Top Navigation:

Primary Navigation:

Photo of Jonathan P. Caulkins

Jonathan P. Caulkins

H. Guyford Stever Professorship of Operations Research and Public Policy

Voice: n/a
View curriculum vitae (.pdf)


Jon Caulkins has been on the Heinz School faculty since 1990, with leaves of absence to be co-director of RAND’s Drug Policy Research Center in Santa Monica (1994-1996), to found RAND’s Pittsburgh Office (1999-2001), and to teach at Carnegie Mellon’s campus in Doha, Qatar (2005-2011). At the Heinz School he was director of the Masters of Science in Public Policy and Management (MSPPM) program and served as interim Associate Dean for Faculty. He did his undergraduate work in engineering and computer science at Washington University in St. Louis. He earned masters degrees in Systems Science and Mathematics (Washington University, 1987) and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (MIT, 1989) and a Ph.D. in Operations Research (MIT, 1990).

Caulkins serves or has served on the editorial board of Management Science, Operations Research, Mathematical and Computer Modelling, the Journal of Drug Issues, Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, and I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society, and has refereed for over 85 different journals.


  • Barash Lecturer, Purdue University, 2012
  • Plenary speaker, EURO, 2012
  • British Medical Association, Best Public Health Book of the Year (co-author), 2010
  • INFORMS President’s Award, 2010
  • INFORMS Fellow, 2010
  • H. Guyford Stever Chair of Operations Research, 2010
  • IFORS Distinguished Lecturerat APORS, 2009
  • National Academy of Engineering’s Frontiers of Engineering, 2008
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Investigator Award, 2006
  • INFORMS Plenary speaker at ORPA-1 Conference in Ouagadougou, 2005
  • Marschak Colloquium at UCLA, 2001
  • Pittsburgh’s Forty Under Forty Award, 2000
  • David N. Kershaw Award, Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management, 1999
  • Carnegie Mellon University Heinz School Martcia Wade Teaching Award, 1999
  • National Young Investigator, 1993 – 1999


Caulkins has taught decision making, mathematical, and spreadsheet modeling on four continents to students from over 50 countries, including those at the Heinz School (masters students in public policy, medical management, biotechnology management, healthcare policy, information systems, and network security) and elsewhere, including undergraduates in mathematics at the Vienna Technical University, business and computer science students at Carnegie Mellon’s Qatar campus, and PhD students at the RAND Graduate School, as well as executive education for Carnegie Mellon (CIO Institute) and Harvard (Crime and Drug Policy).

Books and Monographs

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Angela Hawken, Beau Kilmer and Mark A.R. Kleiman (2012).  Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know.Oxford University Press.

Kleiman, Mark A.R., Jonathan P. Caulkins, and Angela Hawken (2011).  Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know.  Oxford University Press.

Thomas Babor, Jonathan Caulkins, Griffith Edwards, David Foxcroft, Keith Humphreys, Maria Medina Mora, Isidore Obot, Jurgen Rehm, Peter Reuter, Robin Room, Ingeborg Rossow, and John Strang.  2010.  Drug Policy and the Public Good.  Oxford University Press.

Grass, Dieter, Jonathan P. Caulkins, Gustav Feichtinger, Gernot Tragler, and Doris Behrens. 2008. Optimal Control of Nonlinear Processes: With Applications in Drugs, Corruption, and Terror.  Springer.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Rosalie Pacula, Susan Paddock, and James Chiesa. 2002. School-Based Drug Prevention: What Kind of Drug Use Does it Prevent? MR-1459-RWJ. RAND, Santa Monica, CA.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Jay Cole, Melissa Hardoby, and Donna Keyser. 2002. Intelligent Giving: Insights and Strategies for Higher Education Donors. MR-1427-CAE. RAND, Santa Monica, CA.

Gill, Brian P., Jake Dembosky, Caulkins, and Jonathan P. 2002. A “Noble Bet” in Early Childcare and Education: Lessons from One Community’s Experience. MR-1544. RAND, Santa Monica, CA.

