Robert Tatum, Ph.D.

Professor of Economics; Cary Caperton Owen Chair in Economics

Contact Information

  • 6569
  • 156 Karpen Hall

Office Hours

  • Tuesday 9:35 am - 10:35 am
  • Thursday 9:35 am - 10:35 am
  • Note: Office hours also available by appointment.


Dr. Tatum is passionate about the role economics can play in the liberal arts, as well as the complementarity between teaching and research in the liberal-arts environment. His primary teaching and research concerns international and development macroeconomics, supported in part through a 2007 Fulbright-Hays Award to Brazil. He has recently begun exploring a new area of scholarship crossing the disciplinary boundaries of economics and theology, with seven papers planned in this line of research. Complementing this new scholarship, he has received NEH support to develop a new interdisciplinary course on "Morality and Material Progress." He loves spending time with his wife and two young kids and enjoys traveling and exploring the great outdoors through hiking and trail running.


  • B.S., Economics, Centre College, Danville, Kentucky, June 1997
  • M.A., Economics, Indiana University, Bloomington, May 1999
  • Ph.D., Economics, Indiana University, Bloomington, March 2005

Courses Regularly Taught

  • ECON 101 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • ECON 103 Introductory Economic Analysis
  • ECON 178 Economics and the Global Poor First-Year Seminar
  • ECON 291 Intermediate Macroeconomics
  • ECON 306 Managerial Finance
  • ECON 314 Economic Growth and Development
  • ECON 338 Morality and Material Progress
  • ECON 342 Money and the Financial System
  • ECON 355 Open-Economy Macroeconomics

Selected Research

  • Tatum, R. (2021), ‘To What Ends for Theology-Oriented Economic Policymaking?’ Journal of Economics, Theology and Religion 1.
  • Tatum, R. (2020), ‘Move Beyond the One-Hit Wonder of Economic Growth and Use the Whole Hymnal,’ Faith and Economics 76 (Fall): 73-88.
  • Tatum, R. (2017), 'Homo Economicus as Fallen Man: The Need for Theological Economics', Journal of Markets & Morality 20(1): 127-40.
  • Tatum, R. (2017), 'A Theology of Economic Reform', Faith and Economics 69: 63-83.
  • Tatum, R. (2013), ‘A Hard Row to Hoe: Farming on the Economic Frontier under Incomplete Property Rights’, Environment and Development Economics 18(5): 576-94.
  • Tatum, R., and K. Childers (2013), ‘The Distribution and Utilization of Class Time: How Long Should Class Be and Should Students Even Attend’, International Review of Economic Education 13: 1-9.
  • Tatum, R. (2010), ‘Liberalization of Import Restrictions on Capital Goods and the Balance of Payments’, Journal of International Trade and Economic Development 19(3): 385-419.
  • Tatum, R. (2005), ‘Sustaining Imperfectly Credible Trade Liberalization: Do the Rate of Tariff Reduction and the Degree of Labor Mobility Matter?’, Journal of International Trade and Economic Development 14(4): 407-35.