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Victor V. Claar, Ph.D. - Florida Gulf Coast University. Fort Myers, FL, US

Victor V. Claar, Ph.D. Victor V. Claar, Ph.D.

Expert in economics and ethics | Florida Gulf Coast University


Victor Claar is a serious economist who thinks about the individual human beings behind market transactions.



Victor V. Claar, Ph.D. Publication Victor V. Claar, Ph.D. Publication Victor V. Claar, Ph.D. Publication



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Victor Claar: Is 'Fair Trade' Fair? Automation and the Future of Work and Welfare - Prof. Victor Claar - IMAGINE 2018 Victor Claar on the moral legacy of John Maynard Keynes


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Victor V. Claar is associate professor of economics at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, where he holds the BB&T Distinguished Professorship in Free Enterprise. Claar is also an affiliate scholar of the Acton Institute, as well as a member of the Foundation for Economic Education’s Faculty Network. He is a Fulbright Scholar, having spent a year teaching economics to graduate students in the former Soviet republic of Armenia.

Claar's scholarship journey has taken him to places as diverse as China, Poland, Lithuania, Turkey, Armenia, Russia and Singapore — which gives him a unique perspective on the individuals behind the economic numbers. He is also the author of multiple books that deal with humane and ethical questions in economics. While you may have heard that economics was once dubbed the “dismal science,” Claar’s work demonstrates that this field is quite the opposite, especially when it does what Claar does: combine sobering analysis and Christian principles to offer a vision of hope.

Areas of Expertise (15)

Financial Literacy


Free Enterprise

Business Cycles




Economics and Ethics

Fairtrade Coffee

Trade Policy



Economic Policy

Minimum Wage

Trade Wars

Accomplishments (1)

Fulbright Scholar

Claar spent a year teaching economics to graduate students in Armenia.

Education (3)

West Virginia University: Ph.D., Economics 2000

West Virginia University: M.A., Economics 1995

Houghton College: B.A., Business Administration 1987

Affiliations (7)

  • Acton Institute : Affiliate Scholar
  • Foundation for Economic Education's Faculty Network : Member
  • American Economic Association : Member
  • Southern Economic Association : Life Member
  • Association of Christian Economists : Member
  • Mont Pelerin Society : Member
  • Philadelphia Society : Member

Selected Media Appearances (16)

Is dirty cash in your wallet spreading coronavirus?

NBC2  tv


Victor Claar discusses using virtual payments to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

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Panic purchasing leaves many without crucial supplies

NBC2  tv


Victor Claar discusses panic purchasing at grocery stores as COVID-19 spreads.

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How you can limit your food waste

NBC2  tv


Victor Claar discusses ways families can save money on groceries.

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Victor Claar on fair trade

Gwartney Institute's "Faith and Economics"  online


Victor Claar talks about his research on this podcast.

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What does a fair trade logo actually mean?

The Christian Century  online


Victor Claar's comments from the book, "Fair Trade? Its Prospects as a Poverty Solution," are cited in this story.

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FGCU students talk money with Steve Forbes

FGCU 360  online


Victor Claar's students secured one of four one-on-one Skype conversations with Steve Forbes.

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Victor Claar on the moral legacy of John Maynard Keynes

Acton Institute  online


Victor Claar discusses the Keynesian revolution.

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Experimenting with the poor: The 2019 Nobel celebrates the economist as technocrat

Acton Institute  online


Victor Claar talks about Abhijit Banerjee (MIT), Esther Duflo (MIT) and Michael Kremer (Harvard) -- recipients of the 2019 Nobel Prize in economics -- and their field experiments on poor people to find out which policies work as expected and which don’t.

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How you can receive compensation from the 2017 Equifax data hack

NBC2  tv


Victor Claar encourages others to handle their own financial business.

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3 Sectors Took a Nosedive in Latest Jobs Report

Fortune  online


Victor Claar discusses the May 2019 jobs report.

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49% of Americans Under Age 35 Now Report Having a ‘Side Hustle’

Fortune  online


Victor Claar discusses the rise in millennial side jobs.

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Ad falsely claims prescription drugs imported from Canada would be dangerous

NBC2  tv


Victor Claar comments on the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA.

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Bill proposes financial literacy class for high schools

ABC 7  


Victor Claar discusses the importance of financial literacy education for Florida students.