Karoly, Lynn A., M. Rebecca Kilburn, James H. Bigelow, Jonathan P. Caulkins, and Jill Cannon. 2000. Assessing Costs and Benefits of Early Childhood Intervention Programs: Overview and Application to the Starting Early Starting Smart Program. MR-1336-CFP. RAND, Santa Monica, CA.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., C. Peter Rydell, Susan S. Everingham, James Chiesa, and Shawn Bushway. 1999. An Ounce of Prevention, a Pound of Uncertainty: The Cost-Effectiveness of School-Based Drug Prevention Program MR-923-RWJ, RAND, Santa Monica, CA.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., C. Peter Rydell, William L. Schwabe, and James Chiesa. 1997. Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences: Throwing Away the Key or the Taxpayers’ Money? MR-827-DPRC, RAND, Santa Monica, CA.

Articles Published in Refereed Journals (2010 – present)

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Gustav Feichtinger, Dieter Grass, Richard F. Hartl, Peter M. Kort, Andrea Seidl (forthcoming). When to Make Proprietary Software Open Source.  Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Gustav Feichtinger, Dieter Grass, Richard F. Hartl, Peter M. Kort, Andreas J. Novak, Andrea Seidl (forthcoming). Leading Bureaucracies to the Tipping Point: An Alternative Model of Multiple Stable Equilibrium Levels of Corruption.  European Journal of Operations Research. 225: 541-546, Doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2012.10.026.

Paddock, Susan M., Beau Kilmer, Jonathan P. Caulkins, Marika J. Booth and Rosalie L. Pacula (2012). An Epidemiological Model for Examining Marijuana Use over the Life Course.  Epidemiology Research International. Article ID: 520894.  Doi:10.1155/2012/520894. PMCID: PMC3518305.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Gustav Feichtinger, Richard F. Hartl, Peter M. Kort, Andreas J. Novak, Andrea Seidl (forthcoming).  Multiple Equilibria and Indifference-Threshold Points in a Rational Addiction Model.  Central European Journal of Operations Research.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Anna Kasunic, and Michael A.C. Lee (2012).  Marijuana Legalization: Lessons from the 2012 State Proposals.  World Medical and Health Policy.  4(3):4-34.

Caulkins, Jonathan P.; Coulson, Carolyn C.; Farber, Christina; and Vesely, Joseph V. (2012) Marijuana Legalization: Certainty, Impossibility, Both, or Neither?, Journal of Drug Policy Analysis, 5(1):1-27.

Strang, John, Thomas Babor, Jonathan P. Caulkins, Benedikt Fischer, David Foxcroft, and Keith Humphreys (2012). Drug Policy and the Public Good: evidence for effectivenss of interventions.  Lancet. 379(9810):71-83.

Coulson, Carolyn and Jonathan P. Caulkins (2012).  Scheduling of Newly Emerging Drugs:  A Critical Review of Decisions Over 40 Years.Addiction.  107(4):766-773.

Caulkins, Jonathan P. and Brittany Bond (2012).  Marijuana Price Gradients: Implications for Exports and Export-Generated Tax Revenue for California After Legalization.  Journal of Drug Issues.  42(1):28-45.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Beau Kilmer, Robert J. MacCoun, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, and Peter Reuter.  2012.  Design Considerations for Legalizing Cannabis: Lessons Inspired by Analysis of California’s Proposition 19.  Addiction. 107(5): 865-871 (Response to commentaries also published as pp.876-877.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Peter Reuter, and Carolyn Coulson.  2011.  Basing Scheduling Decisions on Scientific Rankings of Drugs’ Harmfulness: False Promise from False Premises.  Addiction.  106: 1886-1890 (Response to commentaries also published.)

Caulkins, Jonathan P. and Carolyn Coulson (2011).  To Schedule or not to Schedule: How Well Do We Decide? Journal of Global Drug Policy and Practice.  5(4).

Kilmer, Beau, Jonathan P., Caulkins, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, and Peter Reuter.  2011.  Bringing Perspective to Illicit Markets: Estimating the Size of the U.S. Marijuana Market.  Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 119, 153-160.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Gustav Feichtinger, Dieter Grass, Richard F. Hartl, Peter M. Kort, and Andrea Seidl.  2011. Optimal Pricing of a Conspicuous Product During a Recession that Freezes Capital Markets.  Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.  35:163-174.

