Alumni (National Fellow)

Beth Freeborn

National Fellow
Ph.D. University of Virginia (2003)
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Dream Mentor:
Peter Reuter
University of Maryland
Fields of Interest:
Economic Policy
Legal History
Political Economy


Beth A. Freeborn is an economist in the consumer protection division of the Federal Trade Commission. Her fields of interest are in industrial organization, applied microeconomics, economics of crime, and experimental industrial organization. Prior to joining the Federal Trade Commission, Freeborn was assistant professor of economics at the College of William & Mary (2004-2011), where she taught courses on microeconomics and industrial organization. Freeborn holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia.

Thesis Description:

Drug Laws and the Market for Cocaine
Freeborn’s dissertation was an economic study of the market for powder and crack cocaine using data collected from the Drug Enforcement Agency from 1984 to 2001. She examined how drug dealers make decisions regarding what type of cocaine package to produce. The benefit to dealers is the total revenue they receive from the packages they sell, and the cost to dealers is both the monetary cost of purchasing the wholesale cocaine and the legal penalty if they are caught selling cocaine. These legal penalties vary greatly by state, providing different incentives to dealers based on geographical location. This project created and estimated a model of the market for cocaine. This model can then be utilized to analyze a number of different public policy questions.

Connect with our community

View Alumni



The Jefferson Fellowship is the premier graduate fellowship offered at the University of Virginia. Based solely on merit, the Fellowship seeks to attract Ph.D. and M.B.A. candidates.

Read more


The Jefferson Scholarship is the premier undergraduate scholarship at the University of Virginia. Scholars are selected through a rigorous selection process that is based on exceptional performance in the areas of leadership, scholarship and citizenship.

Read more

David and Jane Walentas

A transformational gift for UVA — $100 million to benefit first-generation students

Read more