Bob Hunt is a vice president and director of the Payment Cards Center, with responsibility for managing the center and its research agenda. He joined the center in January 2009 and became its director in April 2009.
In his previous role as a senior economist in the Bank's Research Department, Hunt's research focused on consumer payments, consumer finance, and the economics of innovation. His work includes studies of the dynamics of the consumer credit reporting industry, credit counseling organizations, the collections industry, and antitrust issues in consumer payment networks. In addition, while still in Research, Hunt helped guide the Payment Cards Center's research activities by serving in an informal advisory role to the center's director. Before joining the Bank in 1998, Hunt worked for the U.S. Congressional Budget Office. Prior to attending graduate school, he was an industry risk analyst for Bank One, Indianapolis.
Hunt received a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. (summa cum laude) in political science and economics from Butler University.
Fields of Interest
- consumer payments & finance
- innovation & intellectual property
- economic geography
- Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (1998-2009)
- Associate Analyst, Congressional Budget Office (1995-1998)
- Research Analyst, Bank One, Indianapolis, NA (1987-1989)
- Microeconomics (undergraduate), The Wharton School, Winter 2004
- Law & Economics (undergraduate), University of Pennsylvania, Spring and Summer 1992
- “Getting Rid of Paper: Savings from Implementing Check 21,” with David B. Humphrey, Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Vol. 45 (2012), pp. 1415-30.
- “What ‘Triggers’ Mortgage Default?,” with Ronel Elul, Nicholas S. Souleles, Souphala Chomsisengphet, and Dennis Glennon, American Economic Review, Papers & Proceedings, Vol. 100 (2010), pp. 490-494.
- “Business Method Patents and U.S. Financial Services,” Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 28 (2010), pp. 322-352.
- “What Explains the Quantity and Quality of Local Inventive Activity?,” (with Gerald Carlino), Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs (2009), pp. 65-124.
- “Urban Density and the Rate of Invention” (with Gerald Carlino and Satyajit Chatterjee), Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 61 (2007), pp. 389-419.
- “An Empirical Look at Software Patents” (with James Bessen), Journal of Economics and Management Strategy, Vol. 16 (2007), pp. 157-89.
- “Economics and the Design of Patent Systems,” Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review, Vol. 13 (2007), pp. 457-70.
- “When Do More Patents Reduce R&D?” American Economic Review, Papers & Proceedings, Vol. 96 (2006): 87-91.
- “Patentability, Industry Structure, and Innovation,” Journal of Industrial Economics, Vol. 52 (2004), pp 401-25.
- “An Introduction to the Economics of Payment Card Networks,” Review of Network Economics, Vol. 2 (2003): 80-96.
Other External Publications
- “Re-examining the Patent System” (with Brian Kahin), Issues in Science and Technology.
- “Intellectual Property Rights and Standard Setting in Financial Services: The Case of the Single Euro Payments Area” (with Samuli Simojoki and Tuomas Takalo) in L. Anderloni, D.T. Llewellyn, and R. Schmidt, eds., Financial Innovation in Retail and Corporate Banking, 2009.
- “Whither Consumer Credit Counseling,” in Sumit Agarwal and Brent Ambrose, eds., Household Credit Usage: Personal Debt and Mortgages. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2007.
- “The Development and Regulation of Consumer Credit Reporting in America,” in Giuseppe Bertola and Charles Grant, eds., The Economics of Consumer Credit: European Experience and Lessons from the US. Boston: MIT Press, 2006.
- “The Software Patent Experiment” (with James Bessen), in Patents, Innovation and Economic Performance, Conference Proceedings. Paris: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2004.
- Regulatory Takings and Proposals for Change (with Timothy VandenBerg), Washington: Congressional Budget Office, 1998.
Select Working Papers and Discussion Papers
- “Consumer Use of Fraud Alerts and Credit Freezes: An Empirical Analysis,” with Julia Cheney, Vyacheslav Mikhed, Dubravka Ritter, and Michael Vogan, Discussion Paper 14-04, September 2014
- “Identity Theft as a Teachable Moment,” with Julia Cheney, Vyacheslav Mikhed, Dubravka Ritter, and Michael Vogan, Working Paper 14-28, September 2014
- “The Economics of Debt Collection: Enforcement of Consumer Credit Contracts,” with Viktar Fedaseyeu, Working Paper 14-7, March 2014.
- “Residential Migration, Entry, and Exit as Seen Through the Lens of Credit Bureau Data,” with Keith Wardrip, Discussion Paper 13-04.
