David Harrington joined Kenyon's economics department in 1986. His research focuses on the effects of state regulations on labor and consumer markets, especially funeral markets. He finds that stringent funeral regulations increase the cost of funerals discourage women from entering funeral directing and impede innovations such as cremation and Internet casket sales. He has served as an expert witness in several lawsuits that challenge the constitutionality of state funeral regulations. In 2011, he testified on behalf of the monks of Saint Joseph Abbey who were not allowed to sell their handmade wooden caskets in Louisiana because they were not licensed funeral directors. The monks won.

He is also interested in the effect of occupational licensing regulations on immigrants, especially on the entry of Vietnamese immigrants into manicuring, and the effect of state regulations on secondary ticket markets. His research has been described in BusinessWeek, The Washington Post and The New York Times, and he has written op-ed essays for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Post (website), The Baltimore Sun and The Columbus Dispatch.


1984 — Doctor of Philosophy from Univ of Wisconsin-Madison

1980 — Master of Arts from Univ of Wisconsin-Madison

1976 — Bachelor of Arts from University of Pennsylvania

Courses Recently Taught

This course studies issues of economic choice, economic efficiency and social welfare. The course presents theories of consumer and producer behavior and shows how these theories can be used to predict the consequences of individual, business and government actions. Topics covered include opportunity cost, the gains from trade, supply and demand analysis, taxes, externalities, price controls, consumer choice, production and cost, product pricing and market structure. This course is required for the major. No prerequisite. Offered every fall semester.