Dr. Victor Claar, associate professor of economics, participated in an alumni panel discussion on Friday, Oct. 3, as part of the sesquicentennial celebration of his alma mater, Houghton College in New York.
A 1987 graduate of Houghton College, he was one of four alumni participating in the discussion "Pursuing Our Calling in... Business."
Established in 1883 and grounded in the Wesleyan tradition, HoughtonCollege celebrating its 125th anniversary with a series of activities that ran Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 2-5, and were designed around the theme "Celebrating the Journey... Transforming the World." The activities on Friday afternoon included 11 panels on a variety of topics featuring a cross-section of alumni selected to "serve as exemplar case studies of how graduates who come through the 'Houghton experience' can find fulfillment and satisfaction in a variety of endeavors and perspectives."
In the block of sessions in which Claar participated, the panelists were invited to focus on their professional callings, to share challenges and pleasures they have experienced, and to encourage students in their academic pursuits in becoming agents of change in the world. Topics included "Must I compromise my ethics to compete in business?," "How do I balance the twin motives of Christian faith and financial profit?," "What are some points of tension between the common activities of business and the tenets of faith?," and "What is the best advice for early-career business professionals?"
Claar has been a member of the Hope faculty since 2000. He majored in business administration and mathematics at Houghton College. He completed his M.A. and doctorate at West Virginia University in 1995 and 2000 respectively.
His areas of research include the macroeconomic implications of behavioral economics, time series econometrics, and forgiveness. He spent the 2006-07 school year teaching and conducting research in Armenia through an award from the Fulbright Scholar Program.
He and Hope colleague Dr. Robin Klay are co-authors of the book "Economics in Christian Perspective: Theory, Policy and Life Choices," published in 2007 by InterVarsity Press. He has presented his research in several conferences including the Southern Economic Association and the International Atlantic Economic Society. His research has appeared in journals such as "Public Finance Review," and he has served as a referee for the "Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking," the "Journal of Public Economics" and the "Review of Political Economy." He also serves as an adjunct scholar at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland.