Department Chair & Professor
Baker Hall 209
Ph.D., Economics, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
M.S., Economics, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
B.S., Economics and Political Science, University of Illinois-Chicago
I have been a faculty member in the Department of Economics at Bradley University since 1992. Prior to Bradley University, I taught at Texas Tech University and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. I am currently chair and professor of economics in the Foster College of Business Administration. I am also the executive director of the Center for Economic Education, a position I have held for the last ten years.
I have taught a number of courses at Bradley University including Introduction to Economics, Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Public Expenditure and Finance, Labor Problems and The Economics and Finance of Healthcare (an MBA course). I received the Order of Omega, Professor of the Semester Award in 1999 and the Foster College of Business Administration Midwest Grains Teaching Award in 1998.
Courses Currently Teaching
- ECO 100 Introduction to Economics
- ECO 310 Labor Problems
My original research steam focused on public sector labor markets with a concentration on police and firefighter collective bargaining. A more recent research interest has been the determinants of online auction outcomes on eBay. Going forward, I am investigating budget outcomes for municipalities, specifically how institutional factors influence such budgets.
Published Intellectual Contributions
Refereed Journal Articles
- Highfill, J. K., O'Brien, K. M. (2009). The Effect of Alternative e-Prices on eBay Book Auctions. Atlantic Economic Journal, 37, 383-395.
- Highfill, J. K., O'Brien, K. M. (2009). The Determinants of Sales on eBay: The Case of Baseball Cards. Applied Economics Letters, 16(14), 1421-1424.
- O'Brien, K. M. (2009). Union Wage, Nonwage and Political Effects on Protective Service Budgets. Applied Economics, 41(7-9), 1175-1182, DB.
- Highfill, J. K., O'Brien, K. M. (2008). Do Price Guides Guide eBay Prices? The Market for Individual Baseball Cards. American Economist, 52(1), 58-65, DB.
- Highfill, J. K., O'Brien, K. M. (2007). Bidding and Prices for Online Art Auctions: Sofa Art or Investment. Journal of Cultural Economics, 31(4), 279-292.
- Goitein, B. J., Iyer, R., O'Brien, K. M., Pasko, D. (2009). Occupational Demand/Supply Analyses and Market Assessment of Union Construction Contractors. Peoria, Illinois: Center for Business and Economic Research, Bradley University.
- Bond, E. U., Gretz, R. T., O'Brien, K. M., International Atlantic Economic Conference, "Play in Peoria? Empirical Examination of An Entrepreneurship Center's Services", Internationa Atlantic Economics Association, Charleston, SC, DB. (October, 2010).
- Bond, E. U., Gretz, R. T., O'Brien, K. M., Missouri Valley Economics Association, "Will it Play in Peoria? Empirical Examination of an Entrepreneurship Center’s Services", Missouri Valley Economics Association, St. Louis, MO, DB. (October, 2010).
- Highfill, J. K., O'Brien, K. M., Gretz, R. T., International Atlantic Economic Conference, "The Election Prediction Market Effect On EBay Outcomes: Obama and McCain Memorabilia," International Atlantic Economic Society, Prague. (March 2010).
- Highfill, J. K., O'Brien, K. M., Missouri Valley Economics Association, "The Determinants of eBay Auction Outcomes: The Case of 2008 Presidential Campaign Items," Kansas City, MO. (October 2009).
- Highfill, J. K., O'Brien, K. M., Missouri Valley Economics Association, "The Effect of Reference Prices on Auction Outcomes: The Case of eBay Book Auctions", St. Louis, MO, DB. (October, 2008).
- O'Brien, K. M., Missouri Valley Economics Association Meetings, "Was Government Reinvented? Evidence from Municipal Governments", Kansas City, Missouri, DB. (October, 2007).
Research in Progress
- "EBay Auctions for Obama and McCain Campaign Memorabilia: The Election Prediction Market Effect on Bids and Prices"
- "Was Government Reinvented? Evidence from Municipal Governments"
- “Networked Entrepreneurship”, grant awarded by Tekes: The Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, co-investigator
Foster College of Business Administration
- Executive Director for Center for Economic Education
Department of Economics
- Faculty Advisor, Omicron Delta Epsilon
- Associate Editor, Journal of Economics
- Treasurer, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
- Intellectual and Cultural Activities Committee