hero image
Christopher Westley, Ph.D. - Florida Gulf Coast University. Fort Myers, FL, US

Christopher Westley, Ph.D. Christopher Westley, Ph.D.

Expert in regional economic trends | Florida Gulf Coast University

Fort Myers, FL, UNITED STATES

Dr. Westley studies and researches the economics of the free society.

Media

Publications:

Documents:

Videos:

How Consumers Rule In a Free Economy | by Christopher Westley

Audio:

Social Media

Biography

Dr. Christopher Westley is interim dean of the Lutgert College of Business, professor of economics and director of the Regional Economic Research Institute at Florida Gulf Coast University. A prolific writer, his scholarly articles have appeared in Economics and Politics, Constitutional Political Economy, the Eastern Economics Journal, the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, and the International Journal of Social Economics. In addition, Westley has published more than 100 economics columns, including some that have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, the Christian Science Monitor, several Florida newspapers, as well as business and public policy journals throughout the United States.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Political Economy

Economics

Public Economics

Finance

Austrian Economics

Accomplishments (1)

Industry Diversification Project (professional)

2016-03-01

Established by Dr. Westley, this project tracks the Industry Diversification Index that measures how diversified economies are by Florida MSA, workforce region and every U.S. state. The index ranks Florida and Southwest Florida against other regions based on business diversity.

Education (3)

Auburn University: Ph.D., Economics 2000

St. Mary’s University: M.A., Economics 1993

University of Florida, Gainesville: B.S., Public Relations 1987

Affiliations (16)

  • Mises Institute : Associated Scholar
  • Acton Institute : Adjunct Scholar
  • Education Facilities Authority (Lee County) : Board Member
  • Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance : Board Member
  • Village of Estero Economic Development Partnership : Member
  • Florida Council of Business Economists : Member
  • Southwest Florida Community Foundation : FutureMaker
  • Comprehensive Economic Development Committee : Member
  • Opportunity Naples Steering Committee : Member
  • Regional Economic Indicators : Editor and Publisher
  • Lee County Business Climate Survey : Editor and Publisher
  • Industry Diversification Report : Editor and Publisher
  • Workforce Now Report : Editor and Publisher
  • Economic Almanac of Southwest Florida : Editor and Publisher
  • Immokalee Economic Overview : Editor and Publisher
  • Top 100 Employers of Southwest Florida : Editor and Publisher

Selected Media Appearances (22)

FGCU announces initiative to help local businesses get back on their feet

ABC7  tv

2020-05-19

Christopher Westley announces the RESTART SWFL initiative to help local businesses recover from COVID-19.

view more

FGCU announces Economic Recovery Initiative for businesses

NBC2  tv

2020-05-19

Christopher Westley announces the RESTART SWFL initiative to help local businesses recover from COVID-19.

view more

FGCU announces 'Restart SWFL' initiative to assist local businesses with pandemic recovery

Naples Daily News  print

2020-05-19

Christopher Westley announces the RESTART SWFL initiative to help local businesses recover from COVID-19.

view more

New FGCU program hopes to reassure the public that it's safe to go out and shop

Fox 4  tv

2020-05-19

Christopher Westley announces the RESTART SWFL initiative to help local businesses recover from COVID-19.

view more

Economists predict Florida's unemployment rate is in the double digits

NBC2  tv

2020-04-17

Christopher Westley talks about unemployment numbers in Florida during COVID-19.

view more

New study shows just how devastating COVID-19 has been to the SWFL economy

Fox 4  

2020-03-30

Christopher Westley talks about his recent survey of nearly 1,000 businesses in Southwest Florida.

view more

Southwest Florida's economy taking a big blow from coronavirus, according to economic impact survey

Naples Daily News  print

2020-03-30

Christopher Westley talks about his recent survey of nearly 1,000 businesses in Southwest Florida.

view more

Coronavirus is deadly for small businesses, according to FGCU study

NBC2  tv

2020-03-30

Christopher Westley talks about his recent survey of nearly 1,000 businesses in Southwest Florida.

view more

A very Naples story at FGCU

Life in Naples magazine  print

2020-03-11

Chris Westley talks about his life growing up in Naples and his rise to the deanship at Lutgert College of Business.

view more

New area business college dean creates long list

Business Observer  print

2020-01-31

Christopher Westley is named dean of the Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University.

view more

Going down: Southwest Florida's unemployment rates back on the decline

Naples Daily News  print

2019-10-21

Dr. Westley discusses the economy as it relates to Southwest Florida.

view more

Jobless rate in Southwest Florida ticked up in August but remained under 4%

Naples Daily News  print

2019-09-20

Dr. Westley discusses the economy as it relates to Southwest Florida.

view more

Survey says: Hiring expected to remain strong in Lee County for rest of 2019

The News-Press  print

2019-09-10

Dr. Westley talks about jobs and Southwest Florida's diversified economy.

view more

Inside Florida's gig economy

Florida Weekly  print

2019-08-29

Dr. Westley talks about jobs and Southwest Florida's diversified economy.

view more

Bill Could Give Uber Drivers Employee Status — At What Cost?

