William Kern

Photo of William  Kern
William Kern
Professor Emeritus of Economics and Undergraduate Advisor
(269) 387-5535
5307 Friedmann Hall, Mail Stop 5330
Mailing address: 
Department of Economics
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5330 USA
  • Ph.D., Colorado State University, 1982
Research interests: 
  • History of economic thought
  • Comparative economic systems
  • Sports economics

Dr. William Kern is a professor and undergraduate advisor in the Department of Economics at Western Michigan University.

He teaches courses in introductory micro and macroeconomics, comparative economic systems and the history of economic thought. The latter two courses are the department's writing intensive courses.

His recent research focuses on sports economics. Kern has:

  • Examined the impact of universities' athletic success on state appropriations to universities and on tuition rates.
  • Investigated various aspects of the economics of professional golf, in particular the impact of technological changes in golf on the returns to various golfing skills such as putting and driving accuracy and length.
  • Focused on the determinants of the values of pro sports franchises and the impact of pro sports teams on local economies.

The other primary area of research for Kern is the history of economic thought. He has published a number of papers on the work of Frank Knight, particularly on various aspects of Knight's moral philosophy. In addition he has conducted research on several aspects of classical economic thinking such as views on welfare reform, the role of population growth on economic growth and innovation, and views on social status.