I was born in Montgomery, Alabama and lived in Kentucky, Florida, South Carolina and Alabama growing up. I went to undergraduate school at Auburn University, majoring in journalism, and worked for The Associated Press after graduation.
Then I switched careers from journalism to economics. I attended graduate school at the University of Virginia and received my Ph.D. there in 1980.
I have since served on the faculties of Vanderbilt University, the University of Virginia (for a 5-year return visit) and Bridgewater College, where I was chair of the department of economics and business.
I have been at James Madison University since 1989 on the economics faculty, serving as director of the Center for Economic Education. My wife and I live in the small town of Bridgewater, Virginia, in a converted 1906 schoolhouse. We have two grown sons and are therefore quasi-empty-nesters. I like bicycling in the area around Bridgewater, photography and music. I’m a member of the Beaver Creek Church of the Brethren, where I have served as youth director, deacon and in other posts. Currently I lead Sunday morning Song and Story Time for special needs adults.