Dean Stansel is a research associate professor at the O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. He earned his B.A. in economics (with honors) and politics from Wake Forest University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University. Before entering academia, Prof. Stansel worked for seven years at the Cato Institute, a public-policy research organization in Washington, D.C., where he produced over 60 publications on fiscal policy issues, including the first four editions of their “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors.” Since 2013, he has been the primary author of the Fraser Institute’s annual Economic Freedom of North America, which ranks the states. He has also authored numerous academic journal articles on a variety of issues in public finance and urban economics. Prof. Stansel’s research has been discussed in many publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution; and his op-eds have appeared in the The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Investor’s Business Daily, Chicago Tribune, and Dallas Morning News, among others.
Amongst America’s largest metro areas, Houston, Jacksonville, Tampa, Richmond and Dallas-Fort Worth have the most economic freedom. Riverside, Rochester, Buffalo, New York and Cleveland have the least.