Bruce Brown

Bruce Brown


Dr. Brown first taught at SMC in 1990. After earning his Ph.D. in Economics from UCLA in 1997 he taught economics in Japan and resumed teaching at SMC part-time when he returned. Dr. Brown’s dissertation examined the impact of immigration on the wages of different types of workers and found that most native groups earned more if employed in an immigrant intensive city or industry, but not an occupation. After researching unexplained wage differentials by gender, race, and country of origin - perhaps the result of discrimination; his research interest migrated to financial markets. He joined his Cal Poly Pomona colleague, Prof. Maureen Burton, to coauthor “The Financial System and the Economy – Principles of Money and Banking,” published by Routledge.

Specialty Area

  • Teaching of economics at the college level; At SMC I teach Microeconomic Principles (EC 1) and Macroeconomic Principles (EC2).

  • Current research interest: Money, Banking and Financial Markets.

Teaching Philosophy/Equity Statement

My classes present standard material with some critiques from outside the textbooks.  For example “typical results” imply price ceilings cause shortages; central banks can set interest rates. I highlight how these results are only true in particular situations (in the two examples, markets are competitive; and inflation expectations are stable). I currently teach exclusively online at SMC. In these classes, it is especially crucial that students read the syllabi, emails and posted announcements and meet all deadlines.  Just as societies function better with clear rules, transparently and objectively enforced - so do college classes.

Covering economic material at the same level as ordinary “on-the-ground” classes are essential to ensure the success of all SMC students after transferring or joining the workforce. Economics is relevant for everyone and useful across a variety of majors. I show how economic reasoning can be used to support different policy positions, and present material in a way to illustrate the universality of economic concepts and connections between assumptions and conclusions.