Razors Edge

My Background


                   HOME PAGE FOR JOSHUA FRANK   





Telephone: 607-753-4108


226C Old Main


Research Interests:

Economic Approach: I enjoy heterodox economic research that incorporates a number of alternative perspectives.  These are perspectives outside of the traditional neoclassical approach that emphasis marginal decision-making in equilibrium, with strong assumptions about rationality, perfect information, and the lack of institutional influence on market outcomes.  Heterodox approaches that I use in my work include ecological economics, behavioral economics, sociological perspectives, evolutionary economics and institutional economics.  The type of research I do includes theoretical and empirical work.  In empirical work, I use traditional statistical analysis as well as simulation methods, qualitative analysis, and mixed ecological/economic models.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      


Subject Matter: Research topics that currently interests include economic analysis of the popular arts (particularly focusing on unusual characteristics of these markets that affect output quality), analysis of animal issues (including companion animal welfare, companion animal overpopulation, the use of laboratory animals, animal agriculture, and wildlife issues), evolutionary models of specific markets that utilize a memetic approach (i.e. where the ideas are the unit of selection rather than the firms themselves),  analysis of specific economic markets as a social construction, and analysis of the impact of information scarcity on markets.   




Courses that I currently teach, have recently taught or expect to teach in the near future include:  Economic Statistics, Labor Market Analysis, The Economics of Contemporary Public Policy Issues, Mathematical Economics, Behavioral Finance/Economics, and Sports Economics






Besides working at SUNY Cortland, I am executive director of FIREPAW, the Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research and Education Promoting Animal Welfare.  At FIREPAW, we conduct research and education programs aimed at improving animal welfare.  Check out the FIREPAW website.



Also Check out Razor’s Edge Publishing.  I highly recommend their newly released novel Not for Public Consumption.



About my background

Before coming to SUNY Cortland I held several jobs in government and business.  I was principal economist for the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee for five years.  This job involved both economic forecasting and policy analysis.  Before that, I was a senior manager for one of the largest credit card issuers in the country.  At various times, I ran the financial analysis/planning, strategic planning, information systems, and software development departments for this company.  I think this real world has been invaluable in understanding how business decisions are actually made compared to how many economic models assume they are made. 

I received my Ph.D. in ecological economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  I did my MBA coursework at the University of Southern California and Texas Tech.  I received my BA from the University of California at San Diego, with a major in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution (Biology Department), a minor in economics, and a minor in psychology. 




Peer-Reviewed Academic Journal Articles

Frank, J. (2007). Meat as a Bad Habit:  positive feedback and lock-in for the consumption of meat.  Review of Social Economy, in press.


Frank, J & Carlisle-Frank, P (2007).  Analysis of programs to reduce overpopulation of companion animals:  do adoption and low-cost spay/neuter programs merely cause substitution of sources?  Ecological Economics, May.


Frank, J & Carlisle-Frank, P (2006/2007)  Discrimination based on Breed of Domesticated Dogs among Insurance Companies: Economic vs. Interdisciplinary Explanations.  Journal of Social and Ecological Boundaries, Winter/Spring.


Carlisle-Frank, P., Frank, J. & Nielsen, L (2006).  Pets as Property:  Attitudes of ‘owners’ and ‘guardians’, Anthrozoos, 19(3), 225-242.


Frank, J. (2005).  Process attributes of goods, ethical considerations and implications for animal products.  Ecological Economics, 58: 538-547.


Frank, J. (2005).  Technological lock-in, positive institutional feedback, and research on laboratory animals, Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, 16(4):557-575.


Carlisle-Frank, P., Frank, J. & Nielsen, L (2005).  Companion Animal Renters and Pet-Friendly Housing

in the U.S.  Anthrozoos, 18 (1) 59-77.


Frank, J. (2004).  An Interactive Model of Human and Companion Animal Dynamics: The Ecology and Economics of Dog Overpopulation and the Human Costs of Addressing the Problem, Journal of Human Ecology, 32(1) 107-130.


Frank, J. (2004).  The Role of Radical Animal Activists as Information Providers to Consumers, Animal Liberation Philosophy and Policy Journal, 2(1).


Carlisle-Frank, P., Frank, J., and Nielsen, L. (2004). Selective Battering of the Family Pet, 

Anthrozoös  17 (1), 26-41.


