Economics Department Faculty






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.

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


Professor 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.


Ellen Foster

Lecturer of Economics

Ph.D., University at Albany
Macroeconomics, Introduction to Economics, Gender Issues in Economics

(518) 388-6505
Lippman 207

Ellen Foster, Lecturer, at Union from 1989-1993 and since 2002, teaches courses in principles of economics, gender economic issues and macroeconomics, as well as the college’s First Year Precept. She is director of the department’s Economics Support Center and helps organize departmental workshops for senior thesis students.


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.


Harold O. Fried

David L. and Beverly B. Yunich Professor of Business Ethics

Ph.D., University of North Carolina
Efficiency Measurement and Productivity, Applied Microeconomics

(518) 388-6368
Lippman 204


Harold Fried, Professor, at Union since 1983, teaches courses in entrepreneurship, including a co-taught course with Professor Ron Bucinell in Mechanical Engineering, which combines engineers and liberal arts students into interdisciplinary teams. He also teaches a course on the mind of the entrepreneur and social entrepreneurship. Hal’s research focuses on evaluating performance and bench-marking. Recent work includes an index of entrepreneurial success, evaluating the performance of golfers on the PGA and LPGA tours and learning to win on the PGA tour. His work appears on the European Journal of Operational Research, Journal of Productivity Analysis and elsewhere.


Harlan Holt

Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics

Ph.D., University of Mississippi

(518) 388-6878
Karp 114

Harlan Holt, Visiting Professor, at Union since 2016, teaches courses on US financial crises, macroeconomics and mathematical economics. His research interests are primarily in financial economics and macroeconomics and includes work on stock markets, asset bubbles, financial policy, and macroeconomics. He is particularly interested in researching the effects of anti-bubble policy by central banks, and macroeconomic frictions determining unemployment in both the short and long run.


J. Douglass Klein

Kenneth B. Sharpe Professor of Economics

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

(518) 388-6736
Olin 102C


Doug Klein, Professor and Director 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
Lippman 114


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 efficiency and productivity of its member countries.


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