The featured speaker at the next Wittenberg University Alumni Luncheon Series 2000-01 event at noon, Tuesday, Feb. 20, Wishart said he expects the United States to not only survive the current economic slowdown but to move forward in the new century posting positive growth. The astronomical 5 and 6 percent growth figures of the 1990's may not be matched, but Wishart says the U.S. economy still has plenty going for it.
Wishart's topic on Tuesday will be "Sources of economic growth, past and present." Among the insights he will share in the 10- to 15-minute presentation, which will be followed by a question-and-answer session:
"The problems economists have been wrestling with recently deal primarily with technology. How much does technology affect economic growth? I think we're getting better at measuring it. There's definitely a relationship between technological progress and productivity growth."
"A narrow focus on technological change in exploring productivity growth can be misleading, however. That leads to a need to better understand the role human capital (the skills, talents and health of a population) plays. We need to analyze how it accumulates over time. Certainly, liberal arts colleges like Wittenberg have a role to play in this regard."
"What's happening in the stock market right now doesn't reflect what's happening in the rest of the economy. I remain fairly optimistic. It's clear that we're in the midst of an economic slowdown, but I don't think we're headed for a full recession."
Wishart received the 2000 Alumni Association Award for Distinguished Teaching, joining his wife, Josephine Wilson, professor of psychology who was recently appointed to the Paul Luther Keil Chair in Psychology, as the first husband-wife team to receive the award. Wilson received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1993.
A Yellow Springs resident, Wishart has been a member of Wittenberg's faculty since 1983. He teaches courses in American economic history, European economic history, history of economic thought, natural resource and environmental economics and the principles of economics. Wishart has conducted research on natural resource economics and American economic history. He earned his B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Illinois.