Eli Dourado is an economist who works on innovation and economic growth in hard tech and aerospace. He has been a Senior Research Fellow at The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University since January 2020. He has studied and written about many different technology policy issues, and he is widely published. His greatest wish is for the GDP per capita to reach $200k by the year 2050, and he looks at new technology and the social and economic change that it can lead to.

Career and Education

Eli Dourado received his BA in Political Science and Economics from Furman University in 2002 and his PhD in Economics from George Mason University in 2016. He started his career on the legislative staff for Representative Wally Herger for seven months in 2002. Then, he was an economist for the Bureau of Economic Analysis from 2004 to 2006. Mr. Dourado worked at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University for five years from 2012 to 2017. In his last few months there, he conducted research and educated policy makers and the public about policies and institutions that lead to free, prosperous, and peaceful lives, including internet governance institutions, cybersecurity, aviation, Cryptocurrency, and intellectual property. He went to work for Boom Supersonic from 2017 to 2019, working to make the planet more accessible through supersonic flight. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University.

Published Work

Eli Dourado writes policy briefs, including, “Accelerating Availability of Vaccine Candidates for COVID-19,” from March 20, 2020. In addition, he has given federal testimony, written research papers, presented data visualizations on technology and innovation, and given expert commentary on issues, such as “How Russia and the UN Are Actually Planning to Take Over the Internet.” In 2016, he appeared on television to discuss the Democratic National Committee email hack. He writes articles that have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and more. He has spent time focused on supersonic flight, flying cars, and commercial drones. He posts interesting and thought provoking blog posts, including “The Dawn of the Age of Geoengineering” in 2019, “The Case for Ethereum Maximalism” in 2018, and “Maybe America is Simply Too Big” in 2016.

Web Projects

He has several web projects, including Wu wei theme, which is still subject to changes but available on Github. Primary Guide is a site he made to track betting markets for the 2016 election, and it is up and running for 2020. He does maintain an archive for data from 2016. In addition, he has Halvening Watch, which tracks the status related to the potential for several Bitcoin-style POW cryptocurrencies to collapse after successive halvenings reduce the block subsidy enough. He has created a Chrome Extension that gives you one-click access to protected resources from off-campus with GMU credentials.


Eli Dourado has conducted a lot of research throughout his career. You can find much of it listed at The Mercatus Center, Google Scholar, and SSRN. His dissertation is available from GMU. He researched and wrote “The Premium for Walkable Development Under Land Use Regulations” with Emily Hamilton. They use data on the housing market and walkability metrics to show that neighborhoods with walkable amenities in fact command more money than those without. They recommend zoning liberalization. In addition, with Chris Koopman, he researched and published “Defining Common Carriers: Flight Sharing, the FAA, and the Future of Aviation.” They propose a solution to regulatory issues surrounding flight sharing. He researched and wrote “Make America Boom Again” with Sam Hammond, where they make a case for developing and legalizing supersonic flight over the United States. He has written and researched many topics with detailed data, including cryptocurrency, aviation, cybersecurity, and other economic issues. His work always leaves interesting alternatives and paths to progression.
Eli Dourado