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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
AU 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

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)