Rick Geddes

Professor Founding Director, Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy


Rick Geddes is a Professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management at Cornell University and Founding Director of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy (CPIP). He researches the funding, financing, permitting, operation and maintenance of heavy civil and social infrastructure, with a focus on the adoption of new technologies.  His research has examined network-wide road pricing, infrastructure resilience, and innovative infrastructure financing via public-private partnerships. 

Rick is a member of the Graduate Fields at Cornell of Systems Engineering, Economics, and Public Affairs. He is also a core faculty member of the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA), a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and a Research Fellow with the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University.

Rick has held numerous visiting and advisory positions. He was the Edward Teller National Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution during the 1999-2000 academic year. He served as a senior economist at the Council of Economic Advisors during the 2004-2005 academic year, and was a commissioner on the National Surface Transportation Policy & Revenue Study Commission. Rick was also a Fulbright Senior Scholar during the  2009-2010 academic year to study transportation public-private partnerships in Australia, and a Visiting Faculty Fellow at Yale Law School during the 1995-1996 academic year. He has advised numerous Fortune 500 companies, including United Parcel Service and CSX. He has testified numerous times before House and Senate committees.

Rick’s publications have appeared in numerous academic journals, including in Nature, the American Economic Review, Journal of Regulatory Economics, Journal of Legal Studies, Journal of Law & Economics, Transportation Research Part E, and Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, among many others.  

Rick has won numerous teaching and advising awards, including three Merrill Presidential Scholars Awards for Outstanding Educator, and a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. He teaches courses at Cornell on infrastructure policy, corporate governance, microeconomics, and the regulation of industry. He holds MA and Ph.D. degrees in economics from the University of Chicago, and a BS in economics and finance from Towson State University.

Research Focus

Geddes’ research examines policies addressing the funding, financing, and regulation of large infrastructure systems. He focuses on the energy, water, and transportation sectors.

Key research topics include private investment in the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of U.S. infrastructure through public-private partnerships, or PPPs. That also includes improving life-cycle maintenance of infrastructure assets, the impact of state-level PPP enabling laws, and the effect of operation-and-maintenance road concessions on traffic safety.

Additional interests include postal and delivery economics, and policies affecting governance in large, publicly traded corporations.