Roger Koppl, a Life-Long Learner

When Roger Koppl, professor of finance at the Martin J. Whitman School of Management and a faculty fellow in the University’s Forensic and National Security Sciences Institute, first started college, he enjoyed it so much that he decided to stay in academia for the rest of his career.

“When I went to college, I felt like a fish who had been living out of water and for the first time was living in water,” said Koppl. “Pretty much the only thing I’ve ever done is be a student or a teacher, and it has been wonderful.”

Prof. Koppl grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and received his undergraduate degree from Cleveland State University. From there he went on to New York University to study under well-known American economists, including Fritz Machlup, Leland B. Yeager and William Baumel. Koppl ultimately received his Ph.D. in economics from Auburn University.

Today, Koppl has published work in numerous fields of study, including economics, finance, management, philosophy, law and forensic science. His work has been featured in prominent news outlets such as Forbes magazine, The Washington Post and The Atlantic.

“It sounds very scattered, but for most of my research, there is a unifying theme: the production and distribution of knowledge in society,” Koppl explained. This research topic was inspired by Koppl’s former teacher, Fritz Machlup.

In addition to teaching, Koppl is currently conducting experimental research on human subjects with a team of four student research assistants. This research is concerned with how humans interact and make decisions in group settings.

Koppl has also recently completed a book, “Expert Failure”, which focuses on experts and how to deal with their advice.

“In the modern world, we rely on experts all the time,” said Koppl. “We’re not very smart about when expert advice is going to be reliable and when it’s going to be unreliable. My basic idea is that experts can be unreliable, especially when they have a monopoly. So what you really want is competition among the experts.”

“Expert Failure” is scheduled to be released in February 2018.

Arielle Spears