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John Merrifield

Contact John Merrifield 210-458-5310

Dr. Merrifield is a professor of economics at The University of Texas at San Antonio, a position he has held since 1987.

He is the editor of the Journal of School Choice and director of the E.G. West Institute for Effective Schooling. He received a BS in natural resource management from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1977, a M.A. in economic geography from the University of Illinois in 1979, and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wyoming in 1984.

Dr. Merrifield is a first generation German immigrant. He accompanied his mother, (now) Dr. Doris Merrifield-Leffingwell, to the United States in 1960 at the age of 5. He resides in downtown San Antonio, Texas with his wife Gayla, and their human children, Christopher and Joshua (6 and 5), and their four-legged children Roxy, Ted, Lindsay and Ditto.

Research Interests

He has published several books including The School Choice WarsSchool ChoicesParental Choice as an Education Reform Catalyst: Global LessonsBasic Economic Tools, and over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, and several chapters in edited books in his primary teaching and research fields of education economics, urban and regional economics, environmental and natural resource economics and public finance. He is teaching a fully online course on School System Reform StudiesSpring 2016 through UTSA’s Extended Education Office.

Selected Publications

  • “A Dynamic Scoring Simulation Analysis of How TEL Design Choices Impact Government Expansion,” Journal of Economic and Financial Studies, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2016, pp. 60-68.
  • “Swedish and Swiss Fiscal Rule Outcomes Contain Key Lessons for the U.S.,” The Independent Review, Vol. 21, No. 2, Fall 2016, pp. 251-274.
  • “Can the Debt Growth be Stopped? Rules-Based Policy Options for Addressing the Federal Fiscal Crisis,” (with Barry Poulson), Lexington, MA: Lexington Press, 2016.
  • “Aquifer Storage Wellfield Assessment and Design Through Benefit-Cost-Sensibility Analysis,” Water Resources and Economics, Vol. 9, January 2015, pp. 80-93.
  • “A Private Universal Voucher Program’s Effects on Traditional Public Schools,” (with N. Gray and K. Adzima), Journal of Economics and Finance, Vol. 39, Issue 1, 2015, pp. 1-26.
  • “Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project Optimization Through User-Friendly Benefit-Cost Analysis,” Water Resources and Economics, 2014.
  • “State Fiscal Policies for Budget Stabilization and Economics Growth: A Dynamic Scoring Analysis,” with Poulson, Cato Journal, Vol. 34, No. 1, 2014, pp. 47-82.
  • “School Choice and Development: Evidence from the Edgewood Experiment,” with Gray, Cato Journal, Vol. 33, No. 1, 2013, pp. 127-142.
  • “Fiscal Notes for School Choice Programs: Issues, Past Practice and Moving Forward,” with Ford, Journal of School Choice, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2013, pp. 37-60.
  • “The Property Value Effects of Universal Tuition Vouchers,” with Adzima, Nesbit and Gunasekara, Journal of Housing Research, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2011, pp. 225-238.
  • “An Education Freedom Index,” Journal of School Choice, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2011, pp. 319-349.
  • “The Potential for System-Friendly K-12 Reform,” Cato Journal, Vol. 29, No. 2, 2009, pp. 373-387.
  • “The School Choice Evidence and its Significance,” Journal of School Choice, Vol. 2, No. 3, 2008, pp. 223-259.
  • “Groundwater Resources: The Transition from Capture to Allocation,” Policy Studies Review, Vol. 17, No. 1, 2000, pp. 105-124.
  • “State Government Expenditure Determinants and Tax Revenue Determinants Revisited,” Public Choice, Vol. 102, 2000, pp. 25-50.
  • “Monopsony Power in the Market for Teachers,” Journal of Labor Research, Vol. 20, No. 3, 199, pp. 377-391.
  • “A Market Approach to Conserving Biodiversity,” Ecological Economics, Vol. 16, 1996, pp. 217-226.

Recent Articles and Publications

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April 2, 2020
By John Merrifield, Barry Poulson
Just as the government adjusted to a post-World War II economy, the government must design a phase two fiscal plan for a post-coronavirus pandemic economy.
July 11, 2019
By Barry Poulson, John Merrifield
It’s time for a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.
March 11, 2019
By John Merrifield, Barry Poulson
Switzerland set the precedent for this type of policy
November 15, 2018
By Barry Poulson, John Merrifield
Gloomy forecasts are becoming ubiquitous, lending credence to the view that economics is the dismal science.
November 1, 2018
By Barry Poulson, John Merrifield
Almost all Americans agree that the process to pass a federal budget has become more difficult than scaling Mt. Everest.
September 23, 2016
By Barry Poulson, John Merrifield
The authors propose a new fiscal rule for the United States, a deficit/debt brake, that would impose a stringent limit on government expenditures in the United States.
June 13, 2011
By John Merrifield, Joseph Bast
On May 18, 2011, a Texas-based education consultant and blogger named Ed Fuller posted an essay titled “Vouchers? A Bad Idea and Here Is [sic] Several Reasons Why” on his blog.

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