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POINT OF VIEW: Memo to employers: do the right thing

The Palm Beach Post  


Victor Claar writes an opinion piece about tipping and minimum wage for tipped employees in Florida.

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Airlines and price gouging? Not necessarily

The News-Press  


Victor Claar writes an opinion piece about airlines' pricing strategies during Hurricane Irma.

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Price gougers deserve medals

The Detroit News  


Victor Claar discusses the dynamics behind price gouging behavior.

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Selected Event Appearances (5)

Fair trade coffee...how fair is your cup of joe?

Florida Southern College's Politics, Law, and Economics Lecture Series  Lakeland, Florida


Automation and the Future of Work and Welfare

IMAGINE Conference  Adam Smith Center, Singapore


Beauty and Wonder Are All Around Us

Jubilee Professional  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Fair Trade? Its Prospects as a Poverty Solution

Alex G. McKenna Lecture  Latrobe, Pennsylvania


Is "Fair Trade" Fair?

EconED 2016  Fort Lauderdale, Florida


Selected Articles (4)

Creativity, innovation, and the historicity of entrepreneurship

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy

Jordan Ballor, Victor V Claar


Purpose Creativity and innovation are interrelated, and indeed often conflated, concepts. A corollary to this distinction is two different perspectives or types of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs. The purpose of this paper is to explore the distinction between creativity and innovation on the basis of their relationship to history and implications for understandings of entrepreneurship. Design/methodology/approach This paper is a theoretical exploration of entrepreneurship understood in relation to a proper distinction between creativity and innovation. Creativity and innovation differ from the perspective of their relationship to what has already happened in history vs the radical novelty of a particular discovery or invention. Findings Creativity can be understood as what human beings do in connection with the fundamental givenness of things. Innovation, on the other hand, can be best understood as a phenomenon related to the historical progress of humankind. Innovation is what human beings discover on the basis of what has already been discovered. Entrepreneurs can be seen as those who discover something radically new and hidden in the latent possibilities of reality and creation. Or entrepreneurs can be seen as those who develop new, and even epochal, discoveries primarily on the basis of the insights and discoveries of those who have come before them in history. Originality/value This paper provides a helpful conceptual distinction between creativity and innovation, and finds compatibility in these different perspectives. A holistic and comprehensive understanding of entrepreneurship embraces both its creative and innovative aspects, its metaphysical grounding as well as its historicity.

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Correspondence: Fair trade coffee

Journal of Economic Perspectives

Victor V Claar, Colleen E Haight

2015 Fair trade coffee is a cup half full, according to Raluca Dragusanu, Daniele Giovannucci, and Nathan Nunn in “The Economics of Fair Trade." We are not persuaded.

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Hope for the East: Entrepreneurial attitudes of MBA students in two transition economies relative to those in the USA

International Journal of Business Excellence

Victor V Claar, Robert Frey, Marek Szarucki, Vicki R TenHaken

2012 This paper examines whether a proactive personality instrument, designed to assess whether an individual possesses personality traits often linked to entrepreneurship, is robust to international applications. We present the instrument to three cohorts of MBA students: a group in Michigan, another in Armenia, and a third in Poland. While internationally different, the student cohorts are similar otherwise. We find no meaningful differences on students’ overall average scores; all groups appear equally suited to entrepreneurship. Therefore we find the instrument to be internationally robust. We also examine whether the form of each group’s proactive personality varies internationally. We find evidence that cultural (whether social or economic) differences lead to different kinds of high scores – i.e., an international treatment effect. An important implication is that different kinds of ‘entrepreneurial’ students might want to consider working alongside others with proactive personalities, especially if a potential partner would bring a complementary set of attributes.

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Entrepreneurial attitudes of MBA students in the United States relative to the CIS: the case of Armenia

International Business & Economics Research

Victor V Claar, Vicki R TenHaken, Robery Frey

2009 This paper compares the entrepreneurial attributes of MBA students in Armenia to those in the United States. If entrepreneurial attributes are more learned cultural behaviors and not only inherent personality factors, business students in a recently-privatized economy such as Armenia would not score as high on an entrepreneurial personality index as would business students in the US where both models of entrepreneurship and expectations of certain proactive characteristics in individuals entering the business world are widespread.

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