David R. Barker

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David R. Barker
Barker David.jpg
Barker in 2008
Born (1961-05-07) May 7, 1961 (age 57)
Alma mater University of California at Berkeley
University of Chicago
Occupation Economist
Spouse(s) Sarah Richardson[1]

David R. Barker (born May 7, 1961) is an American author, academic, businessman, and politician.[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.

He has appeared on the Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC,[3] Stossel on Fox Business,[4] 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,[7] Time Magazine,[8][9] and the New York Times.[10]

He has published articles in several academic journals. Barker also owns and manages a real estate and finance company. Barker was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in 2016.[11] He is also a member of the State Central Committee of the Republican Party of Iowa[12] and was appointed to the Executive Council of the Empower Rural Iowa Initiative by Governor Kim Reynolds.[13]

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[citation needed] and was an Adjunct Professor there in 2012.[14] He was not listed on the faculty in 2018.[15] 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 academic 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 home ownership on children received widespread attention. The paper argued that previous academic work showing positive effects of home ownership on children’s test scores and behavior failed to adequately control for factors other than home ownership, and that when these factors are taken into account, home ownership has no economically or statistically significant effects.[16][17]

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.[18][19]

Barker is the author of Welcome to Free America,[20][21] 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.[22]

Media coverage and appearances[edit]

Barker has received national media attention for his book and other publications, including interviews by John Stossel[4] and Dylan Ratigan,[3] and on the programs Marketplace[5] and As It Happens.[6]

His research has been covered in the New York Times,[10] Time Magazine,[8][9] and the Economist,[7] and he has written for U.S. News & World Report,[23] the Christian Science Monitor,[24] Collier's Magazine,[25] and other publications.

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 March 25, 2012. [dead link]
  2. ^ "David R. Barker Adjunct Professor". Tippie College of Business. Retrieved March 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Dylan Ratigan Show". MSNBC. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Stossel, John. "Stossel Dollars?". foxbusiness. Retrieved March 25, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Alaska: Did we get what we paid for?". American Public Media. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Alaska Net Loss". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Pass the hemlock Just imagine that countries still traded land for money". The Economist. November 19, 2011. Retrieved March 25, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Kiviat, Barbara (September 11, 2010). "Is Homeownership Good for the Kids". Time. Retrieved March 25, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Kiviat, Barbara (September 11, 2010). "The Case Against Homeownership". Time. Retrieved March 25, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Powell, Michael (August 18, 2010). "How Alaska Became a Federal Aid Magnet". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2012. 
  11. ^ "White House hopefuls court early-state kingmakers in Cleveland". POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-09-02. 
  12. ^ "Leadership -". www.iowagop.org. Retrieved 2018-09-02. 
  13. ^ Shanahan, Julia. "Reynolds seeks to boost rural development". The Daily Iowan. Retrieved 2018-09-02. 
  14. ^ Gay, Maya. "HILL OF MEANS". The Daily. Retrieved March 25, 2012. [dead link]
  15. ^ "David R. Barker Adjunct Professor". Iowa City, Iowa: Tippie College of Business. Retrieved July 8, 2018. 
  16. ^ Barker, David R. (2013). "The Evidence Does Not Show That Homeownership Benefits Children" (PDF). Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development • Office of Policy Development and Research. 15 (2): 231–234. 
  17. ^ Barker, David; Miller, Eric (July 2009). "Home ownership and Child Welfare". Real Estate Economics. 37: 279–303. 
  18. ^ "Economist: Alaska purchase hasn't paid off for US". Anchorage Daily News. September 29, 2016 [November 11, 2009]. Retrieved July 8, 2018. 
  19. ^ Tabarrok, Alex. "Was Alaska a Good Buy?". marginalrevolution. Retrieved March 25, 2012. 
  20. ^ Barker, David R. (October 26, 2011). Welcome to Free America. Indiana: Free America Immigration Services Press. ISBN 978-1105027796. 
  21. ^ Guerrero, Aaron. "Economist Imagines Lifting the Leviathan". Roll Call. Retrieved March 25, 2012. 
  22. ^ Laib, Steven D. "Welcome to Free America". Intellectual Conservative. Retrieved March 25, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Five Economic Mistakes Obama is Making". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  24. ^ Barker, David. "Five budget realities no politician will talk about". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  25. ^ Barker, David. "The Everlasting Problems with Social Security". Collier's Magazine. Retrieved April 21, 2014.