Bio


James T. Hamilton is the Hearst Professor of Communication, Chair of the Department of Communication, and Director of the Stanford Journalism Program. His books on media markets and information provision include All the News That’s Fit to Sell: How the Market Transforms Information into News (Princeton, 2004), Regulation Through Revelation: The Origin, Politics, and Impacts of the Toxics Release Inventory Program (Cambridge, 2005), and Channeling Violence: The Economic Market for Violent Television Programming (Princeton, 1998). His most recent book, Democracy's Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Journalism (Harvard, 2016), focuses on the market for investigative reporting. Through research in the field of computational journalism, he is also exploring how the costs of story discovery can be lowered through better use of data and algorithms. He is co-founder of the Stanford Computational Journalism Lab, Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, affiliated faculty at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, and member of the JSK Fellowships Board of Visitors.

For his accomplishments in research, he has won awards such as the David N Kershaw Award of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, the Goldsmith Book Prize from the Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center (twice), the Frank Luther Mott Research Award (twice), the Tankard Book Award, and a Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences Fellowship. Teaching awards from Harvard, Duke, and Stanford include the Allyn Young Prize for Excellence in Teaching the Principles of Economics, Trinity College Distinguished Teaching Award, Bass Society of Fellows, Susan Tifft Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award, and School of Humanities and Sciences Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Prior to joining the Stanford faculty, Hamilton taught at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, where he directed the De Witt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy. He earned a BA in Economics and Government (summa cum laude) and PhD in Economics from Harvard University.

Academic Appointments


Administrative Appointments


  • Chair, Department of Communication, Stanford University (2018 - Present)
  • Chair (Interim), Department of Communication, Stanford University (2014 - 2015)
  • Director of the Journalism Program, Stanford University (2013 - Present)
  • Hearst Professor of Communication, Stanford University (2013 - Present)
  • Professor of Communication, Stanford University (2013 - 2013)
  • Co-Director, Policy Journalism and Media Studies Certificate Program (2008 - 2013)
  • Director, DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy (2008 - 2013)
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (2007 - 2008)
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (2007 - 2008)
  • Charles S. Sydnor Professor of Public Policy, Duke University (2004 - 2013)
  • Professor of Economics and Political Science, Duke University (2004 - 2013)
  • Director of Undergraduate Studies, Public Policy Department, Duke University (2004 - 2007)
  • Oscar L. Tang Family Professor of Public Policy, Economics, and Political Science, Duke University (2003 - 2004)
  • Marvin Kalb Chair in Global Communications, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (2002 - 2002)
  • Visiting Associate Professor, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (2002 - 2002)
  • Associate Director, Sanford Institute of Public Policy (2001 - 2002)
  • Oscar L. Tang Family Associate Professor of Public Policy, Economics, and Political Science, Duke University (2000 - 2003)
  • Bass Society of Fellows, Duke University (2000 - 2000)
  • Associate Professor of Public Policy, Economics, and Political Science, Duke University (1998 - 2000)
  • Director, Duke Program on Violence and the Media, Duke University (1993 - 2000)
  • Director, Duke Program on Violence and the Media (1993 - 2000)
  • Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Economics, and Political Science, Duke University (1991 - 1998)
  • John Olin Law and Economics Fellow, Duke Law School (1990 - 1991)
  • Graduate Fellowship, National Science Foundation (1985 - 1988)

Honors & Awards


  • Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching, Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences (2017)
  • Goldsmith Book Prize, Shorenstein Center, Kennedy School of Government (2017)
  • James Tankard Book Award, AEJMC (2017)
  • Research Award, Frank Luther Mott-Kappa Tau Alpha (2016)
  • Susan E. Tifft Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award, Sanford Institute (2012)
  • Research Award, Frank Luther Mott-Kappa Tau Alpha (2005)
  • David N. Kershaw Award, Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (2001)
  • Goldsmith Book Prize, Shorenstein Center, Kennedy School of Government (1999)
  • Vernon Prize, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (1995)
  • Faculty Award, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (1994)
  • Distinguished Teaching Award, Trinity College (Duke) (1993)
  • Allyn Young Prize for Excellence in Teaching the Principles of Economics, Harvard University (1988)
  • John Harvard Scholar, Harvard University (1980-1983)
  • Presidential Scholar, Department of Education (1979)