Zeiler, Irmgard, Jonathan P. Caulkins, and Gernot Tragler.  2011.  Optimal Control of Interacting Systems with DNSS Property: The Case of Illicit Drugs.  Journal of Economic Behavior and Organizations, 78:60-73.  DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2010.12.008.

Reuter, Peter, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, and Jonathan P. Caulkins.  2011.  RAND’s Drug Policy Research Center. Addiction. 106(2):253-259. DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03017.x.

Caulkins, Jonathan P. (2011). The Global Recession’s Effect on Drug Demand – Diluted by Inertia.  International Journal of Drug Policy, 22:374-375.  doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2011.02.005.

Zeiler, Irmgard, Jonathan P. Caulkins, Dieter Grass, and Gernot Tragler.  2010.  Keeping Options Open: an Optimal Control Model with Trajectories that Reach a DNSS Point in Positive Time.  SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization.  48(6):3698-3707.

Caulkins, Jonathan P. and Robert L. DuPont.  2010. Is 24/7 Sobriety a Good Goal for Repeat DUI Offenders? Addiction.  105:575-577.

Caulkins, Jonathan P. and David Baker.  2010. Cobweb Dynamics and Price Dispersion in Illicit Drug Markets.  Socio-Economic Planning Sciences.  44(4): 220-230.  doi:10.1016/j.seps.2010.06.001.

Caulkins, Jonathan P. 2010.  Might Randomization in Queue Discipline Be Useful When Waiting Cost is a Concave Function of Time?  Socio-Economic Planning Sciences. 44:19-24, DOI: 10.1016/j.seps.2009.04.001.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Richard F. Hartl, and Peter M. Kort.  2010.  Delay Equivalence in Capital Accumulation Models. Journal of Mathematical Economics.  46: 1243-1246.  DOI:10.1016/j.jmateco.2010.08.021.

Caulkins, Jonathan P. and Nancy Nicosia.  2010. What Economics Can Contribute to the Addiction Sciences.  Addiction, 105(7):1156-1163. DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.02915.x.

Gallupe, Owen, Martin Bouchard, and Jonathan P Caulkins.  2010. No change is a good change? Restrictive deterrence in illegal drug markets.  Journal of Criminal Justice. 39:81-89 doi:10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2010.12.002.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Gustav Feichtinger, Gernot Tragler, and Dagmar Wallner.   2010.  “When in a Drug Epidemic Should the Policy Objective Switch from Use Reduction to Harm Reduction.”  European Journal of Operational Research.  Vol. 201, 301-318. DOI: 10.1016/j.ejor.2009.03.015.

Chapters in Edited Volumes Published (2010 – present)

Caulkins, Jonathan P. and Beau Kilmer (2013).  Criminal Justice Costs of Prohibiting Marijuana in California.  In Something’s in the Air: Race and the Legalization of Marijuana, eds. Katherine Tate, James Lance Taylor, and Mark Q. Sawyer.  Routledge.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Anna Kasunic, and Michael A.C. Lee (forthcoming).  Estimating the Societal Burden of Substance Abuse: Advantages and Limitations of Current Methodologies.  In Substance Abuse in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Critical Conundrum for Society, eds. Donale E. Greydanus, Gabriel Kaplan, Dilip Patel, and Joav Merrick.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Anna Kasunic, Mark A.R. Kleiman, and Michael A.C. Lee (forthcoming).  The Pros and Cons of Legalization.  In Substance Abuse in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Critical Conundrum for Society, eds. Donale E. Greydanus, Gabriel Kaplan, Dilip Patel, and Joav Merrick.

Lievens, Delfine, Freya Vander Laenen, Jonathan Caulkins, and Brice De Ruyer.  Drugs in Figures III: Study of Public Expenditures on Drug Control and Drug Problems.  In European Criminal Justice and Policy, eds. Marc Cools, Brice De Ruyer, Marleen Easton, Lieven Pauwels, Paul Ponsaers, Gudrun Vande Walle, Tom Vander Beken, Freya Vander Laenen, Antoinette Verhage, Gert Vermeulen, and Gerwinde Vynckier.  Maklu Publishers, pp.41-64.

