Bob Hunt

Robert M. Hunt

Senior Vice President, Associate Director of the Consumer Finance Institute

Phone: (215) 574-3806
Fax: (215) 574-7101

Curriculum vitae

Areas of Expertise

  • Payment Security and Fraud
  • Payment System Efficiency and Competition
  • Credit Reporting
  • Debt Collection
  • Financial Innovations and Intellectual Property

About Robert M. Hunt

Robert M. Hunt is senior vice president and associate director of the Consumer Finance Institute. Previously, he was the director of the Bank’s Payment Cards Center and a senior economist in the Bank’s Research Department. He joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in 1998.

Hunt’s research focuses on consumer payments, consumer finance, and the economics of innovation. His research includes studies of payment cards, adoption of new payment technologies, antitrust issues in consumer payment networks, identity theft, regulation of credit cards, mortgage default, consumer credit reporting, credit counseling organizations, and the collections industry. He has also published papers on topics in economic geography and intellectual property.

Before joining the Bank, 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 has 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.


  • 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

Journal Articles

  • “Localized Knowledge Spillovers: Evidence from the Spatial Clustering of R&D Labs and Patent Citations,” Regional Science and Urban Economics, Vol. 81 (2020).
  • “The Agglomeration of American R&D Labs,” with Kristy Buzard, Gerald A. Carlino, Jake K. Carr, and Tony E. Smith, Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 101 (2017), pp. 14-26.
  • “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), pp. 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), pp. 80-96.

Other External Publications

  • “Reexamining the Patent System” External Link (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

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.

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 (1996-1997).

Referee (select)

  • International Economic Review
  • Journal of Industrial Economics
  • Journal of Money, Credit and Banking
  • Management Science
  • Rand Journal of Economics
  • Review of Economic Studies