Christopher Cotton holds the Jarislowsky-Deutsch Chair in Economic & Financial Policy in the Department of Economics. Prof. Cotton focuses on applying rigorous research methods from economics to gain insights into pressing public policy questions. He is a leading international expert on lobbying, political influence and campaign finance reform, and has also worked extensively on the evaluation of education policies and international development projects. His research publishes in top scientific journals such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Public Economics and Management Science, and has included seminal papers on several topics including lobbying, education, and public good provision.
Much of Prof. Cotton's research and service encourages the incorporation of better evidence into policy decisions. He serves as the Director of the John Deutsch Institute for the Study of Economic Policy, a research institute that focuses on supporting and promoting policy-relevant research at Queen's. He is also one of the lead developers behind the new CPIA program at Queen's, which teaches professionals at NGOs, governments, and international development agencies how to effectively incorporate evidence and evaluation into the design and financing of their projects. Prof. Cotton regularly provides advice to governments and NGOs about the potential impact of different policies and the best methods for evaluating projects. He has been involved with the design and evaluation of several major international development projects and is currently overseeing the evaluation of a large Girls Education Challenge project in Zimbabwe funded by the Department for International Development UK. He is the recent recipient of a SSHRC grant to study how donors choose between multiple charitable projects.
Prof. Cotton is also an enthusiastic teacher and adviser. He advises many PhD and MA students, and won the department's award for undergraduate teaching.
- C. Cotton, F. McIntyre, A. Nordstrom and J. Price, Correcting for bias in hot hand analysis: Analyzing performance streaks in youth golf, Journal of Economic Psychology, forthcoming
- C. Cotton and C. Li, Clueless Politicians: On Policymaker Incentives for Information Acquisition in a Model of Lobbying, Journal of Law, Economics & Organizations, 34: 425-456, 2018
- R. Boleslavsky and C. Cotton, Limited capacity in project selection: Competition through evidence production, Economic Theory, 65: 385-421, 2018
- R. Boleslavsky, C. Cotton and H. Gurnani, Demonstrations and price competition in new product release, Management Science, 63: 2016-2026, 2017
- C. Cotton and A. Dellis, Informational lobbying and agenda distortion, Journal of Law, Economics & Organizations, 32: 762-793, 2016
- C. Cotton, Competing for attention: Lobbying time-constrained politicians, Journal of Public Economic Theory, 18: 642–665, 2016
- L. Corazzini, C. Cotton and P. Valbonesi, Donor coordination in project funding: Evidence from a threshold public goods experiment, Journal of Public Economics, 128: 16-29, 2015
- R. Boleslavsky and C. Cotton, Grading standards and education quality, American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 7: 248-279, 2015
- –press: AEA Research Highlight, VoxEU
- R. Boleslavsky and C. Cotton, Information and extremism in elections, American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 7:165-207, 2015
- –press: Washington Post, International Business Times, Inverse, PsychCentral, Milenio, Discovery News
- C. Cotton, C. Li, F. McIntyre and J. Price, Which explanations for gender differences in competition are consistent with a simple theoretical model?, Journal of Behavioral & Experimental Economics, 59: 56-67, 2015
- S. Campos, C. Cotton and C. Li, Deterrence effects under Twombly: On the costs of increasing pleading standards in litigation, International Review of Law and Economics, 44: 61-71, 2015
- C. Cotton and C. Li, Profiling, screening and criminal recruitment, Journal of Public Economic Theory, 17: 964-985, 2015
- C. Cotton, Submission fees and response times in academic publishing, American Economic Review, 103(1): 501-09, 2013
- C. Cotton, F. McIntyre and J. Price, Gender differences in repeated competition: Evidence from school math contests, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 86: 52-66, 2013
- C. Cotton, Pay to play politics: Informational lobbying and contribution limits when money buys access, Journal of Public Economics, 96: 369-386, 2012
- C. Cotton and C. Liu, 100 horsemen and the empty city: A game theoretic exploration of deception in Chinese military legend, Journal of Peace Research, 48(2): 217-223, 2011
- C. Cotton, Should we tax or cap political contributions? A lobbying model with policy favors and access, Journal of Public Economics, 93: 831-842, 2009 (lead article)
- C. Cotton, Multiple bidding in auctions as bidders become confident of their private valuations, Economics Letters, 104(3): 148-150, 2009