Over the past 60 years, the Department of Economics has been led by several different professors who are now retired.
Although retired, the following are still a large part of what shapes the Department of Economics today:
|Michael Ransom, Ph.D.||Del Gardner, Ph.D.||William Park, Ph.D.|
|Richard J. Butler, Ph.D.||Carlton Infanger, Ph.D.||Clayne L. Pope, Ph.D.|
|Wayne W. Clark, Ph.D .||Sydney James, Ph.D.||Rulon D. Pope, Ph.D.|
|Ivan L. Corbridge, Ph.D.||Farrell Jensen, Ph.D.||David E. Spencer, Ph.D.|
|Willard B. Doxey, Ph.D.||James McDonald, Ph.D.||Larry T. Wimmer, Ph.D.|
|Dean S. Dutton, Ph.D.||Glen T. Nelson, Ph.D.||Richard Wirthlin, Ph.D.
Michael R. Ransom, Ph.D.
Years Taught (1988-2021)
Dr. Michael Ransom graduated from Brigham Young University in 1977 and then went on to graduate school at Princeton University, where he earned his PhD in 1983. After graduate school, he worked as an assistant professor at the university of Arizona in Tucson before joining the faculty at BYU in 1988. Since joining BYU, he has been a visiting professor at Princeton University (2000-2001), served as chair of the Department of Economics (2005-2010), and held the Clayne L. Pope Professorship of Economics (2016-2021). Dr. Ransom’s research interests have varied throughout his career but have focused especially on the study of labor markets and why wages vary across different groups in certain occupations. Dr. Ransom and his wife, Laurie, have 5 children – 3 sons and 2 daughters. Now that he is retired, Dr. Ransom enjoys time spent fly-fishing, traveling with his wife, and visiting with his 9 grandchildren.
Richard J. Butler, Ph.D.
Years Taught (1982-2016)Richard J. Butler graduated with a Bachelors in Economics from the University of Utah in 1973. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1979, where his thesis committee included Nobel Prize winners James Heckman and T.W. Shultz. While completing his PhD, he worked as an instructor of economics at DePaul University and an instructor of labor economics at Cornell University. After finishing his degree, he took a position as an assistant professor of labor economics at Cornell from 1979 to 1982. In 1982, he began working in the BYU Economics Department.
From 1994 to 2000, he worked as a C. Arthur Williams Junior Professor of Insurance at the University of Minnesota. In 2006, he was honored with the Martha Jane Knowlton Coray professorship. From 2008 to 2016, he has also worked as an adjunct professor in the Department of Medical Bioinformatics at Arizona State University. Dr. Butler’s research focuses on insurance, disability, and worker’s compensation.
Dr. Butler and his wife, Diane, have five sons and one daughter. He enjoys researching and backpacking in the Uintahs or deserts of southern Utah.
Ivan L. Corbridge, Ph.D.
Years taught (1952-1982)Ivan L. Corbridge attended Utah State University where he received his Bachelors degree. He continued his studies at Chicago University where he received his Masters degree. Dr. Corbridge then attended Washington State University where he was awarded his Ph.D. He taught at BYU from 1952 until 1982. Dr. Corbridge and his wife have four children and 16 grandchildren. Growing up on a farm, Dr. Corbridge always had a love of agriculture. He also had his pilots license and loved flying his plane. After retiring from BYU, Dr. Corbridge spent much of his time working on organizing and researching his family history. Dr. Corbridge had many interests, but his greatest was his family and being a father. Dr. Ivan Corbridge passed away October 15, 2002.
Dean S. Dutton, Ph.D.
Years taught (1968-2003)Dean S. Dutton received his bachelor's degree from the University of Utah in 1964. He continued his studies at Michigan State University, receiving both his master's and Ph.D. in 1966 and 1968 and then began teaching at BYU. He retired in 2003.
Carlton Infanger, Ph.D.
Years taught (1964-1998)Carlton Infanger received his bachelor of Fine Arts from Montana State University where he also received his masters. He started his PhD at the University of California at Berkley and finished it at Montana State University. From there he completed post-doctoral work at the University of Missouri at Columbia. Dr. Infanger taught at BYU from 1964 to the winter of 1998. In 1992, he served a year with a foreign management company. Dr. Infanger and his wife have two sons and three daughters, 20 grandchildren, and 26 great-grandchildren. He served as a counselor in the Columbia Bogota Mission in 1971 and served a mission in the Sacramento, California Mission-Spanish speaking with his wife. They also worked in the Provo Temple. Dr. Infanger passed away April 6, 2013.
