David R. Barker

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David R. Barker
Barker David.jpg
Born (1961-05-07) May 7, 1961 (age 55)
Spouse(s) Sarah Richardson[1]

David R. Barker (born 7 May 1961) is an American author, academic and businessman.[1][2] A former economist for the Federal Reserve, Barker is the author of Welcome to Free America, a book set in the year 2057 as a guide to immigrants coming to the former United States after the collapse of government. Barker has received national media attention for his book and other publications, including interviews by John Stossel[3] and Dylan Ratigan,[4] and on the programs Marketplace[5] and As It Happens.[6] His research has been covered in the New York Times,[7] Time Magazine,[8][9] and the Economist,[10] and he has written for U.S. News & World Report,[11] the Christian Science Monitor,[12] Collier's Magazine,[13] and other publications. He has published articles in several academic journals. Barker also owns and manages a real estate and finance company.

Early life and education[edit]

David Barker is a 6th generation Iowan. He graduated from Iowa City West High School, then received a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley,[1] and an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.[1] He also attended the London School of Economics during his junior year of college.

Academic career[edit]

After completing graduate school Barker worked as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, helping to develop an early warning system for failing banks and methods to detect racial discrimination in mortgage lending, as well as conducting analysis of the Basel Accord capital requirements.

After moving back to Iowa in 1994, Barker taught real estate and corporate finance at the University of Iowa and is still an Adjunct Professor there.[14] In 1997 he began teaching Real Estate to MBAs at the University of Chicago, which he continued to do until 2007. Barker also taught Urban Economics to undergraduates at the University of Chicago for several years. Barker has published academic papers in several peer-reviewed journals. His research covers a variety of topics, including real estate markets, urban economics, terrorism insurance, health economics, business ethics, economic history, and libertarian political economy. A 2009 paper on the effects of homeownership on children received widespread attention. The paper argued that previous academic work showing positive effects of homeownership on children’s test scores and behavior failed to adequately control for factors other than homeownership, and that when these factors are taken into account, homeownership has no economically or statistically significant effects.,[15][16]

A paper analyzing the economics of the 1867 purchase of Alaska by the U.S. from Russia also received considerable attention. The paper argued that the financial returns to the federal government, tax revenue minus administrative costs, have been lower than alternative investments with similar risk.[17][18]

Barker is the author of Welcome to Free America,[19] a book set in the year 2057 as a guide to immigrants coming to the former United States after the collapse of government. It describes a difficult period of transition, but eventually private companies take over functions previously performed by governments, such as security, dispute resolution, production of money and infrastructure, and national defense. The world envisioned in the book is a form of anarcho-capitalism, or free market anarchism. The result is a society that is prosperous and secure, but different in many ways from current society.[20]

He has appeared on the Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC,[4] Stossel on Fox Business,[3] Yahoo! Finance, NewsChannel8 Capital Insider, Sun News Prime Time, and Newsmax TV. He has also been featured on radio programs such as Marketplace,[5] As It Happens,[6] The Jerry Doyle Show, The Santita Jackson Show, Pratt on Texas, Iowa Public Radio and many others. His academic research has been covered in The Economist,[10] Time Magazine,[8][9] and the New York Times.[7]

Business activities[edit]

Barker's companies own over 2,000 apartments in the Midwestern United States, along with office buildings, self-storage facilities, and convenience stores. Barker is also President of Barker Financial, which makes commercial loans.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "David Barker". The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "David R. Barker Adjunct Professor". Tippie College of Business. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b John Stossel. "Stossel Dollars?". foxbusiness. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Dylan Ratigan Show". MSNBC. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Alaska: Did we get what we paid for?". American Public Media. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Alaska Net Loss". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  7. ^ a b MICHAEL POWELL (18 August 2010). "How Alaska Became a Federal Aid Magnet". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Barbara Kiviat (11 September 2010). "Is Homeownership Good for the Kids". Time. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Barbara Kiviat (11 September 2010). "The Case Against Homeownership". Time. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Pass the hemlock Just imagine that countries still traded land for money". The Economist. 19 November 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Five Economic Mistakes Obama is Making". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  12. ^ "Five budget realities no politician will talk about". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "The Everlasting Problems with Social Security". Collier's Magazine. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  14. ^ Mara Gay. "HILL OF MEANS". The Daily. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  15. ^ "Homeownership and Child Welfare" (with Eric Miller), Real Estate Economics, Vol 37, July 2009, 279-303.
  16. ^ "The Evidence Does Not Show That Homeownership Benefits Children", Citiscape, Vol 15(2), 2013, 231-234.
  17. ^ "Economist: Alaska purchase hasn't paid off for US". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 22 April 2014. 
  18. ^ Alex Tabarrok. "Was Alaska a Good Buy?". marginalrevolution. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  19. ^ Aaron Guerrero. "Economist Imagines Lifting the Leviathan". Roll Call. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  20. ^ Steven D. Laib. "Welcome to Free America". Intellectual Conservative. Retrieved 25 March 2012.