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Asymmetric Error Costs in Civil Law (North Dakota Law Review), Vol. 99.2, Spring 2024.

   Most lawyers and legal scholars are familiar with the Blackstone ratio—“better that ten guilty persons escape, than one innocent suffer.” That ratio recognizes that erroneous judicial decisions impose costs on society. The need to reduce error costs explains many aspects of criminal law, including the reasonable doubt standard of proof, which reflects the assumption that erroneous convictions are far more costly than erroneous acquittals. 

    In the civil law context, however, error costs have received much less attention. Scholars generally assume that error costs are symmetrical. In other words, an erroneous finding of liability is no more costly than an erroneous denial of liability. But it turns out that, as with criminal law, many areas of civil law involve asymmetric error costs, including antitrust, civil fraud, defamation, patent challenges, and cases involving liberty interests and other constitutional rights. 

   This article provides an in-depth analysis of asymmetric error costs in civil 


The Law and Economics of Online Cheating (Journal of Law and Education), Vol. 51, pp. 104-157, Spring 2023.

   This Article offers the first law and economic analysis of cheating on online exams. For many years, the courts have analyzed cheating based on contractual or due process principles, which rest on the assumption that the student and the university have reciprocal obligations, the violation of which imposes individual harm. A law and economics analysis shows, however, that cheating causes substantial social harms, which are neither factored into the current judicial treatment of cheating nor into the actions taken by faculty or administrators to prevent

Understanding an Outlier - The U.S. System of Airport Governance and Economic Regulation (Journal of Air Law and Commerce), Vol. 87, Issue 1,Spring 2022.

   Unlike airports in many other countries which have been corporatized or privatized, nearly all U.S. airports continue to be operated by the public sector and subject to a system of economic regulation that provides little incentive to control costs or allocate capital efficiently. Yet despite its apparent shortcomings, the current system has persisted over several decades. This article provides an explanation for the persistence of the current U.S. system of airport economic regulation based on price theory, regulatory economics, and public choice principles. It offers supporting empirical evidence for this equilibrium and identifies factors that might lead to a different outcome.


Privacy and Trade Secret Law Applied to Drones: An Economic Analysis (Columbia Science and Technology Law Review, Spring 2018)

   The sheer number of drones, combined with their ability to fly quietly at low altitudes with cameras and other monitoring equipment, raises concerns about property rights and privacy. I begin by discussing how vertical property rights were cut back in the 1940s to accommodate the rise of commercial aviation, and then I apply a similar analysis to draw conclusions about vertical property rights in the drone era. Overhead aircraft flights raise serious noise issues, while overhead drone flights raise serious privacy issues. The fundamental question addressed is how will the balancing of privacy concerns and the interests of drone operators influence the emergence of new rules governing minimum drone operating altitudes above private property?

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Airline Capacity Discipline in the U.S. Domestic Market (Journal of Air Transport Management, Jan. 2018).

   Between 2001 and 2010, U.S. airlines suffered a collective net loss of over $58 billion. From 2011-2016, however, the situation changed dramatically: U.S. airlines reported a collective net profit of over $56 billion. What changed over this period and why? This article provides a partial explanation by examining the changes in airline capacity growth following industry consolidation and the relationship between airline capacity growth and industry revenue. I conclude that the industry’s turnaround in profitability is the direct result of its success in restraining capacity.  I also examine the consequences of the industry practice of using the GDP growth rate as the focal point for individual airline capacity growth decisions.

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Other Academic Publications:

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Resource Guide to Airport Performance Indicators, Hazel, Robert, Jan Blais, Thomas Browne & Daniel Benson, National Academies Press, 2011.


Hazel, Robert, Airport Economics. In Jenkins, Darryl, ed., Handbook of Airline Economics (pp. 113-119), McGraw-Hill, 1995.


Selected Other Publications

Publications as author or lead co-author include:


Airline Economic Analysis, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, publications for Raymond James Research.


In Commercial Drones, the Race Is On: Aviation’s Fastest-Growing Sector Outpaces US Regulators, 2015, Oliver Wyman (widely-read white paper).


Series of articles in McGraw-Hill Aviation Daily and Aviation Week, 2004, 2005, including “Could Fuel Costs Be the Tipping Point?” and “Peak-Hour Pricing and Small Aircraft Don’t Mix.”

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