The Epoch Times  online

2019-07-30

Dr. Westley discusses the impact regulations can have on the workforce.

view more

Jobless rates crept up in June, but remain low across Southwest Florida

Naples Daily News  print

2019-07-22

Dr. Westley discusses the economy as it relates to Southwest Florida.

view more

Survey says: Lee County businesses still pessimistic about region's economy

Naples Daily News  print

2019-06-09

Dr. Westley discusses the economy as it relates to Southwest Florida.

view more

Governor DeSantis signs Toll Road bill; environmentalists argue impact on wildlife

Fox 4  tv

2019-05-19

Dr. Westley talks about the economic impact of a toll road on Florida.

view more

Jobs market strong overall in SWFL, but Irma wallops Collier jobs

Naples Daily News  

2018-03-12

Lee and Collier counties had the lowest unemployment rate (3.9 percent), followed by Charlotte County (4.5 percent), Glades County (4.6 percent) and Hendry County (5.6 percent).

While the overall unemployment rates are “historically very low,” said Christopher Westley, director of the Regional Economic Research Institute at FGCU, the headline is in the jobs decline in Collier. He cautioned, though, that it’s too soon to read too much into it.

view more

Coffee and guns: Southwest Florida's appetite for both

The New-Press  

2018-02-26

“Our country is a gun-loving country and you can see it down here,” said Christopher Westley, director of the Regional Economic Research Institute at Florida Gulf Coast University. “In our economy, there is a tremendous demand for both and that’s reflected in the market.”...

view more

Labor market report shows growing shortage of workers in health care, retail

Naples Daily News  

2018-02-23

"The ranking industries have not changed. The big change has been the economy has come out of recession, the employment numbers have gone to record levels and, of course, construction workers are returning to that industry and I expect that to continue until the end of the expansion," said Christopher Westley, an economics professor and director of the Regional Economic Research Institute at Florida Gulf Coast University...

view more

Business owners bullish on SWFL economy, survey finds

Naples Herald  

2018-02-13

“It was the second-highest measure ever recorded for this survey since its inception in 2012,” said Christopher Westley, the director of FGCU’s Regional Economic Research Institute. “The largest measure, a 74, was recorded in 2014, a year when Lee County experienced GDP growth of 5.7 percent.”...

view more

Selected Event Appearances (8)

The Financial Determinants of NCAA Football Championship Series Power Ratings

Eastern Finance Association Annual Meetings  New Orleans, Louisiana

2015-04-08

The Leno Effect: Toward a Political Economy of ‘Tonight Show’ Monologues

Western Economics Association Meetings  Honolulu

2015-06-28

Luck, Human Agency, and Micro Institutions in Colonial Brazil

Asia-Pacific Economic and Business History Conference  Seoul, South Korea

2013-02-14

Operating Strategies and Economic Factors in the Airline Industry: The Southwest Effect Extended

Southeast Decision Science Institute Meetings  Savannah, Georgia

2011-02-23

Who Wins? The Role of Economic Freedom on Olympic Performance

Association for Private Enterprise Education Meetings  Las Vegas, Nevada

2010-04-11

Corporations as Counterweights: The Role of Transnational Firms as Checks on State Power in the 21st Century

Public Choice Society Meetings  Monterey, California

2010-03-11

Why Productivity Matters: A Panel Study of Airline Profitability Before and After 9/11

Academic Business World Conference  Nashville, Tennessee

2008-05-26

Medical Malpractice Reform Policy: Why Economic Efficiency Matters

International Academy of Business and Public Administration Disciplines  Orlando, Florida

2008-01-03

Selected Articles (3)

Degredados, Their Human Agency, and Micro Institutions in Colonial Brazil: An Institutionalist Reinterpretation Journal of Economic Issues

Christopher Westley and Fernando Zanella

2015

Institutions are widely recognized as determinants of economic development. However, institutional economists often overlook pertinent historical incidents in their search for broad patterns. At times, this search oversimplifies truly complex phenomena. In light of this, we apply a micro-institutional analysis to explain the success of colonial Brazil’s early settlements as a mix of accident and design. By doing so, we stress the limitations that can result when applying an aggregate institutional interpretation of economic history and development. We also apply the principal-agent model and its main feature — risk-sharing — to an extreme case that involves settlers and natives risking their lives, while Portuguese principals sought to reduce transaction costs in an important and resource-rich colony.

view more

Ngrams and the Austrian School Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics

Christopher Westley

2014

The Google Ngram Viewer is used to highlight some of the ideas, nomenclature, individuals, and events that have come to comprise the Austrian tradition. Key terms and literature are also examined primarily using the English corpus, with occasional examinations using German and French corpus as well. The Ngram counts of these terms provide a useful way to gauge the success of Austrians, over time, to influence the state of economics and the popular debate.

view more

An institutional analysis of voter turnout: the role of primary type and the expressive and instrumental voting hypotheses Constitutional Political Economy

Peter T. Calcagno and Christopher Westley

2008

Recent events highlight primary type as an institutional variable that merits further examination in the economics literature on voter turnout. Using panel data for U.S. gubernatorial elections and treating primary type as a proxy for candidate deviation from the median voter, we test whether primary type changes voter turnout and whether that change is dominated by instrumental or expressive voting. The results show that states with more open primaries tend to have greater voter turnout in general elections, and that this increase reflects the effect of open primaries on expressive voting.

view more