I focus mainly on knowledge, innovation, and economic growth. In particular, I study how knowledge is accumulated and diffused, how innovation occurs at the individual and firm level, and how these map into outcomes at a societal level.

Publications (click for abstract)
Assessing the Rate of Replication in Economics, American Economic Review (Papers and Proceedings), 2017
(with James Berry, Lucas Coffman, Rania Gihleb, and Alistair Wilson)
Transition to Clean Technology, Journal of Political Economy, 2016
(with Daron Acemoglu, Ufuk Akcigit, and William Kerr)
Working Papers (click for abstract)
Innovation and Patent Policy with Interdependent Technology PDF
Optimal Taxation and R&D Policies, NBER Working Paper 22908
(with Ufuk Akcigit and Stefanie Stantcheva)
Back to Basics: Basic Research Spillovers, Innovation Policy and Growth, CEPR Discussion Paper 11707
(with Ufuk Akcigit and Nicolas Serrano-Velarde)
cited in the Economic Report of the President 2016
The Role of Informational Public Goods in Science: Evidence From a Randomized Control Trial of How Science is Shaped by Wikipedia
(with Neil Thompson)
(upon request)
Work in Progress
International Competition in the Race to Clean Technology
(with Chengying Luo)
Yellow Fever and the Growth of American Cities (with Sean McCoy and Werner Troesken)
Firm Clustering Using Machine Learning
(with Tamara Broderick, Trevor Campbell, Jeffrey Kuhn, and Neil Thompson)


First off, check out my GitHub page! There you can find code relating to the above papers, the below listed projects, and other side projects.

Ellsworth GitHub Live Demo

Stuck in LaTeX/PDF hell? There may be a way out. Nowadays, academics are relying less and less on the printed page. At the same time, there have been major advances in the speed and functionality of web technology, particularly in the mobile space. Check out the live demo above!

I aim to produce a framework that can supplant LaTeX as the major tool for the promulgation of academic research. The benefits of such a framework will come both in the form of ease of use (for both the producer and consumer) and in an increased ability to integrate with existing web technologies.


Below is a service that allows you to look at the cumulative relative editing activity for a large number of tokens (about 1.1M) appearing in Wikipedia. You can type in your own (single) words into the box below, separated by commas, and see the results by pressing enter. You can also download the results in CSV form by clicking the button.

Plot Download

If you'd like to download the full dataset of tokens, just send me an email and I can arrange it. Even finer data is available at the article editing level.

Console GitHub

In this project, I'm attempting to develop a framework for easy-to-use, real-time web plotting. The primary use case is for dashboards that display information on running calculations, but others are of course possible. The backend uses WebSockets and Tornado to interface with MATLAB/Matplotlib-style plotting commands. The frontend uses d3.js.

Competetive Conway's Game of Life Download TGZ

This project is quite old. The goal was to investigate the evolution of cellular automata entities in a competitive setting.

Progress of a randomly generated trial run.


Below are lectures notes for some of the classes that I've taught over the years, both at the graduate and undergraduate level.

Economic Growth + Computational Methods
Lecture 1: Neoclassical GrowthHTML PDF
Lecture 2: Endogenous GrowthHTML PDF
Lecture 3: Schumpeterian FrameworkHTML PDF
Lecture 4: Directed Technical ChangeHTML PDF
Lecture 5: Firm DynamicsHTML PDF
Intermediate Microeconomics Lectures
Lecture 1: Preferences and UtilityPDF
Lecture 2: The Walrasian Model and Consumer ChoicePDF
Lecture 3: Consumer DemandPDF
Lecture 4: Equilibrium and EffiencyPDF
Lecture 5: Firms and ProductionPDF
Lecture 6: Equilibrium with ProductionPDF
Lecture 7: Monopoly and OligopolyPDF
Lecture 8: Intertemporal Choice and UncertaintyPDF
Lecture 9: Risk Sharing and Public GoodsPDF
LaTex SourcesZIP

GPU Computing PDF

Advances in computing are critical for expanding the set of models that we can feasibly investigate quantitatively. GPU's are highly parallelized processing units, originally designed for use in video games, but increasingly finding their way into high performance computing. I gave a lecture in 2011 at Penn detailing how economists might use these in their research. The field is of course evolving rapidly on both the hardware and software fronts, so this may not incorporate all recent changes.

Other Stuff

Edgeworth Box

This was on my old website and I felt bad about abandoning it.