Philip J. Cook, PhD, is ITT/Sanford Professor of Public Policy, and Professor of Economics and Sociology, at Duke University. This year he is a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in New York. Dr. Cook completed his PhD in economics at the University of California, Berkeley in 1973. His substantive interests include topics in public health and social policy: alcohol and tobacco control, crime prevention, firearms regulation, state lotteries, structural influences on educational achievement, and sources of growing economic inequality. His research contributions include the first use of “diff in diff” evaluations of policy change using panel regression methods (1982 and 1984, with George Tauchen), and (with Daniel Graham) the development of the normative theory of irreplaceable commodities.
He has served as an advisor to the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and to the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Department of Treasury. He has also served on a number of expert panels of the National Academy of Sciences, dealing with alcohol-abuse prevention, injury control, violence, school rampage shootings, underage drinking, the prospects for a ballistics reference data base, the deterrent effect of the death sentence, and tax evasion for tobacco products. He serves as co-organizer of the NBER Workshop on the Economics of Crime.
He has authored or co-authored a number of books on such topics as growing inequality of earnings, alcohol control policy, state lotteries, crime control, and the costs of gun violence. His most recent book, co-authored with Kristin Goss, is "The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know" (Oxford University Press, 2014).