Caulkins, Jonathan P. and Mark A.R. Kleiman (2011).  Drugs and Crime.  In Oxford Handbook of Crime and Criminal Justice, ed. Michael Tonry. Oxford University Press, pp.275-320.

Boyum, David, Jonathan P. Caulkins, and Mark A.R. Kleiman (2011).  Drugs, Crime, and Public Policy.  In Crime and Public Policy, eds. James Q. Wilson and Joan Petersilia. Oxford University Press, pp.368-410.

Reuter, Peter H. and Jonathan P. Caulkins (2011).  Purity, Price, and Production: Are Drug Markets Different?  In Illicit Trade and Globalization, ed. Paul De Grauwe. MIT Press.

Caulkins, Jonathan P. and Peter Reuter (2010).  How Drug Enforcement Affects Drug Prices.  In Crime and Justice – A Review of Research, vol. 39, ed. Michael Tonry. University of Chicago Press, pp.213-272.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Vasundhara Garg, and Victor Pontines (2010)  Benefits of Including an Asian Currency Unit (ACU) in an Optimized World Currency Basket.  In Global Operations Management, Lee R. Hockley (Ed.), Nova Science Publishers, New York, pp.73-84.

Caulkins, Jonathan P. and Rosalie Liccardo Pacula. 2010.  Drug Policy Research.  In Addiction Research Methods, Peter G. Miller, John Strang, and Peter M. Miller (Eds.), Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, pp.355-371

RAND Publications (2010 – present)

Kilmer, Beau, Jonathan P. Caulkins, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, and Peter Reuter (2012).  The U.S. Drug Policy Landscape: Insights and Opportunities for Improving the View.  RAND OP-393, Santa Monica, CA.

Kilmer, Beau, Jonathan P. Caulkins, Brittany M. Bond, and Peter Reuter (2010).  Reducing Drug Trafficking Revenues and Violence in Mexico: Would Legalizing Marijuana in California Help?  RAND OP-325-RC, Santa Monica, CA.

Kilmer, Beau, Jonathan P. Caulkins, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Robert MacCoun, Peter Reuter (2010).  Altered State? Assessing how marijuana legalization in California could influence marijuana consumption and public budgets.  RAND OP-315-RC, Santa Monica, CA.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Eric Morris, and Rhajiv Ratnatunga (2010).  Smuggling and Excise Tax Evasion for Legal Marijuana.  RAND WR-766-RC, Santa Monica, CA,

Bond, Brittany M. and Jonathan P. Caulkins (2010).  Potential for Legal Marijuana Sales in California to Supply Rest of U.S.  RAND WR-765-RC, Santa Monica, CA,

Caulkins, Jonathan P. (2010).  Estimated Cost of Production for Legal Cannabis.  RAND WR-764-RC, Santa Monica, CA,

Caulkins, Jonathan P. (2010).  Cost of Marijuana Prohibition on the California Criminal Justice System.  RAND WR-763-RC, Santa Monica, CA,

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Sudha S. Rajderkar, and Shruti Vasudev.  2010.  Creating Price Series without Price Data: Harnessing the Power of Forensic Data.  Appendix A in B. Kilmer and S. Hoorens (Eds.) RAND TR-755-EC Understanding Illicit Drug Markets, Supply Reduction Efforts, and Drug-Related Crime in the European Union (pp.165-196).  Cambridge U.K.: RAND.

Other Professional Publications (2010 – present) 

Caulkins, Jonathan P. and Michael Lee.  2012.  Legalizing Drugs in the U.S.: A Solution to Mexico’s Problems for Which Mexico Should Not Wait.   Counter-Terror Operations,” in Ernesto Zedillo and Haynie Wheeler (eds.), Rethinking the “War on Drugs” Through the US-Mexico Prism, pp.108-124.

Hawken, Angela, Caulkins, Jonathan P., Beau Kilmer, and Mark A.R. Kleiman.  2013.  “Quasi-Legal Cannabis in Colorado and Washington: Local and National Implications.” Editorial in Addiction.

Caulkins, Jonathan P. and Beau Kilmer (with Marlon Graf).  2013.  Estimating the Size of the EU Cannabis Market.

