About Doug Woodward


I am an academic economist with over thirty years of professional experience.  Currently, I serve as  Director of the Division of Research and Professor of Economics at the Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina. I earned my Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Texas at Austin, with the great fortune to have Norm Glickman as my dissertation supervisor.  I really liked living in Austin–where I married author and teacher Gloria Talcove, had my first (of two) sons, and heard a lot of the great live music that made the city famous.

I grew up in western New York near Rochester, said to be the happiest city in the U.S. But during my undergraduate years at S.U.N.Y.  Purchase, the Empire State was in meltdown; that is, in a deep economic and financial crisis. I was motivated to understand economic instability and wrote my undergraduate thesis on the causes of the Great Depression of the 1930s. For my masters thesis at New York University, I applied the Minsky-Kindleberger financial instability framework to foreign debt crises in less-developed countries, with the esteemed development economist Michael Todaro as my supervisor. At N.Y.U., the top ranked Masters of Economics program, I also had the opportunity to study input-output economics with Nobel-laureate Wassily Leontief.

At the University of Texas, I became interested in urban economies and the emerging field of regional science. My dissertation research investigated the regional dimensions of foreign direct investment in the United States. This was at a time when there was growing concern about Japanese and other foreign investors taking over America. Subsequently, Norm Glickman and I published The New Competitors, a popular work on the subject, which was listed on Business Week’s top ten books of the year in 1989 and by Forbes as “one of the books CEOs are reading.”

Today I teach and conduct research across the world on topics mostly related to urban and regional economic development: industrial location, agglomeration economies, regional economic cluster development, and the regional implications of foreign investment.  My career-long interest in spatial economics was inspired, in part, by observations during a bicycle trip from New York to San Francisco as an undergraduate. 

My academic (peer-reviewed) articles have appeared in publications such as the Journal of Urban Economics, the Journal of Regional Science, Regional Science and Urban Economics, the Journal of Economic Geography, the African Business Journal, and the Review of Economics and Statistics. Recently published papers have investigated labor matching, knowledge spillovers, and agglomeration economies.  A new paper addresses creative clustering through an analysis of independent inventor location in U.S. regions.


Shenyang Imperial Palace

Chobe River Sunset

Chobe River in Bostwana

Another interest of mine is competitiveness and business development in China and sub-Saharan Africa.  

Over my career, I have received grants to support my research. I have testified before local, state, and national government committees and presented my research at many conferences around the world, including the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In 2012-13, I served as the President of the North American Regional Science Council, an international scholarly organization. I am Associate Editor of the Journal of Regional Science and the Review of Regional Studies.  From 2010-2011, I was President of the Southern Regional Science Association and in 2016 I was honored as a fellow of the association.


Did I say that I am trillionaire?

Unfortunately that’s in 2007 Zimbabwe dollars.

My hobbies include hiking, biking, swimming, and travel.

Tikal Mayan ruins in Guatemala


Luxembourg Gardens, Paris France


Sunset on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Doug Oakland2

Lake Merritt, Oakland CA


One Response to About Doug Woodward

  1. Vanessa Vaughn says:

    Hello Professor, interesting bio I am looking forward to learning about Economics. I recently submitted my application for the Hodge’s Scholarship and hope to have a similar picture as well.

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