Economics Department Faculty








Dong Cheng

Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics

Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
Macroeconomics, International Trade, International Macroeconomics

(518) 388-6200

Dong Cheng, Visting Professor, newly appointed at Union. My primary fields of interests are macroeconomics, international trade, international macroeconomics, and Chinese economy. My recent research covers topics including the effects of housing price shocks on household non-shelter consumption, the effects of firm-level financial conditions on their productivity and exporting performance, and the diffusion of new technology through international trade in the first half of the twentieth century.


Lewis Davis

Professor of Economics

Ph.D., University of North Carolina
Development Economics, Econometrics

(518) 388-8395
Lippman 118


Lewis Davis, Professor, at Union since 2006, teaches courses on microeconomics, the economics of sin, the economics of culture, economic growth, and political economy. His research interests include happiness, growth, culture and political economy. He has published in the Journal of Economic Growth, European Economic Review, and other journals. He serves as managing editor of the Review of Economics and Institutions and is on the Editorial Board of the Eastern Economic Journal.

Funda Dogruer

Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics

Ph.D., Texas Tech University
Macroeconomics, Monetary Economics, Fiscal Policy, Mathematical Economics, International Macroeconomics, Financial Economics

(518) 388- 6200

Funda Dogruer, Visting Professor, newly appointed at Union. As a macroeconomist, I specialize in the study of monetary and fiscal policy under informational frictions. Most of my recent works are based on market imperfections, uncertainties, and expectations. I have published a paper “Cagan Type Rational Expectation Model on Complex Discrete Time Domains” in European Journal of Operational Research. I also have interests in Mathematical Economics. I have teaching experience since 2009.



Union College Photo by STEVE JACOBS , 10/09

Union College Photo by STEVE JACOBS, 10/09

Tomas Dvorak

Professor of Economics

Ph.D., University of Maryland
Design of Retirement Plans, Business Analytics

(518) 388-8016
Lippman 215


Tomas Dvorak, Professor, at Union since 2002, teaches courses on business analytics, consumer finance, and econometrics. His research interests include the design of retirement plans and conflicts of interest in financial markets. He has published articles in Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Finance and other journals. He also serves as a fiduciary of Union College’s defined contribution retirement plan.



Jia Gao

Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics

Ph.D., University of New Hampshire
Health Economics, Labor Economics, Applied Econometrics

(518) 388-6832
Karp 225

Jia Gao, Visiting Professor, at Union since 2015, teaches courses on microeconomics and health economics. Her primary research area is applied microeconomics with a focus on health and labor. She is interested in studying public health issues that are subject to regulatory actions, such as smoking, obesity, and consumption of illegal drugs, and in understanding how public policies influence children’s health and education outcomes.

Jeeten K. Giri

Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics

Ph.D., Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Applied Micro-econometrics, International Trade, International Finance and Development Economics

(518) 388-6200

Jeeten Giri, Visiting Professor, newly appointed at Union. His research interest lies broadly in the field of International Trade, International Finance and Development Economics. Presently, his work is focused more on the welfare effects of intra-national (domestic) trade. Additionally, he is also interested in applied micro-econometric topics on poverty, inequality, education, gender, and employment. Apart from research, Jeeten has a keen interest in teaching and adopting new teaching methods to facilitate student engagement during class lectures and discussions. He believes in “learning from experiencing” and so tries to relate every economic topic with daily life experiences or events. He previously served as a research assistant at Centre for Studies in Social Sciences Calcutta, one of the leading social science research institutes in India. He also served as a field investigator in a survey conducted by the Centre of Development Economics of Delhi School of Economics, under the European Union’s Global NOPOOR programme. He has been awarded the “Best Graduate Student Teacher Award” by the Economics Department of Southern Illinois University Carbondale for his teaching excellence.


J. Douglass Klein

Kenneth B. Sharpe Professor of Economics

Director of Environmental Science, Policy & Engineering

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
Industrial Organization, Energy Economics, Efficiency Measurement

(518) 388-6736
Lippman 205


Doug Klein, Professor, and Dir. of the Environmental Science, Policy and Engineering (ESPE) programs, at Union since 1979, teaches courses in microeconomics, applied microeconomics, and in the College’s first-and second-year writing courses. For the past four years, he has also led the College’s December mini-term to New Zealand, studying energy and environmental management. Klein’s research interests include energy economics and the pedagogy on integrating engineering and liberal education. From 1999-2011 Klein served in administrative positions, including Dean of Interdisciplinary Studies.


Bradley G. Lewis

Professor of Economics

Ph.D., University of Chicago
Financial Markets, Monetary Economics, Economic History

(518) 388-6089
Lippman 220


Bradley Lewis is Professor of Economics and has been in the department since 1979. He regularly teaches monetary economics, financial markets, urban redevelopment, a seminar in finance, and a sophomore research seminar. He has published in the Journal of Economics History and several other professional outlets and also written over 50 local newspaper columns on economic policy. He has served administrative positions, including full time as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and later Director of Corporate Relations, and part time as Union’s first Writing Across the Curriculum director, and has frequently served on and sometimes chaired Union College committees. His teaching and research also are influenced by his earlier employment in finance at GE, occasional consulting, his work with civic and nonprofit organizations involved in the redevelopment of Schenectady, and a long-time interest in economic history.


