Economics & Business
Phone: (805) 565-6781
Office Location: Deane Hall 103
Tuesday and Thursday 3:15-4:15 pm
Martin Asher, former director of Research and Scholars Programs at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has joined the Westmont Economics and Business Department as professor of economics. He taught the honors sections of both microeconomics and macroeconomics at Wharton, earning the William G. Whitney Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching six times. He has also taught at Villanova University and Swarthmore College.
“Teaching at Westmont is as much a ministry as it is an academic career,” he says. “I look forward to getting to know the faculty and students here and learning from them more about integrating faith and teaching.”
Asher completed his undergraduate degree at Stanford, where he has fond memories of his days as the roommate of Ken Kihlstrom, Westmont professor of physics. Asher made his way to Washington, D.C., combining his love for math and national policy issues in the field of economics. “I took a year of absence from Stanford to work on Capitol Hill writing memos on the state of the economy to Sen. Edmund Muskie, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee,” Asher says. “It was a pretty heady job for a 21-year-old with braces.”
Teaching was never on Asher’s radar as a student. “The only thing I knew for sure was that I would not teach,” he says. However, after studying econometrics and macro modeling at the University of Pennsylvania under Nobel Prize-winner Lawrence Klein, he changed his mind as a doctoral student while teaching undergraduates at Penn. He loves to teach, however, before he began his teaching career, he returned to Washington, D.C., to serve on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and pursue his dissertation at the Brookings Institution.
He has published articles about unsuccessful settlement negotiations, antitrust policies, state and county incarceration rates and earnings inequalities. He has often provided expert testimony on the economic implications of antitrust and discrimination cases.