About

The Austin Institute’s mission is to be a leading resource for tested, rigorous academic research on questions of family, sexuality, social structures and human relationships.

In particular, the institute is keenly interested in documenting those practices, habits, and structures that make for greater sources of family stability as well as provide persons with the greatest opportunity of flourishing emotionally, socially, and economically.

From publishing new studies to highlighting thoughtful research of which the public is unaware, our vision is to create a more informed, intelligent conversation regarding sensitive cultural topics.

METHODS: The Austin Institute conducts its own research projects as well as analyzes data from existing survey projects. It also aims to interpret, assess, and distill the results of existing research studies in its key domains.

Kevin Stuart (Ph.D. The University of Texas at Austin)
Director

Kevin E. Stuart is the executive director of the Austin Institute. He is a seasoned U.S. and international consultant. Kevin received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin where he studied public law and political philosophy. Kevin also holds a Master of Sciences from the London School of Economics and Political Science, did graduate work at the University of Oxford, and was a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge. He received two undergraduate degrees from Louisiana State University. He loves books – at home, nearly every wall has a full bookshelf. In his free time, he also cooks with his wife, takes the dog for jogs, and rides his bicycle. He follows LSU baseball religiously, along with college football, especially LSU and UT.

Joseph Price (Ph.D. Cornell University)
Senior Fellow in Economics

joe_price Joseph Price is an associate professor of economics at Brigham Young University, a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor. He is the author of over 30 published articles on a variety of topics including marriage, parental time investments in children, gender differences in competitive settings, racial discrimination, and using incentives to encourage positive behaviors in children. His research has been published in the Quarterly Journal of EconomicsDemographyManagement Science, and the Journal of Human Resources, and has been featured in the New York TimesWashington Post, NPR, CNN, and on the Today Show. Joseph received his PhD in Economics from Cornell University in 2007.

Mark Regnerus (Ph.D. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill)
Senior Fellow in Sociology

Mark Regnerus 2013-large2 Mark Regnerus is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin and a faculty associate at the university’s Population Research Center. Author of over 30 published articles and book chapters, his research is in the areas of sexual behavior, family, and religion. He's the author of two books: Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate, and Think about Marrying (Oxford, 2011), which describes the norms, behaviors, and mating market realities facing young adults, and Forbidden Fruit: Sex and Religion in the Lives of American Teenagers (Oxford, 2007), which tells the story of how religion does—and does not—shape teenagers' sexual decision-making. His work has beenwidely reviewed, including in Slate, the Dallas Morning News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and The New Yorker, and his research and opinion pieces have been featured in numerous media outlets. His short article on the low price of sex among young adults was the ninth-most read article on Slate in 2011. More recently, he was the author of a 2012 study (and follow-up) appearing in Social Science Research on the comparative outcomes of young adults who grew up in different types of households and with different parental and household experiences.

Catherine Pakaluk (Ph.D. Harvard University)
Senior Fellow in Economics

catherineCatherine Ruth Pakaluk is an assistant professor of economics in the Busch School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America, and a faculty research fellow at the Stein Center for Social Research.  Her research is concerned broadly with the study of family, gender, and fertility.  Most recently, she has been working on theoretical frameworks for evaluating the effect of changes in contraceptive technology on sexual behavior and fertility.  She also studies the relationship between churches, schools and families, and is developing new metrics for measuring the value of a "good fit" between students and schools.  Professor Pakaluk received her doctorate in economics from Harvard University in 2010.  She lives in southwest Florida with her husband, Michael, and seven children.

Robert Koons (Ph.D. University of California at Los Angeles)
Senior Fellow in Humanities

Robert-Koons Robert Koons is a professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin.  Robert specializes in philosophical logic and in the application of logic to long-standing philosophical problems, including metaphysics, philosophy of mind and intentionality, semantics, political philosophy and metaethics, and philosophy of religion. His book Paradoxes of Belief and Strategic Rationality (Cambridge, 1992) received the Aarlt Prize from the Council of Graduate Schools in 1994. He is the author of Realism Regained (OUP, 2000) and the co-editor (with George Bealer) of The Waning of Materialism (OUP, 2010). He is at work with Tim Pickavance on a textbook on metaphysics. He is working on analytic Aristotelianism and social ontology.

James Stoner, Jr. (Ph.D. Harvard University)
Senior Fellow in Political Science

James-Stoner Professor James R. Stoner, Jr. is the Hermann Moyse, Jr., Professor and Director of the Eric Voegelin Institute in the Department of Political Science at LSU. He is the author of Common-Law Liberty: Rethinking American Constitutionalism (Kansas, 2003) and Common Law and Liberal Theory: Coke, Hobbes, and the Origins of American Constitutionalism (Kansas, 1992), as well as a number of articles and essays. In 2009 he was named a Senior Fellow of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, New Jersey; he has co-edited three books published by Witherspoon, The Thriving Society: On the Social Conditions of Human Flourishing (with Harold James, 2015), The Social Costs of Pornography: A Collection of Papers (with Donna M. Hughes, 2010), and Rethinking Business Management: Examining the Foundations of Business Education (with Samuel Gregg, 2008). He was the 2010 recipient of the Honors College Sternberg Professorship at LSU.

Dr. Stoner has taught at LSU since 1988, chaired the Department of Political Science from 2007 to 2013, and served as Acting Dean of the Honors College in fall 2010. He was a member of the National Council on the Humanities from 2002 to 2006. In 2002-03 he was a visiting fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, where he returned in the 2013-14 academic year as Garwood Visiting Professor in the fall and Visiting Fellow in the spring. He has teaching and research interests in political theory, English common law, and American constitutionalism.