Therese A. McCarty

John Prior Lewis ’41 Professor of Economics

Ph.D., University of Michigan
Public Finance, Economics of Education

(518) 388-6045


Therese McCarty, Professor, at Union since 1987, teaches public finance, environmental economics, and our introductory course. Her research interests are primarily in state and local public finance, especially education finance. She has published in a variety of journals including National Tax Journal, Journal of Public Economics, American Economic Review (Papers & Proceedings). In July 2016, she returned to the department following eleven years of service as Dean of the Faculty & Vice President of Academic Affairs.


Eshragh Motahar

Professor of Economics

Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
Macroeconomics, Monetary Economics, Investment Theory

(518) 388-6065
Lippman 219


Eshragh Motahar, Professor (also a member of the Asian Studies Program), at Union since 1984, teaches courses in macroeconomics and international economics, as well as the College’s Sophomore Research Seminar. His primary research interests are in macroeconomics, international economics, and the political economy of the new “Silk Road.” He is the recipient of the Stillman Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and the Donald C. Brate Distinguished Advisor Prize (twice). He has served as a consultant to the World Bank and has been a Fulbright Scholar in Vietnam.

Mary OKeeffe Jefferson Award photo headshot

Mary O’Keeffe

Adjunct Professor of Economics

Ph.D., Harvard University
Public Finance, Income Tax Policy & Practice



Kaywana Raeburn

Feigenbaum Assistant Professor of Behavioral Economics

Ph.D., McGill University
Behavioral and Experimental Economics, Development Economics

(518) 388-6879
Lippman 104

Kaywana Raeburn, Assistant Professor, at Union since 2016, teaches courses in behavioral economics and introductory economics. Her primary research areas are behavioral and experimental economics, particularly as relates to developing countries. She is interested in how individual and social preferences affect household and individual decision-making such as technology adoption by farmers and food choices of child caregivers.


Shelton S. Schmidt

Chauncey H. Winters Professor of Economics

Ph.D., University of Virginia
Industrial Organization, Econometrics, Efficiency Measurement

(518) 388-6218
Lippman 218


Shelton Schmidt, Professor, at Union since 1974, teaches courses in introductory economics and econometrics. His research interests include efficient measurement. He has published articles in The Journal of Productivity Analysis. He co-edited The Measurement of Productive Efficiency and Productivity Growth, Oxford University Press, 2008.


Stephen J. Schmidt

Professor of Economics

Ph.D., Stanford University
Economics of Education, Industrial Organization, Public Finance, Normative Economics

(518) 388-6078
Lippmann 209


Stephen Schmidt, Professor, at Union since 1994, teaches courses in econometrics, game theory, the economics of education, and normative economics, as well as the College’s first-year preceptorial. His research interests include the economics of education, especially education finance, and the normative evaluation of economic outcomes and policies. He has published articles in American Economic Review (Papers & Proceedings), Journal of Public Economics, Contemporary Economic Policy, Economics of Education Review, Journal of Higher Education, Restoration Ecology, Journal of Economic Education, and others. He is currently chair of the Social Science Division and the College’s Director of Assessment.

Mehmet Fuat Sener

Chair of the Department/Professor of Economics

Ph.D., University of Florida at Gainesville
International Economics, Economic Growth, Labor Economics

(518) 388-7093
Lippman 119


Mehmet Fuat Sener, Professor, at Union since 1999, teaches courses in macroeconomics, international economics, economics of technological change. His research interests include intellectual property rights and offshoring, effects of innovation and trade on labor markets. He has published articles in the European Economic Review, Journal of International Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, and others.


Younghwan Song

Professor of Economics

Ph.D., Columbia University
Labor Economics, Poverty and Welfare, Health

(518) 388-8043
Lippman 121


Younghwan Song, Professor, at Union since 2002, teaches courses in econometrics, labor, and health economics. His research interests include time use, smoking, subjective well-being, and labor displacement. He has published articles in Industrial Relations, Labour Economics, and others. He is a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).


Suthathip (Lek) Yaisawarng

Thomas Armstrong Professor of Economics

Ph.D., Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Efficiency Measurement, Microeconomic Theory

(518) 388-6606
Lippman 213

Suthathip Yaisawarng, Professor, at Union since 1989, teaches courses in microeconomics and efficient management of technology. She has applied both Data Envelopment Analysis and Stochastic Frontier Analysis techniques to examine efficiency and productivity in a variety of industries including electricity, finance, healthcare, education, insurance, and advertising. Her publications appear in the Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Monetary Economics, Health Economics, Journal of Productivity Analysis, China Economic Review, and elsewhere.  She served as the guest editor of a special issue of the Journal of Productivity Analysis. Her current research focuses on how the ASEAN integration developments affect the efficiency and productivity of its member countries.


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