Joaquin Lopez, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

FCBE 415
Office Hours
By Appointment


Joaquin Lopez is an economist with nearly 20 years of professional experience in government, academia, and consulting. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Universidad Autonóma de Nuevo León in Monterrey, Mexico and went on to earn a M.Sc. degree in economics from the University of Texas at El Paso. Before starting his doctoral studies in economics at the University of Chicago, he worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas as an economic analyst and completed the American Economic Association’s Summer Training Program, where he was a Minority Fellow. After graduating from Chicago in 2014, he joined the Department of Economics in the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis, where he is currently a tenured Associate Professor. Professor Lopez has taught classes at Chicago and Memphis at every level: undergraduate, masters, MBA, and Ph.D. He has been a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C. and has his own economics consulting firm, Decision Scientific, which he co-founded with a former Memphis student. Professor Lopez’s research spans a wide range of fields, including macroeconomics, economic development, labor economics, public finance and law and economics. His research has been published in major economics journals and has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, and the Russell Sage Foundation.


Ph.D. Economics - University of Chicago - 2014
M.A. Economics - University of Chicago - 2010
M.Sc. Economics - University of Texas at El Paso - 2004
Licenciatura Economics - Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León - 2002

Areas of Teaching

Macroeconomics, economic growth, economic development, international economics


Areas of Research

Economic growth, development, public finance, labor, law and economics

Working Papers

"A Jury of One’s Peers: The Effect of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 on Jury Trials”

“Surgeons’ Response to Reimbursement Changes for Alternative Procedures: Evidence from Spine Fusion in
the U.S.,” with Nicholas Benson

“Modeling Progressive Taxation”

“Entrepreneurship and Rent Seeking under Credit Constraints”

Research in Progress

“Civil Rights Enforcement and Intergenerational Mobility among Minorities," with Jamein Cunningham.

“Racial Divisions and Police Violence," with Jamein Cunningham.

“Lynchings and the Enforcement of Civil Rights", with Carl Magnus Bjuggren, Jamein Cunningham, and
Jhacova Williams.

“Court Partisanship and Civil Rights Case Outcomes,” with Jamein Cunningham


1st Place (Tie)     López, J. J., & Torres, J. (2020). Size-dependent policies, talent misallocation, and the return to skill. Review of Economic Dynamics, 38, 59-93

“Civil Rights Enforcement and the Racial Wage Gap,” with Jamein Cunningham, AEA Papers & Proceedings,
vol. 111, 196–200, May 2021.

“Size-Dependent Policies, Talent Misallocation, and the Return to Skill,” with Jesica Torres, Review of
Economic Dynamics, vol. 38, 59–93, October 2020.

“Advertising for Consideration,” with Carmen Astorne-Figari and Aleksander Yankelevich, Journal of
Economic Behavior and Organization, vol. 157, 653–669, January 2019.

“Financial Frictions and Aggregate Productivity: Evidence from Mexico,” Quarterly Review of Economics
and Finance, vol. 66, 294–301, November 2017.

 “A Quantitative Theory of Tax Evasion,” Journal of Macroeconomics, vol. 53, 107–126, September 2017.

“An Evaluation of Real-time Forecasting Performance across 10 Western U.S. States,” with Keith R. Phillips,
Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, vol. 34, No. 2-3, 2009.

“Error Correction Exchange Rate Modeling for Mexico: 1980-2001,” with Thomas M. Fullerton, International
Journal of Applied Econometrics and Quantitative Studies, Vol.2-3, 2005.