Dr. Stephen Smith

Robert W. Haack Endowed Chair of Economics
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Stephen Smith’s research and writing focus on international trade, global economic development and growth — topics he addresses both technically and in terms of Christian theology and ethics.

He teaches Economic Growth and Development, International Economics, Econometrics and introductory courses in microeconomics. He has led the department’s China May Term, a travel-study course focused on the economic and business dimensions of China’s modern growth, and serves as the department’s section head for economics.

Dr. Smith joined the Hope College faculty in 2016 after teaching for 29 years at Gordon College in Massachusetts.


  • International economics
  • Economic development
  • Economic growth
  • Christian ethical reflection in economics


  • Ph.D., economics, Stanford University, 1988
  • A.B., economics, religion, Williams College, 1979


  • Visiting professor, American Enterprise Institute, Values & Capitalism Program, 2016–2017
  • Visiting scholar, United States International Trade Commission (Research Division, Office of Economics), fall 2016
  • Senior Distinguished Faculty Award, Gordon College, 2016 and 2007
  • “Statism in Economic Development,” Acton Institute grant, 2015
  • “Economic Growth in Christian Theological Perspective,” Acton Institute grant, 2014
  • “Economic Growth and Human Flourishing,” Council for Christian Colleges and Universities grant, 2011


  • “Economics, Theology, and a Case for Economic Growth: An Assessment of Recent Critiques” (with E. Noell), Christian Scholars Review, 2020 
  • “A Conversation with Brian Griffiths” (with T. Smith), Faith & Economics, 2019
  • “Firm Heterogeneity and Export Pricing in India” (with M. Anderson, M. Davies and J. Signoret), Southern Economic Journal, 2019
  • “Firm Heterogeneity, Imported Input Quality and Export Pricing in India” (with M. Anderson, M. Davies and J. Signoret), Global Economy Journal, 2018
  • “Ethnic Networks and Price Dispersion” (with M. Anderson and M. Davies), Review of International Economics, 2016
  • “Can Price Dispersion Reveal Distance-Related Trade Costs? Evidence from the United States” (with M. Anderson and K. Schaefer), Global Economy Journal, 2013
  • Economic Growth: Unleashing the Power of Human Flourishing (with E. Noell and B. Webb), AEI Press, 2013

View all of Dr. Smith’s publications on his CV.


Dr. Smith is president of the Association of Christian Economists, whose journal, Faith & Economics, he edited for many years. He is also a member of the American Economic Association and the Southern Economic Association. As a visiting professor since 2021 at American Enterprise Institute’s Initiative on Faith & Public Life, he leads AEI’s Summer Honors Program seminar on Global Economic Development.

He and his wife, Ann, enjoy exploring West Michigan and traveling farther afield to visit their adult sons and daughter and to enjoy the sheer pleasure of seeing the world. As a “third-culture kid,” he likes to visit Asia regularly to stay connected to his (other) home continent. He’s a big fan of swimming, the Boston Red Sox and Winston Churchill.

Profile photo of Dr. Stephen Smith
Dr. Stephen Smith

Phone Number616.395.7580

VanZoeren Hall 41 Graves Place Holland, MI 49423
A map showing the location for Dr. Stephen Smith VanZoeren Hall 41 Graves Place Holland MI 49423