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Jon Wisman Professor Economics

Languages Spoken
Professor Wisman teaching interests are: History of Economic Thought, Methodology, History, Introductory Macroeconomics.
His research spans a broad spectrum of domains from history of economic thought and methodology to labor and other social issues.
See Also
Department of Economics
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Fall 2021

  • ECON-100 Macroeconomics

  • ECON-620 Economic Thought

Spring 2022

  • ECON-318 Economic History

Partnerships & Affiliations

  • Association for Social Economics
    Former President

  • Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Social Economics, Les Cahiers du GRATICE

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

  •  Methodology, History of Economic Thought, General Economic  History, Workplace Democracy.

Selected Publications

  • “The Darwinian dynamic of sexual selection that Thorstein Veblen missed and its relevance to institutional economics,” Journal of Institutional Economics, August 2, 2018.
  • “Adam Smith and Thorstein Veblen on the Pursuit of Status Through Consumption versus Work,” Cambridge Journal of Economics, May 2018.
  • “Marx, the Predisposition to Reject Markets and Private Property, and Attractive Alternatives to
  • Capitalism,” Forum for Social Economics, May 2018.
  • “The Dynamics of Inequality in The Human Story: A Brief Sketch,” International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, 9 (1), March 2018: 4-17.
  • “Guaranteed Employment and Universal Child Care for A New Social Contract," Theory in Action, 11 (2), April 2018: 1-41 (with Aaron Pacitti).
  • “Politics, Not Economics, Ultimately Drives Inequality,” Challenge, 60 (4), July/August 2017: 347-367.
  • “The Financial Crisis of 1929 Reexamined: The Role of Soaring Inequality,” Review of Political Economy, 26 (3), 2014: 372-391.
  • “9/11, Foreign Threats, Political Legitimacy, and Democratic Social Institutions,” Humanomics, 30 (1), February 2014: 22-40.
  • “Government is Whose Problem?” Journal of Economic Issues, 47 (4), December 2013: 911-37.
  • “Why Marx Still Matters,” International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, 4 (3), November 2013: 229-42.
  • “Degraded Work, Declining Community, Rising Inequality, and the Transformation of the Protestant Ethic in America: 1870-1930,” American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 72 (5), Nov. 2013: 1075-1104 (with Ph.D. candidate Matthew E. Davis).
  • “Wage Stagnation, Rising Inequality, and the Financial Crisis of 2008,” Cambridge Journal of Economics, 37 (4), July 2013: 921-45.
  • “The Growth Trap, Ecological Devastation, and the Promise of Guaranteed Employment,” Challenge, 56 (2), March/April 2013: 53-78.
  • “Inequality, Social Respectability, Political Power, and Environmental Devastation,” Journal of Economic Issues, 45 (4), December 2011: 877-900.
  • “Legitimating Inequality:  Fooling Most of the People All of the Time,” American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 70 (4), October 2011: 974-1013 (with James F. Smith).

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • Twice recipient of the American University Award for Outstanding Teaching,
  • Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society's Professor of the Year,
  • Winner of the $10,000 Speiser Essay Contest.

Work In Progress

  • The Origins and Dynamics of Inequality: Sex, Politics, and Ideology (Book manuscript).
  • "We All Must Work: Creative Destruction and The Pursuit of Happiness (book project)."
  •  “Creative Destruction, an Ever-widening Generation Gap, and Parental Happiness.” 
  • “The Political Dynamics of Inequality: From Violence and Religion to Secular Ideology”
  • "Adam Smith's Appropriation Theory of Human Behavior Reconsidered."
  •  “On the Evolution of Instrumental Habits of Thought.”
  • “The Magnitude of Kuznets’ Foiled Conjecture: The Revenge of the Rich” (with Aaron Pacitti).
  • “Ending the Crisis with Guaranteed Employment and Retraining” (with Aaron Pacitti)