David H. Reiley, Jr.

Arizona Public Service Professor of Economics, University of Arizona.

On leave 2007-8 and 2008-9 at Yahoo! Research.

Click here for my CV and downloadable working papers.

(Note: I am the economist formerly known as David Lucking-Reiley. I changed my name in August 2002.)

UA email: reiley@eller.arizona.edu

UA office phone: (520)621-6238

Yahoo! office phone: (480)349-2767

Mobile phone: (520)237-3236

UA Mailing address:

Department of Economics
University of Arizona
401CC McClelland Hall
Tucson, Arizona 85721

There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.

-Richard Feynman, physicist, Nobel laureate (1918-1988)

This page was last updated on 30 Mar 2008.

Who am I?

I joined the faculty of the University of Arizona in 2001. I previously taught in the department of Economics at Vanderbilt University, and in the department of Management and Strategy at Northwestern University.

I've taken a two-year leave of absence from UA in order to work as a Research Scientist at Yahoo! Research in Santa Clara, CA, doing work on the economics of advertising and other topics. I currently live in a community called Magic in Palo Alto, CA.

In Tucson, my activities usually include:

Here is a summary of my professional career so far (my Curriculum Vitae).

Here is a more informal document, which I call the story of my life.

My Interests

Here is a list of some of my favorite things. I include them in the hope that you'll discover something new that interests you. I've divided my interests into the following sections:

Computers and the Internet
Food and Wine
Economics and Business


I'm a bassist. I have played classical double bass since I was nine years old, and during graduate school I also started playing electric bass. Here are some of the groups I've performed with:

I also like listening to music. Follow this link to find out some of my favorite composers and recording artists.

Computers and the Internet

In 1996, I wrote some gee-whiz stuff about the Internet on this section of my Web page. It's no longer so uncommon for someone to say, as I did then, that "I couldn't imagine my life without the Internet." It's still true, though, that I spent more time writing email than any other activity. And the Internet has been an essential part of my research. For example, my Ph.D. dissertation reported the results of a series of auction experiments I ran over the Internet, with participants submitting their bids via email. (The auctions were for cards from the game Magic: the Gathering.) Today I do research on electronic commerce and advertising at Yahoo!.

If you'd like to see some of my favorite websites, you can check out my bookmarks at Delicious.

I have developed a World Wide Web site devoted to interactive economic simulations, which help to illustrate some principles of economics to my students. I also built and maintain the Economic Science Association website for the worldwide organization of experimental economists.

Would you like to learn to create your own Web page? I recommend the Webmonkey site, which has a ton of useful tutorials, starting with some for complete beginners. You might also enjoy checking out the page of tips for Web site authoring, created for my undergraduate marketing course at Vanderbilt.

I'm a Macintosh fanatic. As of 2007, I have been using a MacBook Pro. Admittedly, the Microsoft Windows environment has improved a lot since I first started ranting about this, but I still prefer my Mac. It makes life simpler and easier for me.

For daily news updates about the Macintosh, including tons of announcements of newly available software, I rely on the Macintosh Resource Page.

For information about the Macintosh and the Internet, I read TidBITS, a weekly electronic magazine with particularly informative, well-written articles.

I recommend to everyone the following two articles from TidBITS on email etiquette: Mailing List Manners 101 and Mailing List Manners 102. These articles include good ideas, not obvious to everyone, about thoughtful "netiquette" to make cyberspace a much nicer place for everyone.

I'm sure you are already familiar with Wikipedia, but I'm going to include a button to demonstrate that I donate money to them. I've been very impressed with their ability to maintain so much information from volunteers.

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Here's an interesting page where you can play 20 Questions against a computer, and help the computer improve its performance.

Here's another interesting page where you can participate in the Small World sociology experiment, which aims to measure how many "degrees of separation" there are between two randomly chosen people. My first target was an Indonesian graduate student in computer science.

Food and Wine 

I love to cook, though I'm afraid I've not found much time for it lately. I try to prepare a variety of kinds of food: Asian stir-fries, broiled fish in red-wine-garlic sauce, chicken with capers and olives, taco salad with homemade guacamole, French onion soup, hearty lentil soup, grilled pork loin, etc. My most-used cookbook is The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, though I enjoy a lot of other cookbooks as well.

I'm also very much into restaurants. Some people find it odd, but I have been known to plan vacation travel around a particular restaurant I want to visit. I'm always looking for new fine dining experiences.

My dinner at elBulli in Spain in 2001 remains the most sublime dining experience I've ever had. The combinations of textures, colors, flavors, temperatures - every dimension of the food experience - were incredible. Highlights from the tasting menu included paella Rice Krispies, goose barnacles skewered on a broth pipette and frozen-foie-gras quinoa with hot consommé.

My favorite Tucson restaurants include Acacia, Bistro Zin, Cafe Poca Cosa, Cafe Terra Cotta, The Dish, El Charro, Janos, Miguel's, Neo of Melaka, P.F. Chang's, Pastiche, Vivace, and Wildflower.

My favorite restaurant reviews on the Internet used to be found at Steven Shaw's New York Restaurant Review and Food Guide. I really enjoy the way Steven (aka Fat Guy) writes about food, so I'm disappointed that the site no longer appears to be active. However, I've noticed that he has started the site egullet.org, and you can find his How to Dine guide on that site. I find him both informative and entertaining.

