Dr. Terence Burnham

Dr. Terence Burnham

Associate Professor
The George L. Argyros College of Business and Economics
Economic Science Institute
Office Location: Beckman Hall 303J
Phone: (714) 744-7847
Scholarly Works:
Digital Commons
University of Michigan, Bachelor of Science
San Diego State University, Master of Science
Harvard University, Ph.D.


Terry Burnham is an economist who studies the biological and evolutionary basis of human behavior. He has a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Harvard University, a Masters from the MIT Sloan School with a concentration in finance. HIs undergraduate degree is in biophysics from the University of Michigan. Prior to Chapman, Terry was a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, the University of Michigan, and the Harvard Business School. His non-academic experiences include working briefly for Goldman, Sachs & Co., being the chief financial officer for Progenics Pharmaceuticals , a start-up biotechnology company, and being the director of portfolio management for Acadian Asset Management, a quantitative equity manager.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

The Secret Syllabus - Signed contract with Princeton University Press. Book on student effectiveness.
Burnham, Terence C., and Travisano, Michael, “The Landscape of Innovation in Bacteria and Beyond.” PNAS (Cover article), June 2021.
Burnham, Terence C., and Phelan, Jay, “Ordinaries. Intertemporal choice: biology informs economic theories of discounting.” Journal of Bioeconomics, 2021, 23, 1- 14.
Smith-Ferguson, Jules, Burnham, Terence C., Beekman, Madeleine, “Experience shapes future foraging decisions in a brainless organism.” Adaptive Behavior, 2021.
Burnham, Terence C., and Phelan, Jay, “Ordinaries. Big Macs & Economics: Why we love foods that kill us.” Journal of Bioeconomics, 2021, 23, 125-149.
Editor-in-Chief for the Springer Journal of Bioeconomics
Chaudhuri, Shomesh E., Burnham, Terence C., and Andrew W. Lo. "An Empirical Evaluation of Tax-Loss-Harvesting Alpha." Financial Analysts Journal, 2020: 76(3).
Burnham, Terence C., and Phelan, Jay, “Ordinaries. Surviving desire: the causes and cures of self-control issues.” Journal of Bioeconomics. 2020, 23, 137-154.
Burnham, Terence C., and Phelan, Jay, “Ordinaries. Strangers in a strange land: mismatch and economics.” Journal of Bioeconomics. 22, 1-14, 2020.
Burnham, Terence C., and Phelan, Jay, “Ordinaries. Happiness is a genetic incentive system.” Journal of Bioeconomics. 2020, 22, 63-76.
Editor-in-Chief for the Springer, Journal of Bioeconomics
Burnham, Terence C., Review of “Genesis by Edward O Wilson.” Journal of Bioeconomics. 21, 183-189, 2019.
Burnham, Terence C., and Phelan, Jay, “Ordinaries. Thomas Kuhn, Adam Smith, and Charles Darwin.” Journal of Bioeconomics. 21, 145-155, 2019.
Burnham, Terence C., Gakidis, Harry, and Wurgler, Jeffrey, “Negotiating MSCI Country Reclassifications.” Financial Analysts Journal, 2018, 74(1): 77-87.
Burnham, Terence C., “Gender, Punishment, and Cooperation.” Socius, 2018, 4: 1-8.
Burnham, Terence C., “She who understands the fruit fly would do more for economics than Adam Smith: introduction to the special issue (on experimental evolution and economics).” Journal of Bioeconomics, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10818-017-9268-5.
Baker, Malcolm, Burnham, Terence C., and Taliaferro, Ryan, “Optimal Tilts: Combining Persistent Characteristic Portfolios.” Financial Analysts Journal, 2017, 73(4): 75-89.
Lenski, Richard E., and Burnham, Terence C., “Experimental Evolution of Bacteria Across 60,000 Generations, and What It Might Mean for Economics and Human Decision-Making.” Journal of Bioeconomics, 2017, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10818-017-9258-7.
Burnham, Terence C., Huang, Samuel, and Lo, Andrew W., “Pricing for Survival in the Biopharma Industry.” Journal of Investment Management, 2017, 15(4): 69–91.
Burnham, Terence C., et al., “Evolutionary Behavioral Economics.” Chapter 8 in Complexity and Evolution. D. S. Wilson and A. Kirman eds. Cambridge, Mass, MIT Press, 2016.
Burnham, Terence C: "Economics and evolutionary mismatch: humans in novel settings do not maximize." Journal of Bioeconomics, 2016.
Burnham, Terence C: "Public goods with high-powered punishment: high cooperation and low efficiency." Journal of Bioeconomics, 1-15. 2014
Meyer, Andrew, Frederick, Shane, Burnham, Terence C, et al: "Disfluent fonts don’t help people solve math problems." Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 144(2): e16. 2015
Rose, M., et al. (2015). "Four steps toward the control of aging: following the example of infectious disease." Biogerontology: 1-11.
Burnham, Terence. C., Aimee Dunlap, and David. W. Stephens. "Experimental Evolution and Economics." SAGE Open, 2015, 5(4).
Burnham, T. C. (2013). Consilience and Economics, comment on Endogenous and Systemic Risk. Endogenous and Systemic Risk. J. Harbaugh and A. Lo, The University of Chicago Press: 105-112.
Burnham, T. C. (2013). "Toward a neo-Darwinian synthesis of neoclassical and behavioral economics." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 90, S113-S127.
2nd edition of Mean Genes