Laura Taylor

Associate Professor of Economics

Professor Taylor joined the Department of Economics in Fall 2005.  She holds a PhD in Economics from Colorado State University.  For her dissertation, she completed an ethnographic field study in Krasnodar, Russia where she studied how households were adapting to the change from the Soviet planned economic system to the current market-based system. 

At Willamette, Professor Taylor’s teaching responsibilities include An Introduction to Economic Inquiry, Macroeconomic Theory, and the Senior Seminar as well as a number of elective courses including Comparative Economic Systems and the Political Economy of Oil.  Most recently, Professor Taylor developed a new elective titled “From Plan to Market”—a course on Soviet and Russian economic history. 

Professor Taylor is also an affiliated faculty member of the International Studies Program and contributes to teaching the IS Senior Seminar.    

Her areas of research include the transition of the Russian economy in the 1990s, the contemporary Russian economy in the Putin era, social capital, the military retirement system, and various research projects on the practice of forensic economic analysis. 

Prior to completing her graduate studies, Professor Taylor worked for several years as an investigator at the Chicago Board of Trade’s Office of Investigations and Audits, where she was responsible for investigating potential instances of fraudulent or improper trading in the CBOT’s financial and agricultural futures and options markets. 

In addition to her PhD, Professor Taylor also holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from DePaul University as well as two Bachelor’s Degrees – one in Economics and one in Russian, from Goucher College. 

Recent Articles

Sivers Boyce, N., J. Gray, C. Whiting, D. Negri, L. Taylor, R. Mascarenhas, T. Knight, and Y. Liang. “Curricular Reform at Willamette University.” International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education 8.02 (2017): 156-183.

Taylor, Laura, and William G. Brandt. “Assessing Economic Damages in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation: The State of Washington.” Journal of Forensic Economics 26.1 (2015): 115-131.

Taylor, L. (2010) “Assessing Economic Damages in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation: The State of Alaska.” Journal of Forensic Economics, 21 (2), 199 – 218.

Taylor, P. and Taylor, L. (2007). “The Financial Cost of an Involuntary Military Separation.” Journal of Legal Economics, 14 (1), 1 – 22.

Taylor, L. and Wrenn, M. (2003). “Forging New Relationships:  Social Capital in the Transition.” Forum for Social Economics 33 (1), 1-12.


Professor Taylor is the recipient of the United Methodist Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service (2018), the Mortar Board Professor of the Year Award (2016), and the Jerry E. Hudson Award for Excellence in Teaching (2015). 

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