Olga Nicoara_photo_croppedWelcome to my personal website. This year, I will be joining the Ursinus College faculty as an Assistant Professor of Economics in the Department of Business and Economics. I earned my Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Economics from George Mason University and my B.Sc. degree in International Economics and Business from Bucharest University of Economics.

My fields and areas of interest include Political Economy, Economic Development, Market Process Economics, Public Choice, Entrepreneurship and Public Policy,  Economies in Transition, International Economics, Non-Monetary Decision Making, Cultural Economics, Social Change, and Economics of Revolution.

Previously, I was a faculty member in the Economics Department at Denison University, in Granville, Ohio. At Denison I taught core courses in introductory economics, and elective courses in the economics of transition, and entrepreneurship and public policy.

OlgaNicoara-Defense Day_April 21 2014.GMU

With my PhD adviser, Peter Boettke, and committee members, Chris Coyne and Paul Aligica. (April 21, 2014)

I served as member in the Philosophy Politics and Economics (PPE) program at Denison, and I am a firm believer that interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and research are key in advancing the goals of a liberal arts education. I also advised the Denison Economics Club, helping the students organize social events and a Speaker Series designed to facilitate opportunities for the Denison students to compare and contrast theory and practice, and allow them to engage intellectually and collaborate with scholars, entrepreneurs, and local community leaders.

In introductory courses, I use active learning pedagogical techniques, simulations, and exercises and applications to help students grasp the real-world relevance of economics, including, for example, the economics of everyday decision-making on allocating one’s time between preparing for an exam, and exercising at the gym, or deciding whether to compete for a job or start your own business, at the voting booth, in personal finance plans, at the grocery store, etc.

In upper-level courses, I facilitate Socratic-style dialogs, and active learning exercises and collaborative workshops where students investigate how economics can help explain more complex empirical inquiries, including which policies foster entrepreneurship and economic development across societies, what incentive schemes work best in different organizational settings, and how societies could avoid problems of collective action, manifested in tragedy of commons, and unintended consequences.

At Chateau de Gruyères, Gruyères, Switzerland, July 2015

At Chateau de Gruyères, Gruyères, Switzerland, July 2015

Please feel free to email me at: onicoara@ursinus.edu


At Denison University:
ECON 440: Entrepreneurship&Public Policy
ECON 240: Economies in Transition
ECON 101: Introductory Macroeconomics

At George Mason University:
ECON 380: Economies in Transition
ECON 306: Intermediate Microeconomics


What Have We Learned from The Collapse of Communism,” with Peter J. Boettke, in The Oxford Handbook on Austrian Economics, edited by Peter Boettke and Christopher Coyne. New York: Oxford University Press, September 2015.

New Institutional Economics and New Economic History: Lessons for Economic Development” (in Romanian), for New Trends in Political Economy, Ion Sterpan and Dragos Paul Aligica (Eds.), Humanitas Pub. 2011.

Understanding Institutions and Institutional Change in Weak Post-Soviet Democracies: The Case of ‘Doing Business’ Reforms in Moldova,” Mercatus Policy Series 2010.


“Culture As A Solution To Estonia’s ‘Singing Revolution'”

The Role Of Entrepreneurship As Cultural Leadership In Estonia’s ‘Singing Revolution’

“Explaining The Positive Attitudes Toward Communism in Romania,” with Vlad Tarko

“A Contextual Choice Model Of The Secessionist Rebellion in Ukraine,” with David White


“The Allocation of Entrepreneurial Talent in Economies in Transition”

“Immigration and Entrepreneurship: A McCloskeyian Perspective”

“The Law and Economics of Transition,” with Peter J. Boettke


“A Contextual Rational Choice Model Of The Secessionist Rebellion in Ukraine,” Association for Private Enterprise Education (APEE), Cancun, Mexico, April 12-14, 2015

“Rational Choice, Leadership, and Social Change: Culture as a Solution to Estonia’s Singing Revolution,” Colloquium on Market Institutions & Economic Processes, New York University, New York, November 10th, 2014

“Cultural Entrepreneurship as a Solution to The Embedded Agency Paradox: The Case of Estonia’s Singing Revolution'”, Public Choice Society Meeting, Charleston, SC, March 6-9, 2014

“Dignity, Liberty, and Innovative Immigrant Entrepreneurship,” Southern Economic Association Meeting, New Orleans, LA, November 16-18, 2012

Understanding Institutions and Institutional Change in Weak Post-Soviet Democracies: The Case of ‘Doing Business’ Reforms in Moldova,” Association for Private Enterprise Education (APEE), Las Vegas, NV, April 10-13, 2010

Institutions, Entrepreneurship, and Post-Soviet Development: An Assessment of Moldova’s Entrepreneurial Environment,” Mason Entrepreneurship Research Conference (MERC), GMU School of Public Policy, Washington D.C., March 26, 2010


American Economic Association (AEA), Southern Economic Association (SEA), Society For The Development of Austrian Economics (SDAE), Strategic Management Society (SMS), Public Choice Society (PCS)