PhD Research - Trevor O'Grady

Trevor O'Grady is broadly interested in situations in which individual incentives are misaligned with that of a larger group. That interest has led him to investigate environmental and public-goods problems, where the potential for misalignment is particularly prominent. Effective governance of these complex problems requires collective action and coordination implemented through an institutional framework. Trevor's research investigates the consequences of these institutions and the economic factors that lead them to evolve. His empirical work is guided by microeconomic and game theory concepts, employs quasi-experimental econometric methods, often exploits historical examples, and almost always includes a spatial component.

Trevor earned bachelor degrees in Economics and Biology from Rutgers University in 2006 and received his Master of Environmental Science & Management degree from the Bren School in 2008.


Large-Scale Institutional Changes: Land Demarcation in the British Empire, with Gary Libecap and Dean Lueck, November 2011, Journal of Law and Economics, Vol. 54, no. 4, Markets, Firms and Property Rights: A Celebration of the Research of Ronald Coase, pp. S295-S327.

Works in Progress

  • Do Formal Institutions Improve Resource Management? Evidence from Napoleon's Intervention in the Italian Alps, with Claudio Tagliapietra
  • Ethnic Heterogeneity and Cross-Country Environmental Performance: Why Are So Many Cities Rectangular? The Economic Determinants of Urban Grids, with Gary Libecap and Dean Lueck.


  • Graduate Fellow at Broom Center for Demography.