Stephen J Spurr - Professor & Chair

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Ph.D. in Economics; 1986; University of Chicago
LL.M. in Taxation; 1972; New York University
J.D.; 1969; University of Michigan Law School
A.B.; 1966; Oberlin College
Secondary education: Chadwick School, Rolling Hills, California and
Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire
graduated; 1961; Phillips Exeter Academy


  • Interim Chair, Department of Economics, Wayne State University, August 2013 - present.
  • Professor, Department of Economics, Wayne State University, August 2002 - present.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Wayne State University, August 1987 – August 2002.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow and Instructor, Law and Economics, Carnegie-Mellon University, Department of Social and Decision Sciences, June 1985 - July 1987.


  • Attorney and Consultant, private practice, Chicago, Illinois, 1978 - 1982.
  • Attorney, Howrey & Simon, Washington, D.C., 1974 - 1978.
  • Attorney, Cahill Gordon & Reindel, New York, New York, 1972 - 1974.
  • Attorney, Law, Buchen, Weathers, Richardson & Dutcher, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1970 - 1971.
    Law Clerk for Judge Charles L. Levin, Michigan Court of Appeals, 1969 - 1970.

Licensure: Admitted to the practice of law in Michigan, New York, and the District of Columbia (currently inactive in all jurisdictions).


Chapters and Books

Essay on “Collateral Estoppel,” for The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics and the Law (London: Macmillan, 1996).

Economic Foundations of Law (Mason, Ohio: Southwestern/Thomson Learning, 2005).

Articles in Refereed Journals:

"How the Market Solves an Assignment Problem: The Matching of Lawyers with Legal Claims," 5 Journal of Labor Economics 502-532 (October 1987).

"A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis of Referral Practices Among Lawyers," 13 Law and Social Inquiry 87-109 (1988).

"Sex Discrimination in the Legal Profession: A Study of Promotion," 43 Industrial and Labor Relations Review 406-417 (April 1990).

"An Economic Analysis of Collateral Estoppel," 11 International Review of Law and Economics 151-165 (June 1991).

"The Impact of Advertising and Other Factors on Referral Practices, with Special Reference to Lawyers," 21 RAND Journal of Economics 235-246 (Summer 1990).

"Tax Rates, Tax Compliance, and the Reporting of Long-Term Capital Gains," (with Steven Klepper and Daniel Nagin), 46 Public Finance 236-251 (1991).

"Alcoholic Beverage Server Liability and the Reduction of Alcohol-Involved Problems," (with Harold D. Holder, Kathleen Janes, James Mosher, Robert Saltz, and Alexander C. Wagenaar), 54(1) Journal of Studies on Alcohol 23-36 (January 1993).

"The Proposed Market for Human Organs," 18(1) Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 189-202 (1993).

"Turnover and Promotion of Lawyers: An Inquiry into Gender Differences," (with Glenn T. Sueyoshi), 29(3) Journal of Human Resources 813-842 (1994).

"The Shortage of Transplantable Organs: An Analysis and a Proposal," 15(4) Law & Policy 355-395 (1993).

"The Effect of Performance on a Worker's Career: Evidence from Minor-League Baseball," (Stephen J. Spurr and William Barber), 47(4) Industrial and Labor Relations Review 692-708 (1994).

"Medical Malpractice in Michigan: An Economic Analysis," (Stephen J. Spurr and Walter Simmons), 21(2) Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 315-346 (Summer 1996).

"The Duration of Litigation," 19(3) Law & Policy 285-315 (July 1997).

"The Duration of Personal Injury Litigation," 19 Research in Law and Economics 223-246 (Greenwich, Conn.: JAI/Elsevier, 2000).

“Physicians and the Risk of Medical Malpractice: The Role of Prior Litigation in Predicting the Future,” (Gail A. Jensen, Stephen J. Spurr, Derek A. Weycker and Maria Bulycheva), 39(3) Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance 267-289 (1999).

“The Role of Nonbinding Alternative Dispute Resolution in Litigation,” 42(1) Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 75-96 (May 2000).

“The Baseball Draft: A Study of the Ability to Find Talent,” 1(1) Journal of Sports Economics 66-85 (February 2000).

“The Effect of Care Quality on Medical Malpractice Litigation,” (Stephen J. Spurr and Sandra Howze), 41 Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance 491-513 (2001).

“The Future of Capital Punishment: Determinants of the Time from Death Sentence to Execution,” 22(1) International Review of Law and Economics 1-23 (July 2002).

“AIDS and the Market for Nurses,” David E. Kalist and Stephen J. Spurr, 23 Research in Labor Economics 185-214 (2004).

“Estimating Episode Lengths When Some Observations Are Probably Censored," Allen C. Goodman, Janet R. Hankin, David E. Kalist, Yingwei Peng, and Stephen J. Spurr, forthcoming in Statistics in Medicine.

“The Effect of State Laws on the Supply of Advanced Practice Nurses,” David E. Kalist and Stephen J. Spurr, 4 International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics 271-281 (2004).

“The Practice Boundaries of Advanced Practice Nurses: An Economic and Legal Analysis,” Michael J. Dueker, Ada K. Jacox, David E. Kalist and Stephen J. Spurr, 27(3) Journal of Regulatory Economics 309-330 (2005).

“Baseball Errors,” David E. Kalist and Stephen J. Spurr (2006) "Baseball Errors," Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports: Vol. 2: No. 4, Article 3. Available at:

"Lesser Included Offenses," Ram Orzach and Stephen J. Spurr, in press, forthcoming in International Review of Law and Economics.

“Immigration and Nurses,” David Kalist, Stephen J. Spurr and Tatsuma Wada,
forthcoming in Industrial Relations, in press, acceptance dated November 9, 2009.

“Cooperation and Conflict between Very Similar Occupations: the Case of Anesthesia,” David E. Kalist, Noelle A. Molinari, and Stephen J. Spurr,
forthcoming in Health Economics, Policy and Law, in press, acceptance dated March 29, 2010.


"Discussion" (Comment on Papers by Douglas Rebne and Janet Spitz), IRRA Proceedings of the Forty-fourth Annual Meeting.


In Search of the Kuskokwim, and Other Great Endeavors: the Life and Times of J. Edward Spurr (Kenmore, Washington: Epicenter Press, in press, forthcoming 2010).

"The Shortage of Transplantable Organs," in 2(1) ACLU Writes (Newsletter of the Michigan Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union) 3-7 (February 1993).

“The Value of Life in Tort Litigation: The Advent of the Economic Approach,” (with Geoffrey L. Gillis) 75(6) Michigan Bar Journal 540-543 (June 1996).

“Estimating Determinants of Multiple Treatment Episodes for Substance Abusers,” Allen C. Goodman, Janet R. Hankin, David E. Kalist, Yingwei Peng, and Stephen J. Spurr, 4 Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics 65-77 (2001).

“Easterbrook, Posner and Economic Approaches to the Law, and “Milton Friedman and the “Chicago School” of Economics, two sections written for Encyclopedia of the Midwest, Andrew R.L. Cayton, Richard Sisson, and Christian Zacher, eds., Institute for Collaborative Research and Public Humanities, Ohio State University.

Miscellaneous Personal Information

Alumnus, Camp Keewaydin, Lake Dunmore, Vermont, summers of 1953 and 1954.

2115 F/AB
Research Area
Economic Analysis of Law
Labor Economics
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