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Daniels School Faculty

John Umbeck

John Umbeck

Professor of Economics


Ph.D., Economics, University of Washington
M.A., Economics, University of California, Los Angeles
B.A., Economics, Occidental College

Professor Umbeck has been with Krannert since 1975. His main teaching interests include microeconomics, law and economics, economics of information, and private contracts. His principal research interest is the economics of crime and contract enforcement. Some of his publication credits include "Theory of Contract Choice," published in the Journal of Law and Economics; (October 1977); "Might Makes Rights," published in Economic Inquiry: (January 1981); and a book, A Theory of Property Rights (Iowa State University Press, December 1981). For a complete list of publications, refer to the publications tab.

He has served as a consultant for more than 50 corporations and government agencies, including the American Petroleum Institute, Amoco, Anheuser-Busch, Archer Daniels Midland, Ashland Oil, Atlantic Richfield Company, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Blue Cross Indiana, Blue Cross/Blue Shield National Association, British Petroleum, Chemical bank, Chevron, ChevronTexaco, Conoco, Cumberland Farms, E. & J. Gallo Winery, Equilon, Exxon, General Electric, Great Lakes Chemical Corporation, Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation, LUKOIL, Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC, Marathon Oil, Mobil Oil, Motiva, National Collegiate Athletic Association, National Committee on Electronic Funds Transfer Systems, Racetrac Petroleum Inc., R.R. Donnelly and Sons, Shell Oil, Standard Oil of California, Standard Oil of Ohio, Texaco, and Unocal.

Dr. Umbeck has offered expert economic testimony at the federal level before the U.S. Senate, the House of Representatives, the Federal Trade Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and the International Trade Commission and numerous state senates.  He has also served as an economic consultant in more than 75 law suits, mostly involving antitrust issues.  Throughout his career, he has received over 25 awards for outstanding teaching.


Journal Articles

  • Barron, J. Waddell, G. & Umbeck, J (2007). "“Consumer and Competitor Reactions: Evidence from a Retail-Gasoline Field ." International Journal of Industrial Organization
  • Barron, J., Taylor, B. & Umbeck, J. (2005). "“Number of Sellers, Average Prices, and Price Dispersion,” ." International Journal of Industrial Organization
  • Barron, J. Blanchard, K. & Umbeck, J. (2004). "“An Economic Analysis of a Change in an Excise Tax,” ." Journal of Economic Education
  • Barron, J. Taylor, B. & Umbeck, J. (2004). "“Will Open Supply Lower Retail Gasoline Prices." Contemporary Economic Issues.
  • Barron, J., Blanchard, K. & Umbeck, J. (2002). "An Economic Analysis of the Connecticut Excise Tax on Gasoline." Lundberg Letter
  • Barron, J. Taylor, B. & Umbeck, J., (2001). "New Evidence on Price Discrimination and Retail Configuration." Applied Economic Letters
  • Barron, J. Taylor, B. & Umbeck, J. (2000). "A Theory of Quality-Related Differences in Retail Margins: Why There is a 'Premium' on Premium Gasoline." Economic Inquiry
  • Barron, J. Staten, M. & Umbeck, J. (1992). "Discounts for Cash in Retail Gasoline Marketing." Contemporary Policy Issues
  • Staten, M., Gilley, O. & Umbeck, J. (1991). "Screening and Signaling in Credit Markets: A Theory of Direct vs. Indirect Lending." Economic Inquiry
  • Umbeck, J. (1989). "Entry, Recoupment and Higher Prices: Irrelevance of High Market Shares in Predatory Pricing." Anti-Trust Law and Economics vol. 21 (4-Mar),
  • Staten, M. & Umbeck, J. (1989). "Inefficiency: A Failure of Economists." Journal of Economic Education
  • Staten, M. & Umbeck, J. (1989). "“Shipping the Good Students Out: The Effect of a fixed Charge on Student Enrollments” ." Journal of Economic Education
  • Staten, M. & Umbeck, J (1988). ""Inefficiency, A Logical and Empirical Impossibility” ." Social Science Review
  • Dunkelberg, W. Staten, M. & Umbeck, J. (1988). ""Market Share/Market Power Revisited: A New Test for an Old Theory” ." Journal of Health Economics
  • McCarthy, P. & Umbeck, J. (1987). ""Tanking Up While Tanking Up" ." Regulation
  • Staten, M, Dunkelberg, W. & Umbeck, J. (1987). "Monopsony Power and Hospital Discounts: The Case of Blue Cross" ." Journal of Health Economics
  • Theroux, R., & Umbeck, J. (1987). "The Economics of Drunk Driving Laws." Regulation A.E.I..
  • Staten, M. & Umbeck J (1986). ""A Study of Signaling Behavior in Occupational Disease Claims" ." Journal of Law and Economics vol. 2 (29), 263-286.
  • Barron, J. Loewenstein, M. & Umbeck, J. (1985). "Predatory Pricing: The Case of the Retail Gasoline Market." Economic Inquiry, Contemporary Policy Issues
  • Barron, J. & Umbeck, J. (1984). ""Divorcement of Retail Gasoline Marketing: A Forced Contractual Change" ." Journal of Law and Economics
  • Umbeck, J. and Staten, M (1983). "Compensating Stress Induced Disability: Incentive Problems." Safety in the Work Force
  • Chatfield, R. & Umbeck, J. (1982). ""Information Costs, Risk, and Creditors' Remedies" ." Journal of Money Credit and Banking
  • Staten, M. & Umbeck, J. (1982). ""Information Costs and Incentives to Shirk: Disability Compensation of Air Traffic Controllers" ." American Economic Review
  • Umbeck, J. (1981). ""Might Makes Rights: A Theory of the Formation and Initial Distribution of Property Rights," ." Economic Inquiry
  • Umbeck, J. (1980). ""Shipping the Good Apples Out: Some Ambiguities in the Interpretation of Fixed Charge," ." Journal of Political Economy
  • Umbeck, J. (1979). ""The Welfare Effects of Sales Maximization: A Methodological Critique," ." Economic Inquiry
  • Umbeck, J. (1977). "A Theory of Contract Choice," ." Journal of Law and Economics
  • John Umbeck (1977). "The California Gold Rush: A Study of Emerging Property Rights." Explorations in Economic History

Book Chapters

  • John Umbeck (2011). "Self-Reliance in the California Gold Rush." Laissez Faire Books 220 - 243.
  • Umbeck, J. and Staten, M (2008). "Rambonomics: The Economics of POWs." Book in Honor of Steven Cheung
  • PURCE Rendering

    Centered on Economics

    The Purdue University Research Center in Economics (PURCE), a fast-growing initiative in need of space, will soon have a new home in the Krannert School of Management to conduct empirical research in economics focused on the role of incentives and markets in public policy.

    Full story: Centered on Economics

Phone: (765) 494-4447
Office: KRAN 309