University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Economics

Faculty - Ross Thomson

photograph of thomson


  • Ph.D., Economics; Yale University, 1976
  • CV (PDF)
Area of expertise

Technical change, the economics of productivity growth, and U.S. Economic history.

Contact Information
Email: Phone: 802-656-0182

Office Location: 342 Old Mill

Office Hours: On Leave

Dr. Thomson has long been interested in how capitalist economies develop and the impact of these economies on the well-being of people in them. He has written extensively on technological change in the United States, and recently published a book entitled Structures of Change in the Mechanical Age: Technological Innovation in the United States 1790-1865. He teaches capitalism and human welfare in the Integrated Social Sciences Program, principles of economics, economic history and seminars in technological change and capitalist development. He has been Chair of the Economics Department, the Director of the Integrated Social Sciences Program, an Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, the Secretary of United Academics, the faculty union at UVM, and the Vice-President of United Academics.

Recent papers and publications

"Machinists as a Center of Innovation in the Antebellum United States," Von Gremp Workshop in Economic and Entrepreneurial History, UCLA, April 2005.

"From the Old to the New: The Social Basis of Innovation in the Antebellum United States," Business and Economic History Online, Fall 2004.

"Transformational Growth and the Universality of Technology," Growth, Distribution and Effective Demand, edited by G. Argyrous, M. Forstater, and G. Mongiovi, (Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2004), pp. 81-97.

"Leather and Leather Products Industries," Dictionary of American History, 3rd edition, edited by Stanley I. Kutner. (N.Y.: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003). Vol. 5, pp. 68-70.

"Leather Industry: Shoe and Boot Industries," Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History, edited by Joel Mokyr. (Oxford University Press, London, 2003). Vol. 3 pp. 281-285.

"Mediating the Public and the Private: The Patent System, Technological Learning, and Invention in the Antebellum U.S." Presented at the Economic History Association meetings, October 2002.

"The Making of the Mechanician: Science and Invention in Antebellum American," Northwestern Economic History Workshop, November 2002.

Learning and Technological Change, edited (London: Macmillan, and New York: St. Martin's, 1993).

The Path to Mechanized Shoe Production in the United States (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1989).