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations


  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa Junior Twelve (1982 - 1982)
  • Advisory editor, International Journal of Communication
  • Referee, American Economic Review
  • Referee, American Journal of Political Science
  • Referee, American Political Science Review
  • Referee, B.E. Journals in Economic Analysis and Activity
  • Referee, Communication Theory
  • Referee, Contemporary Economic Policy
  • Referee, Demography
  • Referee, Economic Inquiry
  • Referee, Environment and Development Economics
  • Referee, Environmental Economics and Policy Studies
  • Referee, Environmental Sciences
  • Referee, Governance
  • Referee, Growth and Change
  • Referee, Harvard University Press
  • Referee, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media
  • Referee, Journal of Economic Education
  • Referee, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization
  • Referee, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
  • Referee, Journal of Law and Economics
  • Referee, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization
  • Referee, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management
  • Referee, Journal of Politics
  • Referee, Journal of Public Economics
  • Referee, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics
  • Referee, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty
  • Referee, Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Criticism
  • Referee, National Research Council
  • Referee, National Science Foundation
  • Referee, Policy Studies Journal
  • Referee, Political Communication
  • Referee, Princeton University Press
  • Referee, Public Choice
  • Referee, Quarterly Journal of Economics
  • Referee, Resource and Energy Economics
  • Referee, Review of Economics and Statistics
  • Referee, Risk Analysis
  • Referee, Smith Richardson Foundation
  • Referee, Social Problems
  • Referee, Social Science Quarterly
  • Referee, Southern Economic Journal
  • Referee, University of Chicago Press
  • Referee, W.W. Norton

Program Affiliations


  • Science, Technology and Society

Professional Education


  • Ph.D., Harvard University, Economics (1991)
  • B.A., Harvard University, Economics and Government (1983)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests


Media economics, journalism, economics of regulation

2018-19 Courses


Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • Poor Information: How Economics Affects the Information Lives of Low-Income Individuals INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION Hamilton, J. T., Morgan, F. 2018; 12: 2832–50
  • Transparency in Politics and the Media: Accountability and Open Government edited by Hamilton, J. T., Bowles, N., Levy, D. London: I.B. Tauris. 2014
  • Computational Journalism COMMUNICATIONS OF THE ACM Cohen, S., Hamilton, J. T., Turner, F. 2011; 54 (10): 66-71
  • What’s the Incentive to Save Journalism Will the Last Reporter Please Turn Out the Lights: The Collapse of Journalism and What Can be Done to Fix It Hamilton, J. T. edited by McChesney, R. W., Pickard, V. New York: New Press. 2011
  • Regulation Through Revelation: The Origin, Politics, and Impacts of the Toxics Release Hamilton, J. T. 2011
  • Why Addressing the Poor and Underinsured is Vexing HEALTH COMMUNICATION Southwell, B. G., Hamilton, J. T., Slater, J. S. 2011; 26 (6): 583-585