Farrell Jensen, Ph.D
Years taught (1982-2008)Farrell Jensen received his Bachelor of Science from Utah State University in 1964. He then attended Kansas State University where he received both his Master and Doctorate degrees in 1966 and 1972 in Agricultural Economics and Economics, respectfully. Farrell Jensen came to BYU in 1982 and taught in the Department of Agricultural Economics. He became the Chair of the Department and served until 1988 when the department combined with the Economics Department. In 1994, Dr. Jensen served as Chair of the Department of Economics until he retired in 2000. Dr. Jensen enjoys Resource & Agricultural Economics as well as Economic Development. Dr. Jensen and his wife, Virginia, have four children – three sons and one daughter. They have eleven grandchildren and enjoy spending time with them. Since retirement, Dr. Jensen has become more fascinated with tractors, and this new hobby has brought him to own 15 Allis-Chaimer tractors. Three have been restored, and he enjoys taking them to tractor shows and enjoys the tractor pulls as well. Farrell and Virginia Jensen own land in Island Park, Idaho, where they enjoy spending their time surrounded by trees and wildlife. Dr. Jensen has been very active with various church callings as well. Since retiring, Dr. Jensen has spent time traveling to England, France and all over the United States.
Glen T. Nelson, Ph.D.
Years taught (1955-1980)Glen T. Nelson received his Bachelor of Economics from Utah State in 1942 and continued on for his Masters which he received in 1948. He then attended the University of Illinois where he received his PhD in economics. Dr. Nelson then taught at BYU from 1955 to 1980. Dr. Nelson has four children, 16 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren. He has taught a Gospel Doctrine class in three different areas of the Standard Works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dr. Nelson passed away in August of 2012.
Clayne L. Pope, Ph.D.
Years taught (1970-2008)Clayne Pope received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Brigham Young University in 1965. After graduation, he attended the University of Chicago where he received his Graduate and Doctorate degrees in 1968 and 1972. Dr. Pope first came to BYU as a visiting lecturer during the summer of 1968 and went on to teach at the University of Michigan from 1969-1970. Following his tenure at Michigan, Dr. Pope returned to BYU teaching in the department of Economics until 2008. His particular area of expertise is Economic History, and he has taught courses in Economics Principles, Economic History, Economic Theory, and American Institutions. He was the Chair of the Department of Economics from 1975‑1977 and served as the Dean of the College of Family, Home and Social Science from 1993-2001. He has served as research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research since 1979 and was named the Zina Card Williams Young Professor of Economics in 2002.
David E. Spencer, PhD
Years taught (1986-2014)David E. Spencer attended Brigham Young University, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in the field of economics in 1971. He then attended Texas A&M University, where he received his Master’s degree in Statistics in 1973, and later his Ph.D. in Economics in 1974. After graduation, Dr. Spencer went on to teach at Michigan State University from 1974-1975, Illinois State University from 1975-1979, and Washington State University from 1979-1986 before returning to his alma mater in 1986 where he remained until his retirement in 2014. During that time, he spent 1988-89 as a Visiting Scholar at MIT and 2007-08 as a Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan. Notably, Dr. Spencer was a Fulbright Scholar in Vietnam in 1997, as well as an Alcuin Fellow at Brigham Young University in 1997. His research is in macroeconomics and econometrics focusing on alternative theories of business cycle fluctuations and econometric methods used by macroeconomists. He also played a key role in establishing the BYU Macroeconomics Computational Laboratory (MCL) in 2012 with professors Kerk Phillips and Rick Evans. Dr. Spencer and his wife, Connie have a blended family of 7 children and 19 grandchildren. He looks forward to visiting his family, traveling and serving a mission with his wife in the immediate future.
Richard Wirthlin, Ph.D.
Years taught (1961-1970)Richard Wirthlin received his Bachelor of Science and Masters of Economics degrees from the University of Utah. He then attended the University of California at Berkeley where he received a PhD in Economics in 1964. He taught at the University of California Medical School in San Francisco and at Brigham Young University. He was Chair of the Economics Department of BYU from 1964-1966. He founded the firm Decision/Making/Information in 1969 which became Wirthlin Worldwide in 1980. He was appointed Campaign Director of Strategy and Planning for the 1980 and 1984 Reagan Presidential Campaigns. He chronicled his 36-year friendship with President Reagan in his recent book, "The Greatest Communicator: What Ronald Reagan Taught Me about Politics, Leadership, and Life." Dr. Wirthlin has eight children and 24 grandchildren. He served an LDS mission to Switzerland, and has served as a bishop, a counselor in a stake presidency, and a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy. Dr. Richard Wirthlin passed away on March 16, 2011.
