Profile PIcture
  • Director of Research, Economics Department, Utah Community Research Group, University of Utah
  • Graduate Teaching Asst (E), Economics Department
  • Instructor, Economics Department
(801) 842.7962

Research Summary

Current Research: <br> <br> Risk Aversion and Pop Culture: Measuring Risk Aversion Using the TV Game Show Cash Cab <br> <br> The Other Macroeconomic Policy: Counter-cyclical Entrepreneurship and Why it is Important for Long-term Growth <br> <br> Reservation Wages and The Entrepreneur: How Self Worth Drives Economic Growth <br> <br>


  • HBA, History, University of Utah. Project: Fathers, Heroes, Traitors and Saviors: Myths in Early Republics
  • BS, Political Science, University of Utah
  • MA, Economics, University of Utah. Project: Toward a Theory of Entrepreneurship


I was born in Newburyport MA, and moved to Utah in 1989 with my family. In 1999 I graduated from Orem High School, opened a record label/recording studio and began producing music. I was one of five members of the rock band Kyros. In the spring of 2005 I entered the University of Utah as a transfer student majoring in History, and in 2008 I graduated with an Honors Bachelor’s of Arts in History (Summa Cum Laude), a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science (Summa Cum Laude), and minors in International Studies, Classical Civilization and Economics.  In the fall of 2008 I began a Ph.D. program in Economics as an Earhart Fellow at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.  However, a family matter necessitated I return to Utah and in the spring of 2009 I enrolled in the MA program in Economics.  
In the spring of 2010 I co-founded the student research firm Utah Community Research Group (UtahCRG) with Dave King, an MSTAT in Econ student at the University of Utah, and in the Fall of 2010 we began teaching the special topics course ECON 5960/6960 “Real World Research Methods”  To date, our students have completed hundreds of research projects, resulting in internships, dozens of job placements, and more than a thousand letters of recommendation.
In May of 2011 I completed my MA in Economics and am currently a PhD candidate in Econ with fields of specialization in econometrics and economic history.  My research interests include entrepreneurship, social institutions, technology, behavioral economics, econometrics, risk and economic history.
In addition to the UtahCRG courses, I regularly teach ECON 5470/6570 (American Economic Development and History) and have taught both ECON 3640 (Stats for Economists) and ECON 4010 (Intermediate Microeconomics). I'm a firm believer in the use of technology throughout all of my courses, which includes multie-media teaching tools and an emphasis on software like R and Python.
My wife, Nicole Pesci, and I have three boys: Luciano (9), Giovanni (8) and Marcello (4). We study Krav Maga and backpack as a family, and our shared love of Classical history has taken us to sites around the Mediterranean.  In addition to teaching and directing the UtahCRG, I'm also the CEO of Emperitas, an agile market research and data analytics company in Cottonwoon Heights, which employs many of my former students.