Cal Poly

Orfalea College of Business

Michael Marlow

Michael Marlow


Office 92-C101
Phone 805-756-1764
Fax 805-756-1473

Office Hours
Adjunct Economics Faculty

Professor of Economics

Michael Marlow

Michael L. Marlow is Professor of Economics at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Dr. Marlow has been at Cal Poly since 1988, and was named a University Distinguished Scholar in 2007. He is an affiliated scholar of the Center for the Study of Economic Liberty at Arizona State University and also an affiliated Senior Scholar of the Mercatus Center of George Mason University.

His research focuses on the economic effects of spending, taxation and regulatory policies of government. He has published over 75 articles in journals that include Public Choice, Applied Economics, Economic Inquiry, Economics Letters, Regulation, Economic Affairs, Review of Economics and Statistics and the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. His most recent research has focused on public health economics where he has published extensively in the economics of obesity.

Dr. Marlow has authored numerous commentaries for news outlets that include the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, the Economist, Forbes Opinion, the Hill, New York Daily News and the Orange County Register. Topics covered include FDA and OSHA regulatory policies, GMO labelling, policies on e-cigarettes and soda, Prop 65, public sector unions, eminent domain, Social Security, and the role of government in obesity control.

Dr. Marlow has published two books. In 1995, Dr. Marlow published Public Finance: Theory & Practice (Harcourt). The Myth of Fair and Efficient Government: Why the Government You Want Is Not the One You Get (Praeger, 2011) argues that a more limited role for government is critical to improving its performance.

Prior to Cal Poly, he was Senior Financial Economist at the U. S. Treasury (1983-88) and Associate Professor at the George Washington University (1979-1984). At the U.S. Treasury, he conducted research on monetary and fiscal policies for the Under Secretary for Monetary Affairs and the Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy.

He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the George Washington University where he was awarded a B.A. in economics. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Virginia Tech.


  • PhD in Economics, 1978, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg
  • BA in Economics, 1975, George Washington University

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