Kevin O’Brien

Department Chair & Professor

Baker Hall 209
309-677-2299
kmo@bradley.edu

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

Biography

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.   

Teaching

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

Scholarship

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

Peer-Reviewed Journals

(Cabell's) Highfill, J. K., O'Brien, K. M. (2012). Presidential Memorabilia on eBay:  Value, Minimum Bid, and Popularity. The Journal of Economics, XXXVII(2), 1-22. [Published: December 2012]

O'Brien, K. M. (2012). The Impact of Municipal Responses to Budget Shortfalls. Pennsylvania Economic Journal(Fall 2012). [Published: September 2012]

Academic/Professional Meeting Proceedings

Highfill, J. K., O'Brien, K. M. (2014). The Election Prediction Market Effect on eBay Bids and Prices: Presidential Memorabilia (vol. 53, pp. 35-46). National Social Science Proceedings. [Published: 2014]

Other Research 

Highfill, J. K., O'Brien, K. M., Missouri Valley Economic Association, "The Effect of Ethnic Polarization on Municipal Spending", Missouri Valley Economic Association, St Louis MO. (October, 2014).

Highfill, J. K., O'Brien, K. M., International Atlantic Economic Society, "The Effect of Ethnic Diversity on Municipal Spending", Madrid Spain. (April, 2014).

Highfill, J. K., O'Brien, K. M., Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting, "Obama and McCain Presidential Election Memorabilia on eBay", Pacific Sociological Association, Portland Oregon. (March, 2014).

Highfill, J. K., O'Brien, K. M., Missouri Valley Economics Association Annual Meeting, "The Effect of Racial and Ethnic Diversity on Municipal Spending", Kansas City, MO. (October, 2013).

Highfill, J. K., O'Brien, K. M., National Social Science Association, "The Election Prediction Market Effect on eBay Bids and Prices: Presidential Memorabilia", San Francisco CA. (August, 2013).

O'Brien, K. M. (Presenter & Author), Highfill, J. K. (Author Only), Midwest Economics Association Meetings, "The Effect of Racial and Ethnic Diversity on Municipal Spending", Midwest Economics Association, Columbus, Ohio. (March, 2013).

O'Brien, K. M. (Presenter & Author), Highfill, J. K. (Presenter & Author), Missouri Valley Economics association, "Presidential Memorabilia on eBay: Collecting Vis-a-Vis Investing", Kansas City, Missouri. (October, 2011).

Highfill, J. K., O'Brien, K. M., "Presidential Memorabilia on eBay:  Do Customers Care About Good Governance?", National Social Science Association, Las Vegas NV. (April, 2011).

O'Brien, K. M., Southwest Society of Economists, "The Impact of Municipal Responses to Budget Shortfalls", Federation of Business Disciplines, Houston, Texas. (March, 2011).

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", International Atlantic Economics Association, Charleston, SC. (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. (October, 2010). 

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"

Grants

O'Brien, K. M. (Co-Principal), Gretz, R. T., Bond, E. U., : Entrepreneurship Study for Peoria," Sponsored by Tekes, Finland, Other. (June 2011 - December 2011).

Gretz, R. T. (Principal), Scott, R. (Co-Principal), Tukiainen, T. (Supporting), O'Brien, K. M. (Supporting), Bond, E. U. (Supporting), "Networked Entrepreneurship," Sponsored by Tekes, the main Finnish funding agency for technology and R&D, Other, $140,000.00. (May 2009 - March 2011).

Service

Foster College of Business Administration

  • Executive Director for Center for Economic Education

Department of Economics

  • Faculty Advisor, Omicron Delta Epsilon

Professional

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Economics

Bradley University

  • Treasurer, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • Intellectual and Cultural Activities Committee