    View details for DOI 10.1080/10410236.2011.575453

    View details for Web of Science ID 000299567800010

    View details for PubMedID 21843099

  • THE (MANY) MARKETS FOR INTERNATIONAL NEWS How news from abroad sells at home JOURNALISM STUDIES Hamilton, J. T. 2010; 11 (5): 650-666
  • Conserving Data in the Conservation Reserve Program: How a Regulatory Program Runs on Imperfect Information Hamiltom, J. T. How a Regulatory Program Runs on Imperfect Information. 2010
  • Tracking Toxics When the Data Are Polluted: How Computational Journalism Can Uncover What Polluters Would Prefer to Hide Nieman Reports Hamilton, J. T. 2009; 63 (1): 16-18
  • You Are What You Choose: The Habits of Mind that Really Determine How We Make Decisions Hamilton, J. T., Marchi, S. d. New York: Portfolio. 2009
  • The Road Ahead for Media Hybrids: Report of the Duke Nonprofit Media Conference Duke Nonprofit Media Conferenc Hamilton, J. 2009
  • News that sells: Media competition and news content JAPANESE JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Hamilton, J. T. 2007; 8: 7-42
  • Assessing the accuracy of self-reported data: An evaluation of the toxics release inventory JOURNAL OF RISK AND UNCERTAINTY De Marchi, S., Hamilton, J. T. 2006; 32 (1): 57-76
  • Environmental Equity and the Siting of Hazardous Waste Facilities in OECD Countries: Evidence and Policies The Distributional Effects of Environmental Policy Hamilton, J. T. edited by Serret, Y., Johnstone, N. Northhampton, MA: Edward Elgar and OECD. 2006
  • All the News That’s Fit to Sell: How the Market Transforms Information into News. Hamilton, J. T. 2006
  • The Market and the Media Institutions of American Democracy: The Press Hamilton, J. T. edited by Overholser, G., Jamieson, K. H. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  • Regulation Through Revelation: The Origin, Politics, and Impacts of the Toxics Release Hamilton, J. T. New York: Cambridge University Press. 2005
  • Environmental Equity and the Siting of Hazardous Waste Facilities in OECD Countries: Evidence and Policies International Yearbook of Environmental and Resource Economics 2005/2006 Hamilton, J. T. edited by Tietenberg, T., Folmer, H. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar. 2005
  • ews in the Public Interest: A Free and Subsidized Press 2004 John Breaux Symposium Hamilton, J. edited by Hamilton, J. 2004
  • All the News That’s Fit to Sell: How the Market Transforms Information into News. Hamilton, J. T. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2004
  • The market value of reducing cancer risk: Hedonic housing prices with changing information SOUTHERN ECONOMIC JOURNAL Gayer, T., Hamilton, J. T., Viscusi, W. K. 2002; 69 (2): 266-289
  • Private values of risk tradeoffs at superfund sites: Housing market evidence on learning about risk REVIEW OF ECONOMICS AND STATISTICS Gayer, T., Hamilton, J. T., Viscusi, W. K. 2000; 82 (3): 439-451
  • Television Violence and Public Policy Hamilton, J. T. edited by Hamilton, J. T. 2000
  • Channeling Violence: The Economic Market for Violent Television Programming Hamilton, J. T. 2000
  • Are risk regulators rational? Evidence from hazardous waste cleanup decisions AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW Viscusi, W. K., Hamilton, J. T. 1999; 89 (4): 1010-1027
  • Exercising property rights to pollute: Do cancer risks and politics affect plant emission reductions? JOURNAL OF RISK AND UNCERTAINTY Hamilton, J. T. 1999; 18 (2): 105-124
  • How costly is "Clean"? An analysis of the benefits and costs of superfund site remediations JOURNAL OF POLICY ANALYSIS AND MANAGEMENT Hamilton, J. T., Viscusi, W. K. 1999; 18 (1): 2-27
  • Calculating Risks? The Spatial and Political Dimensions of Hazardous Waste Policy Hamilton, J. T., Viscusi, W. K. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 1999
  • Channeling Violence: The Economic Market for Violent Television Programming Hamilton, J. T. Princeton University Press. 1998
