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Indiana University Bloomington
Department of Economics

William E. Becker

William E. Becker

Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1973

Econometrics, Economic Education, and Economics of Education

William Becker is a professor emeritus of economics at Indiana University Bloomington, an adjunct professor of commerce at the University of South Australia, where he typically has been in residence a couple of months each year since 1995, a research fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA, Bonn Germany), and a research network member of the Center for Economic Studies and Institute for Economic Research (CESifo, Munich Germany), where he was last in residence in April-May 2009.

Professor Becker's scholarly pursuits have been supported by the National Science Foundation, Kazanjian Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, Helen Dwight Reid Foundation, and the Bush Foundation. His research appears in the American Economic Review (refereed and proceedings), American Statistician, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Econometric Theory, Economic Inquiry, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Finance, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Risk and Insurance, Monthly Labor Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, Southern Economics Journal, and numerous other journals. He is the author of Statistics for Business and Economics (South-Western, International Thomson Publishing) and Statistics for Business and Economics Using Microsoft Excel (SRB Publishing), and is co-author of Business and Economics Statistics (Addison-Wesley), and co-editor of Academic Rewards in Higher Education (Ballinger), Econometric Modeling in Economic Education Research (Kluwer-Nijhoff), The Economics of American Higher Education (Kluwer), American Higher Education and National Growth (Kluwer), Assessing Educational Practices: The Contribution of Economics (MIT Press), Teaching Economics to Undergraduates: Alternatives to Chalk and Talk (Edward Elgar), Incentive Based Budgeting Systems in Public Universities (Edward Elgar), The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Contributions of the Research Universities (Indiana University Press), and Teaching Economics: More Alternatives to Chalk and Talk (Edward Elgar).

Before joining the faculty of Indiana University in 1979, Dr. Becker was a tenured faculty member at the University of Minnesota, where he also served as executive director of the Minnesota Council on Economic Education and where he returned for the academic year of 1988 to serve as acting director of the U of M Management Information Division. He has held visiting appointments at Princeton University and the universities of Adelaide, Melbourne, South Australia and Western Australia. Through the 1990s he toured Indonesia assessing university programs for the World Bank Midwest Universities Consortium for International Activities, visited Spain consulting for Universidad Carlos III, worked with the Soros Foundation in St Petersburg Russia, and was in Abu Dhabi consulting for the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research on the role of education in the new millennium. In 2002 he made multiple trips to Mexico to work with Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas. In 2003, he was in Portugal and Scotland working respectively with the University of Evora and the Economic Centre of the Learning and Teaching Support Network. In 2006, he was in Singapore as a consultant to the newly formed Singapore Management University and in 2007 at the University of Western Australia consulting on the teaching of economics. In 2009, he was in The Netherlands as a visiting scholar at the Erasmus School of Economics and contributed to an OECD project on tuning in higher education. For three months in 2010, he did a five-city lecture tour (Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide) on behalf of the Australian Business Deans Council. He has been a paid consultant for the United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Education, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Corporation, Nissan, and Westinghouse, as well as many smaller firms and individuals, for whom he has given expert statistical and econometrics testimony in Minnesota, Illinois and Indiana courtrooms.

Dr. Becker earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the College of St. Thomas in 1967, a master's degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1970, and a doctorate in economics from the University of Pittsburgh in 1973. He was editor of the Journal of Economic Education for 20 years (1989-2009) and simultaneously served on the editorial board of the Economics of Education Review. Bill was 2005-06 president of the 450 member Midwest Economic Association. He has received several teaching and research awards and in 2003 he received the Council for Economic Education Marvin Bower Award for leadership and service to economic education. His career is featured in Who's Who in Economics (4th edition, Edward Elgar), Who's Who in the World (28nd edition, Marquis Who's Who in America (65nd edition, Marquis), and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (11th Anniversary Edition, Marquis).

Journal of Economic Education