Economics Business and Finance

Robert Lemke

Robert Lemke

Professor of Economics
Chair of Economics, Business, and Finance
Morten Chair of Public Policy

Economics Business and Finance


Public Policy
Industrial Organization
Economic Theory


Education Policy
Welfare Reform


PhD, Economics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
BA, Honors in Economics and Mathematics, St. Olaf College

Courses Frequently Taught

ECON 110: Principles of Economics
ECON 130: Applied Statistics

ECON 210: Microeconomic Theory
ECON 310: Industrial Organization
ECON 320: Labor Economics
ECON 330: Econometrics
ECON 385: Mathematical Economics
ECON 410: Markets, Public Policy, and Society


Using a Price Floor on Carbon Allowances to Achieve Emission Reductions under Uncertainty, with C. James Hueng and Xinhua Zhang, 2022.

A Self-Selection Pricing Mechanism for Residential Electricity under Government Price Restrictions, with C. James Hueng, Li Wang, and Xinhua Zhang, 2022.

Generation and Retrieval Practice Effects in the Classroom Using Peer Wise, with Matthew R. Kelley, Elizabeth K. Chapman-Orr, and Susanna Calkins, Teaching of Psychology, 2018.

An Analysis of Pet Food Label Usage, with William J. Burkholder, Charlotte E. Conway, Amy M. Lando, and Samuel Valcin ’16, Journal of Consumer Affiars, vol 49(3), Fall 2015, pp. 627-638.

Gender Differences when Subjective Probabilities affect Risky Decisions: An Analysis from the Television Game Show Cash Cab, with Matthew Kelley, Theory and Decision, vol 78(1), January 2015, pp. 153-170.

Decision-Making under Uncertainty in the Cash Cab, Applied Cognitive Psychology, with Matthew Kelley, vol 27(4), July/August 2013, pp. 542-551.

The Role Faculty Scholarship Plays in Producing Ph.D.s from Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, vol 12(3), Special Issue, Fall, 2012, pp. 5-20.

Explaining Game-to-Game Ticket Sales for Major League Baseball Games Over Time, Journal of Sports Economics, with Elise Beckman ’13, Wenqiang Cai ’13, and Becky Esrock ’13, vol. 13(5), 2012, pp. 536-553.

Estimating Attendance at Major League Baseball Games for the 2007 Season, Journal of Sports Economics, with Matt Leonard ’11 and Kelly Tlhokwane ’11, vol. 11(3), 2010, pp. 316-348.

Generating Doctoral Degree Candidates at Liberal Arts Colleges, in Doctoral Education and the Faculty of the Future (edited by Ronald Ehrenberg and Charlotte V. Kuh), Cornell University Press, 2009, pp. 93-108.

Freedom and Transparency: Democracies, Non-Democracies, and Conventional Arms Transfers, Democracy and Security, with James Marquardt, vol. 3(3), 2007, pp. 343-368.

Extending Monopoly Power under Joint Production: A Case Study of the Red Cross and the Blood Centers of America, Journal of Industrial Organization Education, with Kristina Lybecker, vol. 2(1), 2007, pp. 1-23.

The Transition from Welfare to Work, Eastern Economic Journal, with Rob Witt and Ann Witte, vol. 33(2), Summer 2007, pp. 359-373.

When Winning is the Only Thing: Pure Strategy Nash Equilibria in a Three Candidate Spatial Voting Model, Social Choice and Welfare, with Richard A. Chisik, vol. 26(1), 2006, pp. 209-215.

Student Assessments, Non-Test-Takers, and School Accountability, Education Economics, with Claus Hoerandner ’06 and Robert McMahon ’06, vol. 14(2), June 2006, pp. 235-250.

Can No Child Left Behind Close the Gaps in Pass Rates on Standardized Tests?, Contemporary Economic Policy, with Claus Hoerandner (’06), vol. 24(1), January 2006, pp. 1-17.

Do Estate and Gift Taxes Affect the Timing of Private Transfers?, Journal of Public Economics, with B. Douglas Bernheim and John Karl Scholz, Vol. 88(12), December 2004, pp. 2617-1634.

Dynamic Bargaining with Action-Dependent Valuations, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, vol. 28(9), July 2004, pp. 1847-1875.

Estimating the Union Wage Effect for Public School Teachers when all Teachers are Unionized, Eastern Economic Journal, vol. 30(2), Spring 2004, pp. 273-291.

Skill, Parental Income, and IV Estimation of the Returns to Schooling, Applied Economics Letters, with Isaac Rischall, vol. 10(5), April 2003, pp. 281-286.

Inter-firm Complementarity in R&D: A Re-examination of the Relative Performance of Joint Ventures, International Journal of Industrial Organization, with Nejat Anbarci and Santanu Roy, vol. 20(2), February 2002, pp. 191-213.

College and Community Talks

Entrepreneurship at Lake Forest College and the City of Lake Forest: A Collaborative Effort, Lake Forest City Council, June 2015.