- “The Efficiency and Integrity of Payment Card Systems: Industry Views on the Risks Posed by Data Breaches,” with Julia S. Cheney, Katy R. Jacob, Richard D. Porter, and Bruce J. Summers, Discussion Paper 12-04, October 2012.
- “The Agglomeration of R&D Labs,” with Gerald A. Carlino, Jake K. Carr, and Tony E. Smith, Working Paper 12-2, September 2012.
- “Consumers' Use of Prepaid Cards: A Transaction-Based Analysis,” with Stephanie Wilshusen, James van Opstal, and Rachel Schneider, August 2012.
- “What ‘Triggers’ Mortgage Default?,” with Ronel Elul, Nicholas S. Souleles, Souphala Chomsisengphet, and Dennis Glennon, Working Paper 10-13, April 2010.
- “What Explains the Quantity and Quality of Local Inventive Activity?,” with Gerald Carlino, Working Paper 09-12, June 2009.
- “Business Method Patents and U.S. Financial Services,” Working Paper 08-10, May 2008.
- “Innovation Across U.S. Industries: The Effects of Local Economic Characteristics,” with Gerald Carlino, Working Paper 07-28, October 2007.
- “Business Method Patents for U.S. Financial Services,” Working Paper 07-21, September 2007.
- “Intellectual Property Rights and Standard Setting in Financial Services: The Case of the Single European Payments Area,” Working Paper 07-20, August 2007.
- “Matching Externalities and Inventive Productivity,” Working Paper 07-7, March 2007.
- “Economics and the Design of Patent Systems,” Working Paper 07-6, March 2007.
- “When Do More Patents Reduce R&D?,” Working Paper 06-6, January 2006.
- “A Century of Consumer Credit Reporting in America,” Working Paper 05-13, June 2005.
- “Patentability, Industry Structure, and Innovation,” Working Paper 01-13/R, revised August 2004.
- “An Empirical Look at Software Patents,” (with James Bessen), Working Paper 03-17/R, March 2004.
- “Nonobviousness and the Incentive to Innovate: An Economic Analysis of Intellectual Property Reform,” Working Paper 99-3, March 1999.
- “Discouraging Federal Actions That Reduce the Value of Private Property: Evaluating Procedural and Financial Approaches,” Working Paper 98-24, December 1998.
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Business Review Articles
Works in Progress
- “The Democratization of U.S. Research and Development after 1980” (with Leonard Nakamura), mimeo, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, 2007.
- “An Economic Theory of Criminal Deterrence,” mimeo, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia 2007.
Other Unpublished Papers
- “Recent Developments in Consumer Credit and Payments, Conference Summary” (with Ronel Elul, Joanna Ender, and James McGrath), 2005.
- “Innovation in Financial Services and Payments, Conference Summary” (with Gabriella Guiborg), Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, 2002.
- “Evaluating Forecasts of Budget Deficits” (with Dean Croushore), mimeo, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, 1999.
- “The Value of R&D in the U.S. Semiconductor Industry: What Happened in the 1980s?” mimeo, Congressional Budget Office and Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, 1996.
- “Persistent Mis-coordination in Evolutionary Games” (with Alberto Trejos), mimeo, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, 1993.
- “Laboratory Industry Technology, Productivity Changes and Medicare Payments in Different Provider Settings” (with B. Kinosian, G. Wedig), et al., mimeo, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Care Economics, University of Pennsylvania, 1992.
- International Economic Review
- Journal of Industrial Economics
- Journal of Money, Credit and Banking
- Management Science
- Rand Journal of Economics
- Review of Economic Studies
Other Professional Activity
- Presentation for the Federal Trade Commission — Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Roundtable on “Data Integrity in Debt Collection” (June 2013).
- Invited Panelist, Federal Trade Commission Public Forum on Debt Relief Amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule (2009)
- Presentation for The Federal Trade Commission’s Hearing on “The Evolving IP Marketplace” (March 2009)
- Invited panelist, Federal Trade Commission workshop: “Collecting Consumer Debts: The Challenges of Change” (2007)
- Invited panelist, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago/Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Business “Roundtable on Intellectual Property and Competition Issues Relating to Financial Markets” (2007)
- Invited panelist, Federal Trade Commission hearing, “Methodologies That Assess Accuracy and Completeness of Credit Reports” (2004)
- Invited panelist, National Academies, Board on Science Technology and Policy Workshop on Intellectual Property Rights (2000)
- NASA Space Science Board (1996-7)