Dean Stansel

headshot of Dean Stansel

Research Associate Professor 
PhD, Economics, George Mason University, 2002
MA, Economics, George Mason University, 2000
BA, Economics and Politics, Wake Forest University, 1991

Bridwell Institute for Economic Freedom





Crow 282B


Dean Stansel Website




Dean Stansel is a Research Associate Professor at the Bridwell Institute for Economic Freedom.  Before entering academia, Stansel worked for seven years at the Cato Institute, a public policy research organization in Washington, D.C., where he produced over 60 publications on fiscal policy issues.  He is a primary author of the Economic Freedom of North America annual report, which provides an economic freedom index for states and provinces in North America, and sole author of an economic freedom index for U.S. metropolitan areas.  Stansel’s academic publications have appeared in the Journal of Urban Economics, Public Finance Review, Journal of Housing Research, Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, Review of Law and Economics, and Cato Journal, among others, and has been cited in numerous publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  His op-eds have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and many other local newspapers.  Stansel earned his PhD and MA in economics from George Mason University and his BA in economics (with honors) and politics from Wake Forest University.


Currently, Stansel's primary focus is on research, but previously he has enjoyed teaching courses in microeconomics, public economics/public finance, and urban economics.


Economic Freedom 
Public Economics/Public Finance  
Urban Economics 


Arif, I., A. Hoffer, D. Stansel, and D. Lacombe. 2020.“Economic Freedom and Migration: A Metro Area-Level Analysis,” Southern Economic Journal, 87, 1, 170-190.

Tuszynski, M. and D. Stansel. 2020. “Immigration and State Institutions: Does Region of Origin Matter?” Cato Journal, 40, 3 (Fall 2020), 625-664.

Stansel, D. 2019. “Economic Freedom in U.S. Metropolitan Areas,” Journal of Regional Analysis and Policy, 49, 1, 40-48.

Millsap, A., B. Hobbs, and D. Stansel. 2019. “Local Governments and Economic Freedom: A Test of the Leviathan Hypothesis,” Public Finance Review, 47, 3, 493-529.

Stansel, D. 2018. “Labor Market Freedom and Economic Prosperity: How Does Missouri Compare?” Missouri Policy Journal, 7, 12-27. 

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