School of Business & Economics

Spring 2019 Speaker Series

Fair Trade? Its Prospects as a Poverty Solution

Professor Victor V. Claar April 1, 2 p.m. Tom Raper 124

Fair Trade is an enormously popular idea in Christian and secular circles alike. Who, after all, could be against fairness? Victor V. Claar, however, raises significant economic and moral questions about both the logic and economic reasoning underlying the fair-trade movement. In this talk, Claar suggests that, for all its good intentions, fair trade may not be of particular service to the poor, especially in the developing world.


Professor Victor V. Claar is associate professor of economics in the Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, where he holds the BB&T Distinguished Professorship in Free Enterprise. He holds a BA in business administration from Houghton College in New York, where he completed a second major in mathematics. He earned both his master’s and PhD in economics at West Virginia University, where he wrote his doctoral dissertation under the guidance of Ronald Balvers. Professor Claar is a former Fulbright Scholar, having spent a year giving graduate lectures and conducting research at the American University of Armenia. While you may have heard that economics was once dubbed the “dismal science,” Professor Claar’s work demonstrates that this field is quite the opposite, especially when it does what Professor Claar does: combine sobering analysis and Christian principles to offer a vision of hope. He has a long record of publications, including his influential book, Economics in Christian Perspective: Theory, Policy and Life Choices, now in its tenth printing and recently translated into Chinese. Professor Claar is also the author of Fair Trade? Its Prospects as a Poverty Solution. His scholarly articles have appeared in several peer-reviewed outlets including Applied Economics, Public Finance Review, Faith & Economics, and the Journal of Markets & Morality. He currently serves the Acton Institute as an Affiliate Scholar in Economics. His latest book (with coauthor Greg Forster), John Maynard Keynes and the Rise of Economic Materialism: We're All Dead, is scheduled to be published in 2019 by Palgrave Macmillan. You can follow him on Twitter at @victorclaar

Fall 2018 Speaker Series

Waltonomics: Walmart and Society

Dr. Art Carden October 10, 2 p.m. Vivian Auditorium

Art Carden is an Associate Professor of Economics at Samford University’s Brock School of Business.

In addition, he is a Senior Research Fellow with the Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics, a Senior Fellow with the Beacon Center of Tennessee, and a Research Fellow with the Independent Institute.

Art's research has appeared in the Journal of Urban Economics, the Southern Economic Journal, Applied Economics, Public Choice, and Contemporary Economic Policy, and his commentaries have appeared in Forbes, Productive, USA Today, Black Belt, and many other outlets.

He earned a BS and MA from the University of Alabama and an AM and PhD from Washington University in Saint Louis.

Before joining the faculty at Samford, Art taught economics at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He lives in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife and three children.

The Political Economy of Black Panther's Wakanda

Dr. Robert Subrick November 12, 2 p.m. Vivian Auditorium

Bob Subrick is an Associate Professor of Economics at James Madison University. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware and Ph.D. from George Mason University. Before coming to JMU in 2007, he was a Research Associate at the Center for Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector at University of Maryland and Associate Director of the Center for the Economic Study of Religion at George Mason University. Subrick has worked in the areas of political economy, African economic history, and the history of economic thought. His current research examines the causes of rising American income inequality and Brazilian economic history. Someday he hopes to write a book about Bob Dylan

Fall 2017 Speaker Series

Inequality, Mobility, and Being Poor in America

Speaker: Steve Horwitz September 28, 4 p.m. Whitewater Hall 132

Steven Horwitz is the John H. Schnatter Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise in the Department of Economics in the Miller College of Business at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. He is also an Affiliated Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center in Arlington, VA, and a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute of Canada. He is the author of three books, including most recently Hayek’s Modern Family: Classical Liberalism and the Evolution of Social Institutions. He has written extensively on Hayek and Austrian economics, monetary theory and history, and American economic history, and is a frequent guest on radio and cable TV programs.

The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights and the Frontier

Speaker: P.J. Hill October 10, 4 p.m. Whitewater Hall 132

P. J. Hill is Professor of Economics Emeritus at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois and a Senior Fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center in Bozeman, Montana, where he currently resides. He is the co-author, with Terry L. Anderson and Douglass North, of Growth and Welfare in the American Past; with Terry Anderson of The Birth of a Transfer Society; and also with Terry Anderson of The Not So Wild, Wild West: Property Rights on the Frontier. He has also authored numerous articles on the theory of property rights and institutional change and has edited six books on environmental economics.

Changes in immigration policy: Civil War to Immigration Act of 1924

Speaker: Zachary Gochenour October 30, 4 p.m. Tom Raper Hall 124

Dr. Gochenour grew up in Virginia and earned his bachelor degrees in Economics and Mathematics from George Mason University. He worked as a systems engineer in Baltimore, MD before earning his Ph.D. in Economics at George Mason. He has worked at Western Carolina University and now works at James Madison University. His research interests are in political economy and economic history. He lives with his wife and daughter in Harrisonburg, VA.

Spring 2018 Speaker Series

Economic Freedom and Well Being: What is the Relationship?

Speaker: Joshua C. Hall Feburary 12, 2018, 4 p.m. Tom Raper Hall 124

Joshua C. Hall is an associate professor of economics and Director of the Center for Free Enterprise in the College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University. He earned his bachelor and master degrees in economics from Ohio University and his Ph.D. from West Virginia University in 2007. Prior to returning to his alma mater, he was the Elbert H. Neese, Jr. Professor of Economics at Beloit College. Prof. Hall is a Past President of the Association of Private Enterprise Education and is also a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute. He is author of over 100 articles in journals such as Public Choice, Contemporary Economic Policy, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Public Finance Review, Southern Economic Journal, and Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.

Equal Pay for Equal Work?

Speaker: Angela Dills March 19, 2018, 4 p.m. Tom Raper Hall 124

Angela Dills is the Gimelstob-Landry Distinguished Professor of Regional Economic Development at Western Carolina University. She received a B.A. from the University of Virginia and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Boston University. She previously held faculty positions at Clemson University, Mercer University, Wellesley College, and Providence College. Specializing in the economics of education, crime, and health, her research focuses on policy issues such as school choice, accountability, peer effects, college quality, and alcohol and drug prohibition. This research has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Health Economics, Economic Inquiry, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, and the Economics of Education Review. She lives in Franklin, NC with her economist-husband and three children.

How Economists Helped End the Draft

Speaker: David R. Henderson April 18, 2018, 4 p.m. Tom Raper Hall 124

David R. Henderson is an Emeritus Professor of Economics at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey and a Research Fellow with Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He was previously a senior economist with President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers. David is the editor of The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, author of The Joy of Freedom: An Economist’s Odyssey and co-author of Making Great Decisions in Business and Life. He has written over 300 articles for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Fortune, Los Angeles Times, Reason, and other publications. He has testified before the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources. He has appeared on C-SPAN, CNN, PBS, the John Stossel show, the O’Reilly Factor, MSNBC, NPR, CBC, RT, and the BBC. He was born and raised in Canada before coming to the United States in 1972 to get his Ph.D. at UCLA.

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