Wayne W. Clark, Ph.D.
Years taught (1962-1993)
Wayne W. Clark received his Bachelors of Fine Arts from Brigham Young University and then spent two years at the University of California at Berkeley doing graduate work. He then attended Texas A&M where he received his Ph.D. Dr. Clark taught at BYU from 1962 until 1993. He was the associate director of the BYU-Jerusalem Center from 1989 until 1992 and then spent an additional five summers there assisting. Upon retirement, Dr. Clark and his wife served as missionaries at the Provo Missionary Training Center, as well as some time as service missionaries at the Bishop's Storehouse in Lindon, Utah. He is father to 7, grandfather to 31 and great-grandfather to 27. He passed away on November 21, 2014.
Willard B. Doxey, Ph.D.
Years taught (1956-1980)Williard B. Doxey received his Bachelors as well as his masters of economics from the University of Utah in 1937 and 1947, respectively. He then attended the University of California at Berkeley where he received his Ph.D. in 1956. Dr. Doxey first taught at the University of Maryland and then at BYU. Dr. Doxey served a mission in Germany and was a member of the US Army during WWII. He was an extensive traveler and loved fishing, reading, and classical music. Dr. Doxey passed away in January of 1995.
Del Gardner, Ph.D.
Years taught (1954-1955, 1959-1962, 1986-1993)Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Del Gardner received both his Bachelor of Science and Master degree at the University of Wyoming in 1952 and 1954. Upon completion of his Master’s program, Dr. Gardner continued his education at the University of Chicago where he received his PhD in 1960. Dr. Gardner has served as assistant professor and associate professor at BYU from 1954-1955 and 1959-1962, respectively. He then moved on to teach as an assistant professor at Colorado State University and then as associate professor and professor at Utah State University. He served as the Chair of the Economics Department at Utah State University from 1971-1976, and served as a professor at the University of California-Davis before coming back to BYU to teach from 1986-1993. Dr. Del Gardner passed away February 6, 2022.
Sydney James, Ph.D.
Years taught (1983-1993)Sydney James received his Bachelor of Science and Masters degrees from Utah State University. He then attended Oregon State University where he received his PhD. Dr. James taught as a professor at Iowa State from 1963 to 1983 and then taught at BYU from 1983 to 1993. Dr. James and his wife have five children and 14 grandchildren. He is currently serving in high priest group leadership. Dr. James served a mission to Adam-ondi-Ahman from 1994 to 1996 and to Vietnam and Laos from 1999-2001. Dr. James now works in the temple and spends most of his time doing family record extractions.
James B. McDonald, PhD
Years taught (1972-2016)Dr. James McDonald graduated with a bachelor’s in mathematics in 1964 and a masters in mathematics in 1966 from Utah State University. He then went on to study at Purdue University, funded with an NSF Fellowship, where he earned a PhD in economics in 1970. After receiving his doctorate, he returned to his alma mater as an assistant professor of economics. In 1972, he took a position in the BYU Economics Department. He also spent a year as a visiting scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980 and as a visiting professor in China at Lingnan College, Zhongshan University in the summer of 1993. His teaching and research efforts have been recognized by receiving various awards during his career.
Dr. McDonald served as an associate dean in Honors and General Education from 1993-1996, as the economics department chair from 2000 to 2005, and was named the Clayne L. Pope Professor of Economics in 2006. His current research deals with developing alternative estimation methods for different economic models.
He served as mission president of the California Anaheim Mission from 1996 to 1999. Over the course of their three-year mission, he and his wife presided over more than 700 missionaries. They have four children and nine grandchildren. He enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, biking, teaching, researching, and serving in the church.
William Park, Ph.D.
Years taught (1977-1998)Email:email@example.com
William Park received both his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Utah State University. He then attended Cornell where he received his Ph D. Dr. Park first taught at Rutgers University then joined the BYU economics department in 1977 where he stayed until 1998. From 1988 to 1998 he worked as the associate dean of Biology and Agriculture. Dr. Park has five children, 19 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. From August 1998 to March 2000 he served an LDS mission in the West Indies (Trinidad head-quarters) and he is currently a staff member in the Family History Center in Midvale. Dr. Park enjoys spending time in his word-working shop and working on family projects.
Rulon D. Pope, Ph.D.
Warren & Wilson Dusenberry Professorship
Warren & Wilson Dusenberry Professorship