Professor Emeritus of Economics and Senior Research Scholar
Frederic L. Pryor is a microeconomist who has specialized in the comparative study of economic systems. In recent years, he has focused on problems of the changing structure of the American economy. His 1995 book Economic Evolution and Structure: The Impact of Complexity on the U.S. Economic System documents the increasing complexity of our economy and shows how and in what ways this has influenced the effectiveness of government policy. In 1998, he co-authored the book Who's Not Working and Why, which explores the importance of "functional literary" — dexterity with written language and numbers — in determining why some similarly educated workers are more successful than others. He also has research interests in the transition of former communist economies to capitalism and in international economics.
Pryor has worked as an economic advisor in Ukraine and Latvia, was employed as a consultant to the World Bank in Africa, served as a Research Director to the Pennsylvania Tax Commission, and has been a Research Associate at both the Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, Calif., and the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He has won research grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Council of Soviet and East European Studies, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Receiving a B.A. in chemistry from Oberlin College and a Ph.D. in economics from Yale, he has occupied teaching or research positions at Yale, the University of California, the University of Michigan, the University of Paris, the International Institute for Graduate Studies in Geneva, and several other universities. He joined the Swarthmore faculty in 1967.