Adam J. Hoffer

Adam J. Hoffer

Adam J. Hoffer is an assistant professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. He earned his PhD in economics at West Virginia University in 2012 with emphases in public economics and natural resource economics. He earned his BA in economics with a minor in business administration from Washington and Jefferson College. His primary research interests include political economy, public choice, and public finance.

Working Papers

Stephen Matteo Miller, Adam J. Hoffer, David Wille | Aug 23, 2016
Small businesses feature prominently in the US economy because they employ about 50 percent of the workforce and pay about 50 percent of American wages. Also, small businesses are often a source of innovative ideas that can drive growth. To the extent that access to finance plays a role in bringing those ideas to the real economy, small-business finance remains important for the future of the economy. Yet new financial regulations arising from the Dodd-Frank Act that were intended to stabilize the banking industry after the 2008 financial crisis may be unintentionally limiting small businesses’ access to credit. In a new study from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, researchers Stephen Matteo Miller, Adam Hoffer, and David Wille provide a review of the latest academic research into the major sources of capital used by small businesses in the United States and summarize the major trends and challenges that small-business owners face in obtaining capital today.
Adam J. Hoffer, Russell Sobel | Oct 27, 2015
A new study for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University is the first to look at broad-based government bidding preferences. It finds that in-state preference policies are associated with a $148 increase per capita in state construction costs and a $158 increase per capita in capital expenditures, which translates to an increase of more than $600 million for the median state in each type of cost.
Adam J. Hoffer, Rejeana Gvillo, William F. Shughart II , Michael D. Thomas | Mar 03, 2015
This study provides a systematic analysis of selective consumption tax policy. We detail both the motivations behind selective consumption taxes and the policy’s shortcomings. Empirically, we explore how consumption of 12 goods—alcohol, cigarettes, fast food, items sold at vending machines, purchases of food away from home, cookies, cakes, chips, candy, donuts, bacon, and carbonated soft drinks—varies across the income distribution by calculating the goods’ income-expenditure elasticities.
Adam J. Hoffer, William F. Shughart II , Michael D. Thomas | Feb 05, 2013
This paper addresses three criticisms of sin taxes: first, the traditional Pigouvian justification applied to sin goods, such as alcohol and tobacco, is frequently misapplied to a progressively broader base of goods and services where the “sin good” label is questionable, such as automobile tires, candy, soft drinks, and fast food.


Policy Briefs

Expert Commentary

Research Areas


Adam J. Hoffer | March 13, 2013
Dr. Adam Hoffer discusses his research on “sin taxes”: excise taxes on such goods as alcohol, tobacco, and unhealthy foods. He breaks down how particular sin taxes affect different demographics, analyzes whether these taxes actually produce the intended results, and points out some of the quirkiest sin taxes currently on the books in the United States…
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