I'm also interested in winetasting. I'm most familiar with California wines, particularly Chardonnays, Sauvignon Blancs, and Zinfandels, but I'm always interested in learning about other varietals and other winegrowing regions. Good wine sites I've visited on the Web include Wine Today and Virtual Vineyards. The Wine Spectator site has a decent introduction to wine tasting.

Princeton economics professor Orley Ashenfelter publishes Liquid Assets, a wine-tasting newsletter with an unusual and interesting emphasis on the use of statistics.

My sister, Amy Reiley, writes professionally about food and wine. Her book, Fork Me, Spoon Me, is a cute little aphrodisiac cookbook. Learn more about her at her Life of Reiley website..

Amy Reiley's Pocket Vineyard allows you to take her wine tips with you, and keep your own wine-tasting notes with you, on your handheld computer.


Before I went into economics, I studied astrophysics at Princeton University, where my favorite professors included David Spergel and Jill Knapp. Although I'm not an expert, I still enjoy stargazing and learning about astronomy, so I'm happy to share some of my favorite astronomy links.

A Space Library at the NASA/CalTech Jet Propulsion Laboratory has some great features, including a solar system simulator and surface maps of various bodies in the solar system.

If you want to view something interesting in tonight's sky, the Skywatching Center of the Earth & Sky website will show you where to look.

There's a lot to learn at the Online Planetarium Show, which focuses on pictures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

AstroWeb is a comprehensive reference site for astronomers.


I enjoy reading a variety of books, often reading aloud. Here are some of my recent favorites. You'll see that it's an eclectic mix:

Economics and Business 

My research currently centers around bidding in Internet auctions. I particularly recommend AuctionWatch as a source of information on online auctions, including categorized lists of sites as well as a really nice collection of news articles, updated daily. There exist many dozens of sites where commercial auctions take place, but eBay is by far the biggest.

For auction junkies, here is a hilarious article about eBay addiction from Worth magazine. I believe the article is highly exaggerated, but its basis in truth is what makes it so funny,

WBEZ iconOn September 20, 1999, I appeared as a guest on Odyssey, a public-radio program produced by Chicago's WBEZ. Click here to listen to the RealAudio archive of my appearance. I enjoyed talking about my main academic interest, online auctions.

If you are interested in participating in some economics simulation games, with the possibility of earning cash payoffs in an economics experiment, please visit my Market.Econ Web site.

If you are interested in game theory (the study of strategic interactions), I recommend visiting Mike Shor's Web site Gametheory.net.

Here are some economist friends with particularly interesting Web sites:

Al Roth - maintains a Game Theory and Experimental Economics page.
Peter Cramton - an economist with extensive information on auctions and bargaining.
Charlie Holt - does innovative economics experiments for both research and teaching.
Brad Delong - I enjoy his thoughtful essays on economics for the popular press.
Preston McAfee - to see his set of economist jokes, choose "My Documents" and "Humor."

For business news, I read the Wall Street Journal. I particularly enjoy the Marketplace section, from which I draw a lot of cases I discuss with my students. Click here to subscribe at special student rates.

On May 15-17, 2003, I hosted a workshop on classroom experiments here in Tucson. I work with a group that has been putting on such workshops annually.


Here is a selection of interesting home pages of friends of mine:

Carrie Beam - a quantitative data consultant, she was a Princeton classmate.
Ann Bell - an inveterate blogger, she used to work for NASA's as a "rocket economist."
Tim Chow - try his Peanuts quizzes, not for the novice!
Mara Factor - the most avid hiker I know.
Bob Gansler - host of the Hollies' official Web site.
Malcolm Getz - author of an all-electronic statistics text.
Mary Lucking - my ex-wife, a public artist.
Paul and Amy Markoff Johnson - wacky Princeton classmates, living in California.
Amy Reiley - my sister, a food-and-wine writer.
Carson Schütze - a linguistics professor at UCLA, he's also very into musical theater.
Ann Schwentker - a reconstructive plastic surgeon with two young daughters.
Al Wong - has degrees in physics and zoology, now works as an actor in Los Angeles.


Every January I participate in the IAP Mystery Hunt at MIT. This involves competing in teams to solve a set of mind-blowingly difficult puzzles (I'm not exaggerating here: see this word puzzle, this number puzzle, and this trivia puzzle as illustrative examples) in order to obtain clues to the location of a coin hidden somewhere on campus. I had the satisfaction of participating on the winning teams in 1995 and 2005. I captained our winning 1995 team, which designed and ran the 1996 hunt.

I am a big fan of The Muppets, particularly the little-known Muppets Tonight! TV show. If you haven't yet met Clifford, Bobo, Seymour and Pepe, and Andy and Randy, then you've been missing some great Muppets! Bill Sherman created a very nice Muppets fan site with a complete episode guide. More recently, Muppets Central has provided even more details on the Muppets.

I am also a Star Wars fan. I was an avid collector of action figures as a youngster, and have completed my collection via purchases on eBay.

I enjoy listening to National Public Radio for news and interesting features.  I particularly like the weekly programs Car Talk and Prairie Home Companion, which you can sample online. I appeared as a guest on the show Talk of the Nation, hosted by Neal Conan, on June 5, 2002 - you can listen to the recording online.

I enjoy sunsets and mountain hikes in my home of Tucson, Arizona.

Please contact me via email at reiley@eller.arizona.edu.