Zachary Kessler

Ph.D. Candidate at George Mason University

Curriculum vitae


George Mason University


My research areas include macroeconomics, political economy, networks, computational economics, development, industrial organization and applied econometrics. I examine and model the interactions of agents and the coordinating mechanisms they require to reach an equilibrium or steady state. The computational approach unlocked by using these algorithmic institutions allows for direct comparative analysis of agent welfare under different governing bodies or associations. 

My dissertation demonstrates the utility of these tools in both three different ways and alternative settings. First, I use an agent-based model to prove the existence of a Nash equilibrium in O-Ring production models which leads to inefficient matching if a system only relies on market based methods of interaction. Second, using data on property values in the state of Florida, I demonstrate the existence of a network effect in property which can only be properly exploited through the use of the specific institutional mechanisms of regulation and rent-seeking. Finally, by building a numerical analysis model mirroring behavioral New Keynesian innovations in macroeconomics coupled with computational political agents, I outline the collection of institutions which lead to optimal macroeconomic stability through endogenous policy-making.

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Published Papers

Going Far By Going Together: James M. Buchanan’s Economics of Shared Ethics

Art Carden, Gregory W. Caskey, Zachary B. Kessler

Business Ethics Quarterly, 2021, pp. 1-15

Research Papers

Property Rights within a Theory of Entangled Political Economy

Richard E. Wagner, Zachary B. Kessler

R&R, Journal of Public Finance and Public Choice, 2021

Working Papers