Pacula, Rosalie Liccardo, Russell Lundberg, Jonathan P. Caulkins, Beau Kilmer, Sarah Greathouse, and Terry Fain. Forthcoming. Recommendations for Improving the Measurement of Drug-Related Crime.

Caulkins, Jonathan P. and Michael A.C. Lee.  2012.  The Drug-Policy Roulette.  National Affairs.  12, pp.35-51.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Angela Hawken, Beau Kilmer, and Mark A.R. Kleiman.  2012.  Marijuana Legalization 2012 Style: The Brewing Conflict Between State and Local Laws.  American Interest.

Kleiman, Mark A.R., Jonathan P. Caulkins, and Angela Hawken.  2012.  Rethinking the War on Drugs.  Wall Street Journal.  Saturday Essay, April 20, 2012.

Kleiman, Mark A.R., Jonathan P. Caulkins, Angela Hawken, and Beau Kilmer.  2012.  Eight Questions for Drug Policy Research. Issues in Science and Technology.  Summer.

Humphreys, Keith and Jonathan P. Caulkins.  2012.  Towards a smarter drugs policy.  The Guardian, January 6th (

Kleiman, Mark, Jonathan Caulkins, and Angela Hawken.  2010.  Algo de lo que hay que saber sobre las drogas y nadie sabe ni pregunta ni puede responder.  Nexos, September 1st (downloaded from on October 8, 2011).

Caulkins, Jonathan P. Medical marijuana: The Justice Department speaks – again.  Christian Science Monitor, August 8th,

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Jonathan Kulick, and Mark A.R. Kleiman.  2011.  Think Again: The Afghan Drug Trade. Foreign Policy.

Caulkins, Jonathan P. (2012). The Term and the Vision (Comment on Victoria A. Greenfield and Letizia Paoli’s If supply-oriented drug policy is broken, can harm reduction help fix it?)  International Journal of Drug Policy. 23: 19-20.

Caulkins, Jonathan P.  2011.  Can We Treat Our Way Out of Incarcerating Drug-Involved Offenders?  Comment on Pollack et al.’s If Drug Treatment Works So Well, Why Are So Many Drug Users In Prison?  In Phil Cook, Jens Ludwig, and Justin McCrary (eds.) Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp.160-65.

Caulkins, Jonathan P. and Eric Sevigny (2010).  The Effects of Drug Enforcement and Imprisonment on Source Countries: The Case of the U.S. and Mexico.  Appendix C to Cooperative Mexico-U.S. Antinarcotics Efforts, Sidney Weintraub and Duncan Wood, pp.99-127.  Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC.

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Mark A.R. Kleiman, and Jonathan Kulick.  2010.  Drug Production and Trafficking, Counterdrug Policies, and Security and Governance in Afghanistan.  New York University’s Center on International Coopertion, New York.

Beau Kilmer and Jonathan P. Caulkins (2010).  Filtering the Smoke: Legalizing Marijuana Would Slash the Price, But Effects On Use and Revenues Are Hazy.  RAND Review, 34(2).

Beau Kilmer, Stijn Hoorens, and Jonathan P. Caulkins (2010).  Do Drug Arrests Work?  The Effectiveness of Drug Enforcement in Europe. RAND Review, 34(2).

Caulkins, Jonathan P.  2010.  “Systems Modeling to Inform Drug Policy.”  Entry in Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science, James J. Cochran (ed.).  Wiley.

Drugs and Public Policy Group (2010), Drug Policy and the Public Good: a summary of the book. Addiction, 105: 1137–1145. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2010.03049.x

Caulkins, Jonathan P., Gustav Feichtinger, Dieter Grass, and Gernot Tragler.  2010.  “Optimizing Counter-Terror Operations,” in Proceedings of the International Federation of Automatic Control 

Research Interest(s)

Modeling the effectiveness of interventions related to drugs, crime, violence, delinquency, and prevention


B.S., Systems Science and Engineering, Computer Science, and Engineering & Policy, Washington University, 1987
M.S., Systems Science and Mathematics, Washington University, 1987
M.S., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, M.I.T., 1989
PhD, Operations Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1990

Representative Publications

Working Papers