Professor Charles Kroncke Ph.D., Auburn University ‘95
“Professor Spotlight” aims to familiarize students with their professors by exploring their life history and some of their personal experiences.
Dr. Kroncke is the Chair of the School of Business as well as a professor in economics at the Mount. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Auburn University with his dissertation about state public/private wage differentials. Dr. Kroncke joined the Mount in 2003, and was Dean of Business from 2009 to 2013. He also has taught in Eastern Europe for many years.
Mount St. Joseph University is known for high-quality academics, and Dr. Kroncke surpasses that standard with his approach to teaching. We asked him to share a little more about himself.
Why did you decide to go to pursue a Ph.D. in economics?
I decided to get a Ph.D. in economics after taking classes in economic history and intermediate microeconomics as an undergraduate. I was always interested in history and the economic history course helped me see the connections between history and economics. The intermediate micro course showed me a new way of thinking. This class challenged my way of looking at the world. I was intrigued and wanted to learn more.
When did you start traveling to Estonia? Why?
In 1995 I joined Civic Education Project and I was assigned to teach public finance in the public administration department of the University of Tartu. This was a professor exchange program started at after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. I lived in Estonia from 1995-99. I also worked for Euro Faculty, and I led business school accreditation teams in Latvia. Last year I returned to Tartu as a Fulbright Scholar.
What do you teach in Estonia? How many times have you been there since at the Mount?
During my first stay in Estonia, I taught public finance, public choice, and other public policy courses. I went back to the University of Tartu last year as a Fulbright Scholar and I taught two graduate courses: one in international trade and the other in economics and social justice. This time I was in a European studies program. As a Fulbright scholar, my students came from all over Europe including Estonia, Spain, Germany, France, Belarus, Latvia, Ukraine, and even one student from Wyoming.
Briefly describe your experiences in Estonia.
My wife Kaie is Estonian and her family lives on the Island of Saaremaa. We have two daughters, Liina and Käbi. We try and return as frequently as possible. It is important that our daughters are fluent in Estonian and that the get to know their Estonian relatives. Saaremaa is a beautiful Island with sandy beaches. I enjoy the quiet of the wilderness, the different foods, and the culture. The time as a Fulbright was a great experience for our girls as they got to attend an Estonian school.
What is the importance of International experience?
I have been very fortunate to have traveled extensively as a child and young adult. As a child, I traveled through Central America, and spent one summer in Italy, one in France, and one in Portugal. Being in other countries helped me develop an appreciation for different cultures and different languages. My international experiences have helped me see the world from multiple perspectives.
Briefly explain your research.
I have written articles on wage differentials, business ethics, the economics of education, the economics of health care, as well as articles on sports marketing. Writing keeps me up to date on the current trends in business and economic theory. I am able to work some of these ideas into the classroom.
What work of yours has been published since at the Mount? Before?
My work has been published in several academic journals including: The Baltic Journal of Economics, The Economics of Transition, The Journal of Labor Research, Forum for Social Economics, The Independent Review, and the Encyclopedia of Business, Ethics, and Society. I am currently working on a sports marketing paper and a paper on market failure and public choices. Most of my papers are co-authored; I enjoy talking about ideas, theories, and applications with my colleagues.
What is your advice for a student who wants to pursue a career in economics?
At the Mount, we are rolling out a new Financial Economics major. This major combines economics theory with practical financial applications. Financial economics students develop their communication skills and quantitative finance skills. I hope students in this major will be challenged to see the world in a new light. Employers will be interested in these students because they possess strong finance skills and are curious about how choices are made. Young people who are interested in economics should follow news stories, listen to economics podcasts, and read financial publications.