscal policy issues, including op-eds in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Investor’s Business Daily, and the Chicago Tribune. He also appeared on television and radio and testified before Congress and several state legislatures. His academic research has focused on the impact of competition between local governments on fiscal and economic outcomes, the relationship between the size of government and economic growth, state fiscal crises, and a variety of other issues in the areas of public economics and urban economics.

Stansel’s academic publications have appeared in numerous journals, including the Journal of Urban Economics, Public Finance Review, Cato Journal, Review of Austrian Economics, and the Journal of Housing Research. It has been cited in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE) awarded him second place in the 2010 Policy Communicators Contest for his paper entitled “Why Some Cities Are Growing and Others Shrinking.” 

In 2011, Stansel was selected by the Economic Freedom Project to help publicize the findings of the Economic Freedom of the World report, the Economic Freedom of North America report, and the virtues of economic freedom in general through a variety of media interviews, and since then has been a frequent guest on a variety of talk radio shows. In 2013, he published the first ever local index of economic freedom (a new version of which was published in 2019) and was chosen to be the primary author of the annual Economic Freedom of North America report.

Stansel and his wife, Robin (who met while both were working at the Cato Institute), live in Dallas, Texas. They have two children who they homeschool.

Dean B. Stansel Contributions

December 24, 2014
  • Taxes
  • Economy
  • Government Spending