  • Television Violence and Public Policy Hamilton, J. T. edited by Hamilton, J. T. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 1998
  • Who Will Rate the Ratings The V-chip Debate: Content Filtering from Television to the Internet Hamilton, J. T. edited by Price, M. E. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 1998: 133–156
  • Conservative versus mean risk assessments: Implications for superfund policies JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT Viscusi, W. K., Hamilton, J. T., Dockins, P. C. 1997; 34 (3): 187-206
  • Taxes, torts, and the toxics release inventory: Congressional voting on instruments to control pollution ECONOMIC INQUIRY Hamilton, J. T. 1997; 35 (4): 745-762
  • The Magnitude and Policy Implications of Health Risks from Hazardous Waste Sites Foundations of Environmental Law and Policy Hamilton, J. T. edited by Revesz, R. L. New York: Oxford University Press. 1997: 256–263
  • The Benefits and Costs of Regulatory Reforms for Superfund Stanford Environmental Law Journal Hamilton, J. T., Viscusi, W. K. 1997; 16 (2): 159-198
  • Cleaning up superfund PUBLIC INTEREST Viscusi, W. K., Hamilton, J. T. 1996: 52-60
  • Biased ballots? The impact of ballot structure on North Carolina elections in 1992 PUBLIC CHOICE Hamilton, J. T., Ladd, H. F. 1996; 87 (3-4): 259-280
  • Noncompliance in environmental reporting: Are violators ignorant, or evasive, of the law? AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE Brehm, J., Hamilton, J. T. 1996; 40 (2): 444-477
  • Private interests in ''public interest'' programming: An economic assessment of broadcaster incentives DUKE LAW JOURNAL Hamilton, J. T. 1996; 45 (6): 1177-1192
  • Going by the (Informal) Book: The EPA's Use of Informal Rules in Enforcing Hazardous Waste Laws Reinventing Government and The Problem of Bureaucracy Hansen, J. T. edited by LIbecap, G. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press. 1996: 109–155
  • Politics and Social Costs: Estimating the Impact of Collective Action on Hazardous Waste Facilities The Political Economy of Environmental Protection: Analysis and Evidence Hamilton, J. T. edited by Congleton, R. D. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 1996
  • POLLUTION AS NEWS - MEDIA AND STOCK-MARKET REACTIONS TO THE TOXICS RELEASE INVENTORY DATA JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT Hamilton, J. T. 1995; 28 (1): 98-113
  • TESTING FOR ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM - PREJUDICE, PROFITS, POLITICAL-POWER JOURNAL OF POLICY ANALYSIS AND MANAGEMENT Hamilton, J. T. 1995; 14 (1): 107-132
  • The Magnitude and Policy Implications of Health Risks from Hazardous Waste Sites Analyzing Superfund: Economics, Science, and Law Hamilton, J. T. edited by Revesz, R. L., Stewart, R. B. Washington: Resources for the Future. 1995: 55–81
  • STRATEGIC REGULATORS AND THE CHOICE OF RULEMAKING PROCEDURES - THE SELECTION OF FORMAL VS INFORMAL RULES IN REGULATING HAZARDOUS-WASTE LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS Hamilton, J. T., Schroeder, C. H. 1994; 57 (1-2): A111-A160
  • REGULATING REGULATION - THE POLITICAL-ECONOMY OF ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES AND REGULATORY INSTRUMENTS LAW AND CONTEMPORARY PROBLEMS Hamilton, J. T. 1994; 57 (1-2): 1-2
  • HUMAN HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENTS FOR SUPERFUND ECOLOGY LAW QUARTERLY Hamilton, J. T., Viscusi, W. K. 1994; 21 (3): 573-641
  • POLITICS AND SOCIAL COSTS - ESTIMATING THE IMPACT OF COLLECTIVE ACTION ON HAZARDOUS-WASTE FACILITIES RAND JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS Hamilton, J. T. 1993; 24 (1): 101-125
  • Lower Pay for Analysis: Greater Rewards are Offered Those Writing Economics from Human Interest and Political Viewpoints Nieman Reports Hamilton, J. T. 1991; 45 (3): 19-22
  • Missing the Mark(et) in Siting Hazardous Waste Facilities Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum Hamilton, J. T. 1991; 1: 11-16
  • Employers Large and Small Hamiltom, J. T., Brown, C., Medoff, J. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1990