Entrepreneurship and the College Experience, Lake Forest High School, March 2015.

Decision Making Under Uncertainty in the Cash Cab, with Matt Kelley, Faculty Luncheon Discussion Group, Lake Forest College, February 2012.

Heathcare Reform Forum, Lake Forest College, October 2009.

The Current Financial Crisis in the United States, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, June 2009.

How Timing Affects Games, Clockwise Senior Seminar, Lake Forest High School, March 2007, April 2009.

Re-Thinking the Incentives and Financial Consequences of No Child Left Behind, Faculty Luncheon Discussion Group, Lake Forest College, October 2005.

Beyond the BA, Career Advancement Center, Lake Forest College, September 2005.

Election 2004, Student Forum, Lake Forest College, October 2004.

Great Books that have Influenced My Life, Faculty Symposium, Lake Forest College, October 2004.

Invited Talks

Subjective Probabilities, Learning, and Risk-Aversion: Empirical Analysis of the Cash Cab (Kenyon College, February 2017).

Estimating Game-to-Game Ticket Sales for Major League Baseball Games Over Time (University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, March 2011).

Rethinking High-Stakes Testing in U.S. Public Schools: Incentives and Consequences (Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan, June 2009).

Estimating Attendance at Major League Baseball Games for the 2007 Season (Florida International University, April 2009; University of South Carolina, April 2009).

Accounting for the Differences in Ph.D. Creation Rates Across Liberal Arts Colleges (Cornell University, October 2006).

Can No Child Left Behind Close the Gaps in Pass Rates on Standardized Tests? (Western Michigan University, September 2004).

Student Assessments, Non-Test-Takers, and School Accountability. (Surrey University, Guildford, England, August 2004; Loyola University Chicago, February 2004).

Do Estate and Gift Taxes Affect the Timing of Private Transfers? (Kenyon College, February 2002; Office of Tax Analysis, U.S. Department of the Treasury, February 2002; Ohio University, January 2002).

Inter-firm Complementarity in R&D: A Re-examination of the Relative Performance of Joint Ventures (Duke University, November 1999).

Repeated Bargaining with State-Dependent Private Valuations (Florida International University, January 2009; University of South Carolina, January 2009).

Conference Presentations

Student Perspectives on the Research and Co-Authoring Process, Panel: Promoting and Guiding Student Research, Midwest Economics Association Meetings, St. Louis, MO, March 2019.

Decision-Making Under Uncertainty in the Cash Cab. (Midwest Economics Association, Evanston, IL, March 2012.)

The Richter Scholar Apprentice Program at Lake Forest College, Midwest Economics Association Meetings, Evanston, IL, March 2010.

The Importance of Teaching Economic Efficiency. (Midwest Economics Association, Evanston, IL, March 2010.)

Are Democracies More Transparent in Their External Affairs than Dictatorships? (Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, March 2006.)

Freedom, Transparency, and Economic Growth. (Midwest Economics Association, Chicago, March 2006.)

Economics BAs and PhDs from Liberal Arts Colleges: Do Degree Requirements or Faculty Scholarship Matter? (Midwest Economics Association, Milwaukee, March 2005.)

Student Assessments, Non-Test-Takers, and School Accountability. (Midwest Economics Association, Chicago, March 2004; Illinois Economics Association, Chicago, October 2003.)

Estate Tax Changes and Inter Vivos Transfers. (Midwest Economics Association, Cleveland, March 2001; NBER Public Economics Winter 2001 Program, presented by John Karl Scholz.)

Child Care and the Welfare to Work Transition: A Longitudinal View July 1996 August 1997. (NBER Public Economics Summer 2000 Program, presented by Ann D. Witte.)

Optimal Price Paths Under Dynamic Bargaining. (Econometric Society 1999 North American Summer Meetings, Madison, June 1999.)

R&D Synergies with Research Joint Ventures. (Midwest Economics Association, Nashville, March 1999.)

The Size and Distribution of Union Rents for Public School Teachers. (Econometric Society Winter Meetings, New York, January 1999; Midwest Economics Association, Chicago, March 1998.)

Awards and Honors (Selected)

Morten Professor of Public Policy, March 2021.

Great Teacher Award, Lake Forest College, May 2019.

Trustee Award for Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership, Lake Forest College, May 2017.

Work and Leisure in Japan, Travel Grant with GLCA and Japan Foundation New York, Spring 2009.

Travel Grant to Budapest, Global Partners Project, Associated Colleges of the Midwest, June 2005.

William L. Dunn Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarly Promise, Lake Forest College, May 2005.

Visiting Scholar, Surrey University, Guildford, England, August 2004.

Excellence in Teaching Award, Florida International University, Spring 2001.

Provost Summer Research Award, Florida International University, Summer 2000.

Christensen Dissertation Award, with John Kennan, University of Wisconsin, 19961997.

WARF Dissertation Fellowship, University of Wisconsin, 19961997.

Bullis Scholarship, University of Wisconsin, 19921993.

Phi Beta Kappa, St. Olaf College, 1992.