Frank, J. (2003).   Natural Selection, Rational Economic Behavior, and Alternative Outcomes of the Evolutionary Process, Journal of Socio-Economics, 32(6), December, 601-622.


Frank, J. (2002).  A Constrained Utility Alternative to Animal Rights.  Environmental Values, 11:49-62.


Frank, J. (2002).  The Actual Contribution and Potential Contribution of Economics to Animal Welfare Issues.  Society and Animals, 10(4).


Frank, J. (1999).  Applying memetics to financial markets: do markets evolve towards efficiency.  Journal of Memetics, 3(2).    



Academic Conferences Presentations

“The Social Construction of Market Value and its Application to Labor Markets” presented at ICAPE (an umbrella organization of Pluralistic Economics associations) conference, June 2007, Salt Lake City, Utah.


“Explaining labor markets in the popular arts: Superstar Phenomenon or Recommendation Markets?” presented at ICAPE (an umbrella organization of Pluralistic Economics associations) conference, June 2007, Salt Lake City, Utah.


“Framing bias or social constructionism?  How does framing affect environmental valuation?”  Presented at the United States Society for Ecological Economics, June 2007, New York City.


“Free Trade, Ethics, and Information:  Reconciling International Trade with National Ethical Standards”.  Presented at the “Globalization and its Discontents”, June 2007, Cortland, NY.


“Perverse Outcomes of Intense Competition in the Popular Arts and its Implications for Product Quality”, presented at the Third European Workshop on Applied Cultural Economics, June 2007, Aviles, Spain.


 “Who is a ‘terrorist?’ Language and the case of domestic ‘terrorism’ ” presented at: The Language of Violence: Thinking Critically about War and Peace, November 2007, Cortland, NY.


“Discrimination by insurance companies based on dog breed: Valid financial risk or irrational overreaction?” American Sociological Association 2005 Conference, August, Philadelphia, PA.


“Ownership of companion animals versus guardianship”. American Sociological Association 2005 Conference, August, Philadelphia, PA.


“A Cross Program Statistical Analysis of Spay/Neuter and Adoption Programs to Reduce Dog and Cat Overpopulation,” International Society of Anthrozoology (ISAZ) Conference, July, 2005, Niagara Falls, NY


 “Selective Battering of the Family Pet”, Linking Violence: An Interdisciplinary Conference on the Relationship Between Violence Against Animals and Humans, University College of Cape Breton, Department of Anthropology and Sociology,  May, 2004, Sydney, Nova Scotia


“The Role of the ALF as Information Providers to Consumers.”  Animal Liberation Conference, April 2004, Syracuse, New York.


“Animals in Economics”, United States Society for Ecological Economics (USSEE) 2003 Conference, May, Saratoga Springs, NY.


“The Housing Market for Renters with Companion Animals: Are Markets Efficient? ” United States Society for Ecological Economics (USSEE) 2003 Conference, May, Saratoga Springs, NY.


“Progress in Efforts to Reach a ‘No-Kill’ Nation”, American Sociological Association 2003 Conference, August, Atlanta, GA.


“Attitudes toward Companion Animal Adoption and Contextual Factors Relating to Abandonment”, American Sociological Association 2003 Conference, August, Atlanta, GA.


Frank, J. & Carlisle-Frank, P. (2001) Conflicting Attitudes and Social Dissonance: Why mixed messages

lead people to abuse and abandon their companion animal.  Diversity and Rights:  Confronting Anthropocentric Definitions of Community Session, Society for the Study of Social Problems Conference.


Frank, J.  (2001). Interdisciplinary Research in Economics: Companion Animal Dynamics and Welfare and the Evolution of Economic Ideas.  Working Boundaries Conference, February 2001. 



Note:  I have lengthy list of presentations at non-academic/professional conferences, TV and radio appearances, and non-academic articles that are not detailed here



Educational Background

PhD in Ecological Economics, May, 2001, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York (GPA = 4.0).

MBA, June, 1993, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas (GPA = 4.0).

BA in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution, June, 1987, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California.


Grants and Research Contracts Received (not comprehensive)

* The Toby Fund 2000, 2002, and 2004 (for separate research projects)

* Maddie’s Fund 2002-2006 (multiple projects)

* Oswego Humane Society 2003

* In Defense of Animals 2004