David Knudsen Levine teaches economics at Washington University in St. Louis where his research includes the study of intellectual property and endogenous growth in dynamic general equilibrium models, the endogenous formation of preferences, social norms and institutions, learning in games, and game theory applications to experimental economics.
David K. Levine conducts ongoing research in general equilibrium theory, focusing specifically on growth theory, innovation, and intellectual property. Collaborating with Michele Boldrin, Levine examines the role of increasing returns in growth and innovation. They posit that little evidence exists for increasing returns at the aggregate level, and thus argue that there is no reason to believe that increasing returns play an important role in growth. This theory concludes that existing claims for the necessity of intellectual property in the process of growth and innovation are greatly exaggerated.
Levine also conducts research in the field of dynamic games. He established with Drew Fudenberg that a long-lived player playing in opposition to short-lived players can substitute reputation for commitment. He develolped with Eric Maskin the first "folk theorem" for games, where players do not directly observe each other's decisions, with applications for learning in games. They argued that while learning theories cannot provide detailed descriptions of non-equilibrium behavior, they act as a useful tool in understanding which equilibria are likely to emerge. One example of this, they put forward, explains how superstitions survive in the face of rational learning.
Levine currently studies the endogenous formation of preferences and social norms. His analysis of experimental anomalies explores some of the limitations of the standard economic model of self-interested individuals.
- The Theory of Learning in Games, co-author with Drew Fundenberg
- Against Intellectual Monopoly, co-author with Michele Boldrin
Working papers Edit
- Undergraduate degree in Mathematics from UCLA (1977)
- Ph.D. in Economics from MIT (1981)