How do local and regional political institutions shape urban economic outcomes? How do urban economic outcomes shape local and regional political institutions? My research interests lie deep within these questions, at the intersection of public and urban economics. Currently I am working on two different research projects related to these questions. First, I am using a public choice and new institutional framework to analyze the theoretical and empirical arguments for local government consolidation versus fragmentation. Second, I am exploring how consumer service firms locate within an urban area and how competition affects customer satisfaction. Billions of people in the developing world live in urban areas so the types of local and regional institutions in place have weighty implications for the plight of the world’s poorest populations. I want to spend my life studying public and urban economics so that in some small way I can have a positive impact on the lives of the least well off in the world today.