Professor Rick specializes in applied microeconomic theory with a focus on the economics of information and communication. His recent research centers on the role of communication error and transparency of economic actions in situations with asymmetric information. His work shows that appropriately limiting transparency can often improve the economic efficiency of communication mechanisms, in particular with respect to the equilibrium tradeoff between information transmission and communication costs.
He is similarly interested in labor market inequality and the economics of crime and human capital accumulation. In recent work, he and his collaborators assess the effect of the boom in U.S. prison populations on measures of labor market inequality and the extent to which this boom can be attributed to changes in the punitiveness of the criminal justice system.
Professor Rick holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago as well as master’s degrees in economics from the University of Chicago and the University of Mannheim (Germany).