Robb received his Bachelor's degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. He is known in academic circles for his contributions to evolutionary game theory and industrial organization. He immigrated to the United States in the 1970s and obtained a Ph.D. in economics at UCLA in 1981. Robb married in 1990, joined the University of Pennsylvania staff in 1984, and was a tenured professor from 2004 until his arrest in 2007. Robb specialized in game theory, a mathematical discipline used to analyze political, economic, and military strategies. He has published numerous papers on game theory and other economic topics with scholars from Greece, Israel, Japan, and the US. In most of the papers, his family name is spelled as "Rob". He is also a fellow of the Econometric Society, one of the highest honors in economics.
Killing of wife
Robb pleaded guilty in November 2007 to voluntary manslaughter in the high-profile death of his wife, Ellen Gregory Robb. She had been bludgeoned to death with a chin-up bar. Her death occurred during a December 22, 2006, argument over the couple's divorce and the plans for their home in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Robb pleaded guilty on November 26, 2007, and resigned from the university, where he had been on leave since his arrest in January 2007. Robb was sentenced on November 19, 2008, to a 5- to 10-year prison term, though the prosecutor asked for a sentence of 10 to 20 years.  He was denied parole in January 2013.The case was prosecuted by District Attorney (later County Commissioner specially appointed as prosecutor) Bruce L. Castor, Jr. who commented the oft quoted line "Professor Robb may be smarter than us, but he still is an amateur killer and we are professional catchers of killers."
- Findlaw.com (2007) Probable Cause Affidavit: Commonwealth of Pa. v. Rafael Robb, p. 4
- Schwedel, Heather (Nov 16, 2007) "Students speak out about Robb" The Daily Pennsylvanian.
- Boccella, Kathy (Jan 31, 2007) "Portrait of a doomed marriage". Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia, PA
- https://authors.repec.org/pro/pro566/ Rafael Robb's page at RePEc
- http://www.econometricsociety.org/fellows.asp Rafael Rob listed as fellow of the Econometric Society
- Jagoda, Naomi (November 20, 2008). "Robb sentenced 5 to 10 years in prison for killing his wife". The Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
- Wasley, Paula (November 26, 2007). "Penn Professor Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 17 January 2011.
- CBS News (Nov 26, 2007) Ex-Ivy League Prof. Admits Killing Wife. cbs5.com. Norristown, Pa.
- http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=8964877. Missing or empty
- FindLaw: Detectives Detail Why They Believe a University of Pennsylvania Professor May Have Killed His Wife, and Lied To Them About It — Probable Cause Affidavit: Commonwealth of Pa. v. Rafael Robb (January 2007) (first of four pages; other pages linked)
- Discovery Communications: Investigation Discovery: Stolen Voices, Buried Secrets: Episode Guide ("Checkmate", second episode on page)