John Gasper

Associate Teaching Professor, Economics

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John Gasper is a quantitatively-oriented and interdisciplinary scholar, with intellectual interests and background that do not fall cleanly into one discipline. Gasper's B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. are all in interdisciplinary fields. As an undergraduate, he studied logic and computation, an interdisciplinary major drawing from mathematics, computer science and philosophy. He completed an M.S. in decision sciences where he focused on applied game theory and behavioral economics, followed by a Ph.D. in political economy. A common theme in both his research and teaching is the use of mathematical and statistical modeling. In the variety of courses he teaches, he aims to help students use data, quantitative analysis, and analytic reasoning to make better managerial decisions.


Ph.D., Political Economy, Carnegie Mellon University. Dissertation title: "The Market Origins of Media Bias." 

M.S., Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University. Thesis title: "Why did They Move? Networks, Beliefs and Policy Change."  

B.S., Logic and Computation, with an additional major in Philosophy, Carnegie Mellon University

Area Of Expertise

game theory

political economy

decision sciences

mathematical / statistical modeling

Research Description

Gasper's research focuses generally on political economy in American politics with research projects in several areas. One of these projects focuses on accountability and federalism in the context of the U.S. disaster relief. A second area develops both formal theory and an empirical analysis to examine the market origins of media bias.

Research Keywords

political economy; American politics; decision sciences; game theory

Useful Links


"The Politics of Denying Aid: An Analysis of Disaster Declaration Turndowns." Journal of Public Management and Social Policy, Vol 21, Issue 2 (2015).

"Shifting Ideologies? Re-examining Media Bias." Research Note. Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Vol  6, No 1 (2011).

"Make It Rain: Retrospection and the Attentive Electorate in the Context of Natural Disasters," (with Andrew Reeves). American Journal of Political Science, Vol 55, No. 2 (2011).

"Reporting for sale: the market for coverage." Public Choice, Vol 141, No. 3 (2009).

Working Papers

"Governors as Opportunists: Evidence from Disaster Declaration Requests" (with Andrew Reeves)

"Optimal Investigative Reporting: Campaigns, the Press and the Search for Dirt."

"Gambling on the Issues." (with Scott Moser).

"Why did They Move? Networks, Beliefs and Policy Change." (with Cristina Bicchieri).

Courses Taught

Taught at CMU-Qatar

  • 70-442 Principles of Game Theory for Business
  • 70-208 Regression Analysis
  • 70-462 Stochastic Modeling and Simulation
  • 70-493 Advanced Topics in Macroeconomics and Real Business Cycles (co-taught with Finn Kydland) 
  • 70-386 Applied Behavioral Decision Making
  • 88-223 Decision Analysis and Decision Support Systems
  • 88-251 Empirical Research Methods
  • 88-374 Agent Based Modeling
  • 88-220 Policy Analysis 1

Taught elsewere:

  • The Political Economy of Mass Media
  • Introduction to the Public Policy Process
  • Nature of Mathematical Reasoning

Executive Education

  • Decision Making in Groups and Organizations
  • Informing Business Decisions through Market Research
  • Introduction to Data-Driven Computer Security

CV / Resume