Hi! I'm an economist at the University of Pittsburgh studying knowledge, innovation, and economic growth. These days, I'm quite interested in Wikipedia and other such open platforms. I'm also working on a number of open-source software projects.

Publications (click for abstract)
Optimal Taxation and R&D Policies (with Ufuk Akcigit and Stefanie Stantcheva), Econometrica, 2022 PDF DOI
High-speed Railways and Collaborative Innovation (with Jiancheng Li and Mingqin Wu), Regional Science and Urban Economics, 2022 PDF DOI
Back to Basics: Basic Research Spillovers, Innovation Policy and Growth (with Ufuk Akcigit and Nicolas Serrano-Velarde), Review of Economic Studies, 2021 PDF DOI — Cited: Economic Report of the President 2016
Comment on “Should we fear the robot revolution? (The correct answer is yes)” by Andrew Berg, Ed Buffie, and Felipe Zanna, Journal of Monetary Economics, 2018 DOI
Assessing the Rate of Replication in Economics (with James Berry, Lucas Coffman, Rania Gihleb, and Alistair Wilson), American Economic Review: Papers & Proceedings, 2017 PDF DOI
Transition to Clean Technology (with Daron Acemoglu, Ufuk Akcigit, and William Kerr), Journal of Political Economy, 2016 PDF DOI
Working Papers (click for abstract)
Science is Shaped by Wikipedia: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial (with Neil Thompson) PDF SSRN
Nature News: Wikipedia shapes language in science papers
General Press: The Next Web, Metro US
Unleashing the Dragon: The Case for Patent Reform in China (with Lee Branstetter and Huiyan Zhang) PDF
Patents to Products: Product Innovation and Firm Dynamics (with David Argente, Salomé Baslandze, and Sara Moreira) PDF SSRN CEPR FRB-ATL
Writeup at VoxEU: From patents to products
Economics and Epidemics: Evidence from an Estimated Spatial Econ-SIR Model (with Mark Bognanni, Daniel Kolliner, and Kurt Mitman) PDF SSRN CEPR FEDS
Opinion at IZA: What are lockdowns good for?
Interactive dashboard: econsir.io
Innovation and Patent Policy with Interdependent Technology PDF
Work in Progress
Measuring Patent Novelty Using Text Embeddings
International Competition in the Race to Clean Technology (with Chengying Luo)
Spatial Clustering of Firms: A Machine Learning Approach (with Chengying Luo and Mingqin Wu)
Theory and Evidence on the Relationship Between Corruption and Innovation (with Mingqin Wu)
Yellow Fever and the Growth of American Cities (with Sean McCoy and Werner Troesken)

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.

Elltwo (ℓ2) GitHub Website 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!

Elltwo is a browser based platform for decentralized and collaborative technical documents. It has a wiki like structure with an emphasis on typesetting and intelligent referencing. Articles are written in a simple markup language borrowing elements of Markdown and LaTeX.

fast reg GitHub

Fastreg is a Python library for running high-dimensional regressions quickly using sparse matrix representations. It works quite well for regular old regressions too. Regression specifications can be described using a powerful new "Pythonic" syntax, in addition to the usual R-style syntax. Supported methods include OLS (with clustered standard errors), GLM, Poisson, maximum likelihood for arbitrary models, and more. See the GitHub link for examples and documentation.

Fastpat GitHub

This is a fully-featured USPTO patent data fetcher and parser written in Python. It can handle applications, grants, assignments, and maintenance events in all formats. Additionally, it can cluster firm names into groups that are suffiently similar. The clustering algorithm first filters potential matches using locality-sensitive hashing then generates clusters from the components of a graph induced by a given Levenshtein distance threshhold.

Speedcam GitHub Blog

Cars can be pretty dangerous to bicyclists and pedestians! So I like to keep a close eye on them. With Speedcam, you can use a regular webcam as a speedometer. It will track cars in real time using YOLOv5 object detection combined with a Kalman filter and report their estimated speed. Check out the blog post above and go to the GitHub link to try it out on your own. Here's an example track:

Miniview GNOME GitHub

This is a GNOME Shell plugin that provides a miniature preview of a chosen window, kind of like picture-in-picture on TVs. Great for watching movies while you're working, or at least pretending to.

Fuzzy GitHub Demo

Due to a preternaturally poor memory, I am an avid note taker. There are many, many note-taking apps out there, but not all focus on the other side of the equation: note-getting. Fuzzy is optimized for rapidly inputting and searching through notes, which comprise a title, a body of text, and a list of tags. The interface is web-based, but can be operated using only a keyboard.


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.


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.

Competetive Conway's Game of Life TGZ

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

Graudate Macroeconomics

External website: doughanley.com/grad_macro

Computational Economics

External website: doughanley.com/grad_comp

Economic Growth + Computational Methods

1 — Neoclassical Growth [HTML] [PDF]

2 — Endogenous Growth [HTML] [PDF]

3 — Schumpeterian Framework [HTML] [PDF]

4 — Firm Dynamics [HTML] [PDF]

5 — Directed Technical Change [HTML] [PDF]

Intermediate Microeconomics LaTeX

1 — Preferences and Utility [PDF]

2 — The Walrasian Model and Consumer Choice [PDF]

3 — Consumer Demand [PDF]

4 — Equilibrium and Effiency [PDF]

5 — Equilibrium with Production [PDF]

6 — Firms and Production [PDF]

7 — Monopoly and Oligopoly [PDF]

8 — Intertemporal Choice and Uncertainty [PDF]

9 — Risk Sharing and Public Goods [PDF]

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.